FIX: Cannot Install Applications from Media When "AllocateCDRom or AllocateFloppies" Reg Values Are Set

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Article ID: 221524 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q221524
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You may begin an application setup, and receive the following error when the Windows Installer attempts to read from the drive:
Installation ended prematurely because of an error.
Or, an Administrator may run an Advertise setup (for example, "Setup /jm" from Office) from a CD-ROM or floppy disk. The Windows Installer dialog box may be briefly displayed, but the application is not advertised. There is no error message as in the regular setup case above.


There are two registry entries in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\ WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon subkey that can cause this problem:
  • AllocateCDRoms:REG_SZ
  • AllocateFloppies:REG_SZ
One or both of these entries has been added and/or set to 1, thus disabling access to everyone but the locally logged on user. Because the Windows Installer runs as Local System when it reads off the CD-ROM or floppy disk drives, it is denied access because Local System is not granted access to the drives in this secure environment.


To run an installation from media, these registry keys should be removed or set to 0 (zero). There is no way to install from media with these keys and values set.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

This problem was corrected in Windows 2000.


Steps to Reproduce:

  1. Use the Security Configuration Editor to secure the system with any of the following templates:
    • compdc4.inf
    • compws4.inf
    • hisecdc4.inf
    • hisecws4.inf
    • securedc4.inf
    • securws4.inf
  2. Run the application setup from the local CD-ROM drive or Floppy drive.

    RESULT: Just before copying files, the following error appears:
    Installation ended prematurely because of an error

  3. Run an advertise setup with the /j[u|m] switch.

    RESULT: The Windows Installer dialog box is displayed briefly, but the application is not advertised. There is no error as in the regular setup case above.


For additional information about these security keys, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
172520 Access Denied Error When Trying to Access a Shared CD-ROM


Article ID: 221524 - Last Review: February 21, 2014 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Windows Installer 1.0, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbappsetup kbbug kbfix kboswin2000fix KB221524

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