iTunes Issue: Windows Keeps Configuring iTunes When Starting

iTunes Logo

I have recently been experiencing problems with Vista, which is no surprise there. My wife likes to use iTunes, and uses it on a daily basis for listening to music and renting movies. Recently, however, she has been experiencing problems with iTunes. She has been unable to launch the application because Windows Installer opens up and states that Windows is configuring iTunes. After prompting for a reboot, which was granted, she would start iTunes again and was faced with the same message. It was an endless cycle that wouldn’t allow her to access iTunes.

I decided to uninstall and then reinstall iTunes. Unfortunately, the problem still persisted. I checked the EventLog of Vista and found an error relating to a component that couldn’t be repaired. After doing a search online, I found a solution that fixed the problem. I outline the solution in this post.

The Problem

iTunes Logo

As outlined above, the problem was iTunes not being able to launch because Windows needed to configure the application. The window that is displayed is a Windows Installer window. When iTunes is started, Windows Installer identifies a file/registry key as missing, so it attempts to fix the problem by installing the missing file/registry key.

I have usually had no problems with Windows Installer repairing an installation, but in this instance it was having problems. Each time iTunes was started, Windows Installer would detect the missing resource and attempt to install it. Since it couldn’t install it, it continued to try each time the application was launched.

Windows Installer does write information to the EventLog, so that is the first place I looked for information about the problem. There were two messages in the Eventlog. The first message only mentioned t hat iTunes had a component that failed during a request:

Detection of product ‘{F5C63795-2708-4D15-BF18-5ABBFF7DFFC8}’, feature ‘iTunes’ failed during request for component ‘{E8A1D3E2-F5D3-4B24-AB93-52F7E602A235}’

The second error message did provide information about a registry key it couldn’t install:

Detection of product ‘{F5C63795-2708-4D15-BF18-5ABBFF7DFFC8}’, feature ‘iTunes’, component ‘{1E8FB090-55AD-4B36-BF1D-F6EAA520797E}’ failed. The resource ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\pcast\’ does not exist.

I copied that error message and performed a search in Google. Searching for that error message provided me with the information that solved my problem.

The Solution

When I did perform the search I noticed that I wasn’t the only one that had the problem. The good news was that it was an easy fix. As I had thought, the problem was related to a registry key. To fix it, I used the following steps:

  1. I pressed the Windows Key+R to display the Run dialog box.
  2. In the dialog I entered regedit and clicked the OK button. The registry editor was then displayed on the screen.
  3. I expanded the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT node and then scrolled down to the pcast key.
  4. At this point, when I clicked the key I received a permissions error message. Apparently, my ID didn’t have permission to view this key, which explains why Windows Installer continuously attempted to install the key. Since my ID couldn’t read the values in the key, Windows Installer assumed they were missing, and attempted to reinstall the values. The fact that my ID couldn’t even read the key, let alone write any values to it, the values weren’t being installed by the Windows Installer.

  5. To fix the problem, I right-clicked the pcast key, and then selected Permissions from the menu.
  6. As you continue with the below steps, you may presented with an error stating that you cannot change anything except permissions. Ignore that error, and just continue with the following steps.

  7. In the permissions dialog, ensure that your user name appears in the list. If it doesn’t then do the following:
    1. Click the Add button.
    2. In the Enter the object names to select box, type in your user name.
    3. Click the Check Names button to verify you entered your user name correctly. If you did, it should underline. If you didn’t you will be presented with another dialog that allows you to search for your user name.
    4. Once you have added your name correctly, click OK to accept the changes.
    5. Back at the permissions dialog, click your name and then click the Full Control checkbox in the list. Click Apply to save your changes.
  8. From the permissions dialog, click the Advanced button.
  9. In the advanced dialog, click the Owner tab.
  10. The list displays all the user names/groups that have permission to read/update this registry key. Select your name in the list, and then click the OK button.
  11. Click the OK button to close the permissions dialog.

Once you change the permissions you should be able to read the registry key and values. Now when you start iTunes, the registry values should be found, and Windows Installer won’t start up.

52 Responses to “iTunes Issue: Windows Keeps Configuring iTunes When Starting”

  1. raymund says:

    My gf had the same problem before but I was able to fix it using tutorials online.

  2. Me says:

    Anybody have any ideas?

  3. Me says:

    Sorry i told you wrong i do have the .pcast key. I have 5 group or user names listed administrators, creator/owner, system, users, and jckinnick the one i created per your instructions. All of them have full control except the creator/owner one i can not get it to allow full control it just goes back to blank when i try to check the box and apply it.

  4. Me says:

    It’s leaving the itunes library extras and itunes library genius files in my recycling bin. I looked at the application log and it didn’t have anything reported.

  5. Me says:

    Sorry that’s two left over files.

  6. Me says:

    Im using Windows XP and mine will either configure and then leave to left over files in the recycling bin or it will just do nothing when i try to open itunes. I did not have the registry value you referred to in this article what do i need to do its been almost 2 months now without itunes.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      What are the two files in the recycle bin? If it is configuring, then there may be a message in your EventViewer. Click Start->Run and then type “eventvwr” in the Run dialog. Click the Application log (on the left) and look for any entry in the list on the right around the same time you tried running iTunes.

  7. Laura says:

    DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVICE. My entire itunes is corrupt now, it won’t let me uninstall, reinstall, or open itunes. A friend of mine who is good with computers says it may have corrupted my entire OS.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      Editing the registry is not for the faint of heart – and yes you can mess up your computer if you change the wrong key. However, if you followed the instructions exactly as mentioned above, then you shouldn’t have had an issue with either your iTunes or your operating system. It shouldn’t have in now way impacted your ability to uninstall, repair, or re-install iTunes.

      As for the corrupted operating system, you could perform a system restore to revert you operating system to a state before the change.

      • Laura says:

        Okay, then how do I do that? My itunes has now been messed up for weeks, I’m really frustrated.

        • Paul Salmon says:

          Do you mean a system restore or repair/reinstall of iTunes? I suggest you try the repair/reinstall of iTunes as there is less chance of there being a problem.

          What operating system are you running?

          • Laura says:

            I’m running Windows Vista. And that’s the problem, it won’t let me reinstall itunes. :(

            • Paul Salmon says:

              It won’t let you reinstall iTunes? That is interesting. Are you getting an error message back? I still have Vista on a laptop that I can look at, if you do get an error.

              • Laura says:

                It starts like it’s installing, then after a min or two the load bar goes backward and I get a “fatal error” message.

                When I try to uninstall itunes I get an error message that says I don’t have access to the proper key; I even created an all-new administrator account and it still won’t let me. I called itunes support and even they don’t know how to fix it.

                • Paul Salmon says:

                  Proper key? Do you know what key it is referring to? An event was probably logged in the EventLog. Click “Start->Run” and then enter “eventvwr” in the run dialog. That should open the Event Viewer. From there select the Application log, and the issue should be report in there (look for MsiInstaller as the Source).

                  • Laura says:

                    There’s no report in there. I’ve gotten really frustrated, as I just bought an ipad that I need for a class, and I can’t sync it to my computer. There’s one itunes file that I have on my desktop that someone sent me, and when I click on that it will open my (now outdated) itunes. But I’m unable to open it by clicking on any shortcuts or download a new version.

                    It gives me an error message that says I don’t have permission to do that. The message starts with HKEY, I don’t know much else beyond that. I’ve even tried to go back into the registry just to view the application permissions, and I’m even locked out of viewing them now. I also created a new admin account on the computer to try and trick it into letting me in, but no cigar.

                    Is there any way we can get in contact to fix this? Do you have an email? I’m about ready to throw my computer out the window here.

  8. Glen Galbraith says:

    Followed the insturctions to the letter. Now itunes won’t start at all. Tried to go back and change the permissions to the way they were, still not itunes. Am in a much bigger hole than before.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      Is there an entry created in the eventlog when you try to start iTunes? If there is, it may indicate the problem. If you still can’t solve the problem, I would uninstall and reinstall iTunes as the issues seems to be bigger than the one outlined in this post.

    • Laura says:

      The same thing happened to me, exactly. Before itunes just took a minute to start, now it won’t at all. How do I fix this??

  9. jondoe666 says:

    your a star man, thanks this works great

  10. Chip says:

    Worked like a charm! Thank you!

  11. carolyn says:

    sorry but the above didnt work for me..i only have one .pcast.
    now i am unable to play any songs in itunes…

  12. Calvin says:

    Great work!
    Thanks a zillion!!!

  13. Nathan says:

    Thanks alot! Worked like a charm! i’ve had this problem ever since I’ve gotten iTunes so I thought it was normal.


  14. Leonie Amorim says:

    Thank you so much, finally this annoying problem is solved!
    As already said above, I made the same mistake to start to soon with .pcast, after reading better and following the steps at pcast it worked fine, thanks again for your help.

  15. Lyndon says:

    Thank you so much. I uninstalled and reinstalled 6 times trying to get iTunes installed correctly. Your solution did the trick. Thanks again.

  16. Taz says:

    Worked for me. As BB said above, scroll to the “pcast” and NOT “.pcast”, and then do the steps. Starts up just fine now. Thank you!

  17. Yerbol says:

    thanks it worked for me

  18. Christian says:

    Hi, i’ve had the smae problem and tried the suggestions above but no luck, i’m dead frustrated as everything worked before i installed this new edition it’s ridiculous, wish I hadn’t, i’ve never had a problem before. If theres any more suggestions that would be great. I still get the windows installer come up and it finishes with “Fatal error during installation” even though the program installed fine.
    Thanks for any suggestions!

  19. John Burger says:

    Followed you instructions. No joy. now I can’t uinstall or re-install itunes. Running Vista (32 bit). I have given permissions to user and Adminstrator. Any suggestions?

    • BB says:

      john burger – i initially had problems following this fix, but i realized i was trying to change the registry for .pcast
      not pcast (no period). once i scrolled farther down the list, i updated the correct key and solved the issue.

    • emriced says:

      Go to Programs, click oniTunes, right click on iTunes.exe and create a new short cut for the desk top. The problem is in the shortcut.

      • Paul says:

        Thanks for sharing. I guess it all depends on the problem people have with iTunes. For me, it was the registry key permissions that caused the problem.

  20. Yuz says:

    woah it really works, you have just saved my life.Thanks man

  21. Darren says:

    hi i have just done this with my pc which is running vista and it worked perfectly but now i am having the problem were i need to reinstall my itunes as it is not communicating with my ipod, but the problem is everytime i try to do it i am getting an error message saying that it cannot complete the task due to something to do with the pcast and whether i have permission to do this action or not! is there any solution on how to fix this as i have been tearing my hair out for the past couple of days trying to figure out how to do it

  22. Vincent says:

    May you live to be 1,000 years old, Sir!

  23. Angela :) says:

    oh my gosh.
    thanks! this really helped me out!

  24. lex says:

    dude. this poops. and the solutions didnt work

    Could not open key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareclassespcastDefaultIcon

  25. Adam says:

    I did this fix last time I updated itunes and it saved me. Problem is, I just tried to update itunes again (i never learn my lesson), and had issues installing it. I’m getting a message “Could not open key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\pcast. Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.” How do I get around this?

  26. Zanza says:

    Yeah i went to the registry editor and there is no pcast..

    • Paul says:

      It may be having trouble creating that key, or you don’t have permission to view it.

      You can try creating it yourself to see if it corrects the problem.

  27. christian herrod says:

    i got to step 6 but the new username i added doesnt show up in the owner permission people

  28. Jaume says:

    Many tanks for you solution. I have afected for this error.

  29. Adam says:

    You saved my life! I spent 2 hours on the phone with Apple and they couldn’t figure it out! Thanks!

    • Paul says:

      I spent some time figuring it out myself. I used to create silent installs at work, so I had an idea of where to look to help solve the problem.

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