iTunes Issue: Windows Keeps Configuring iTunes When Starting

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.

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