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Windows XP Service Pack 3 – “Access Denied”

This is how I fixed it: it was because my security policies were messed up

I’ve been trying to install Windows Service Pack 3 on my laptop and I kept getting the “You do not have permission to update Windows XP. Please contact a system administrator.” or “Access Denied” even though I had administrator rights. It was because my security policies were messed up.

This is how I fixed it. I downloaded the subinacl.exe from here.

subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose

And restart your system and you should be able to install Service Pack 3.

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Julian is one of the country's foremost experts in software design, process, and construction. He regularly speaks at major technical conferences. Not only is Julian an expert architect and programmer, he excels at passing his knowledge on to others as both a consultant and educator.

Having worked as a CTO, Julian is also in a unique position to assess and improve both your software and your software-development process. If you're a nontechnical CEO, he can help you bootstrap your startup or analyze (and help you improve) your existing software organization. He regularly does one-on-one CEO and CTO-coaching sessions, and can train individual teams and entire departments on Object-Oriented design/UML, Agile process, and languages.

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