Windows Server: error 1018 illegal operation

Sometimes the past will strike you hard. And all of a sudden you are back to 10 years ago, dealing with bugs on Windows Registry settings and issues.

This weekend I spent quite a few hours trying to fix an unwanted behaviour of Windows 8.1 on my desktop, all via murky and mysterious keys. In the end, it kept disconnecting my USB hard drives and I had to re-format the whole thing (believe me, after you tinker on Regedit and it still doesn’t works, the next step is a clean install).

And now a Windows Server 2008 R2 box is complaining about registry keys marked for deletion, and will not let me restart any service or even logon to it. Searching the web was fruitless, as all I could find are old posts and no conclusive answer. The only fix? Restart the machine. That’s a really nice thing to be done on production servers, don’t ya think? [/sarcasm].

Anyway, with some teamwork from the OS team we discovered that we had a pending boot on that box. For some unknow reason the Windows Installer service went crazy after some updates that were pushed to the server, and blocked any new process trying to run. The only option left was to boot the server. Below you have the error message and some links about it.

Error 1018: Illegal operation attempted on a Registry key which has been marked for deletion

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc962353.aspx
http://www.briandunning.com/errors/897
http://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/28263/policy-setting-do-not-forcefully-unload-the-user-registry-at-user-logoff-ena
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/tp/system_error_codes_1000_1099.01.htm
http://www.itninja.com/question/windows-installer-service-has-stoped

List of Windows System Error Codes: http://www.hiteksoftware.com/knowledge/articles/049.htm

cya!

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About mauriciorpp

Hi, I am Piccolo - but not the one from Dragon Ball. I'm from a highly competitive and fast-paced world too, the IT industry, and this space will be used to share some challenges I face daily on my career. As you will see, I don't do brawls but I need to be a fighter! Stay tuned.
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