Under the miniscule prism

Windows Update Error 57A

A more recent error I encountered just today and took me no time to find out what could have gotten my Update not to install. Generally, Windows Update now creates these three digit error codes which are actually hexadecimal numbers as compared to previous versions of Windows Updates which generates 8-stringed hexadecimal errors. Although, the errors still account for the same decimal comparative. Error 57A and Error 1402 is of the same helix.

Troubleshooting errors for Windows Update does not required you to be a either a genius or a wizkid in any manner, it’s how you would need to use the resources in your system. I used several tools to be able to get into resolving this error: Calculator, Command Prompt, Event Viewer and Registry Editor.


Calculator: Get your Decimal comparative of the error. Change Calculator from Standard to Programmer in Windows 7 and Scientific in Vista or XP. Use Hexadecimal and input the code. Then transform this to Decimal by choosing the same in calculator. In this case 57A was 1402.
57A Calc 1402 Calc Command Prompt: Use Command Prompt to interpret the Hexadecimal error to a tangible interpretation. Type NET HELPMSG 1402 = Invalid Cursor Handle. This error is now similar to a “System Error 5” which is an “Access is Denied” error. To be more specific an Invalid Cursor Handle is an error for a Registry Entry not being able to be changed, removed, modified or patched by Windows Update.CMD 1402

Event Viewer: Now find the 1402 error code event for the Update being installed through Event Viewer. This should be under Windows Logs and then look under Applications. Find the Registry Key or Entry that Event Viewer should be pointing you to. Mine was at:

Error 1402. Setup cannot open the registry key

Registry Editor: Now this is where everything becomes intricate (which I did enjoy!). This requires patience in your part. But after several whacks at it you’ll get the hang of it. I’ll be as detailed as possible so that you won’t lose your way.

1. Open Registry Editor by going through Start Search on Vista or Windows 7. If you have XP go to RUN from the Start Button. Type REGEDIT the hit enter. The Registry Editor should open. You may have seen this Registry Editor Disclaimer several times now but I shall reiterate it:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows. I will not guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

2. Once in Registry Editor look for the registry key in question. Do you still have that Error 1402 from Event Viewer? We need to look for it now. Make sure you use the first part of that very long key. Why? you’ll find out later on. As for me it was A8CD4AD91379E0F3B85DCF71AC8684DA.

3. Now in Registry Editor look for EDIT. Click FIND. Now type in or paste that very long key, hit “Find Next” once your done. Registry Editor should find that key for you. Now everything below that key or what we refer to as SUBKEY, you’ll certainly encounter an error saying that you do not have access or permissions. This is now what’s causing the Update to fail and thus giving you the 57A error code.57A 1 

4. We need to gain access to those keys, else the Update will continually fail. To gain access or permissions we need to perform necessary steps to have an Administrator account to gain FULL CONTROL.

a. Right click on the SUBKEY, ignore any errors. 
Choose Properties. Wait for a window and then Hit “Add…”.

                 57A 2

c. Another window should appear. Hit “Advanced…”. On the final window Hit “Find Now”.57A 3

d.  Find “Administrators” now by highlighting it and then hit OK. Wait we’re not yet done. Make sure that you select Full Control after adding Administrators.57A 4

e. Adding the Administrators as Full Control only gave you permissions for the key but not ownership. This is not enough. We need to be the Owner of this subkey. Hit “Advanced” and a bigger window should appear. Choose Owner now from among the tabs and select Administrators from the list appearing from under “Change owner to:”. Hit OK after highlighting Administrators from the list.

57A 5

f. Finally, hit OK. You should now have a full roster of the default permission of the Registry key.57A 6

Coup de Grâce: Perform the installation of Windows Update


Never forget to apply the same steps for adding Permissions and Ownership of the SUBKEYS or else you will end with the same error since not all of the problematic keys have the necessary permissions to allow modification.


13 responses

  1. Pavlovsky

    Thank You so much!! Your solution helped me a lot. After reading this i was on right track and finally i solved my problem. Once more… THANKS!

    April 2, 2011 at 11:06 PM

  2. Thank you very much. In my case, I needed to repeat the procedure several times, since each time, a different registry key was shown in the event log, but after fixing some permissions, my Windows Update is back on track.

    Thanks again.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:26 PM

  3. CMS

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    May 22, 2012 at 2:50 AM

  4. miramez

    not work for me… i did everything conforming this tutorial…
    but when I try to set FULL control under CREATOR OWNER, the windows does not apply anything…. the fields are still unchecked. I check ALL them, but automatically it turns unchecked…. this error 1402 for me is regarding Office Service Pack 3 in windows updated.

    October 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    • You only need to set Administrators as the Owner and with Full Control rights as seen under Step #3: d and e.
      If you now see the entries for Creator Owner, System, and Users there would be no need to set them also to Full Control, only the Administrators group is need.
      You may now proceed by trying Windows Update again.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:04 AM

  5. kallypso

    Thank you very much! It really helped! I felt desperate after so many hours of fruitless attempts to do something with Office updates, I could not also uninstall or repair it.

    November 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM

  6. pemedina

    more than 3 years later, still effective. A long fight with Office Updates, won with this guide… Thanks.

    December 31, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    • Glad to know that it still works on a “classic” error.

      January 3, 2014 at 4:44 AM

  7. Craig Gardner

    Thanks. This solved my windows update problem with Office 2007. Couldn’t find a solution anywhere else.

    September 17, 2014 at 3:41 AM

  8. This is absolutely working for me! I have to assign the owner first and then change the permissions, but it is working. I am so happy because I’ve been trying to get these stupid updates to install all day. Sucks that I have to repeat this a bunch of times for different keys, but as long as its working I’ll gladly keep doing it. Thank you so much!

    July 31, 2015 at 1:24 PM

  9. Fa

    This is awesome! Thank you so much. I was having problems installing updates for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013. I also had to repeat a few times for different registry entries, so it took a little time, but worth it. Where you said 57A = 1402, for me it was 11402. But it stilled worked. Thank you again.

    September 20, 2016 at 3:21 PM

  10. Fascinated2

    Thank you so much!

    September 20, 2016 at 3:29 PM

  11. Fa

    Thank you so much! This helped me install updates for Microsoft Office 2013.

    September 21, 2016 at 1:00 AM

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