Windows cannot access the registry policy file, %1. (%2).

Product: Windows Operating System
Event ID: 1096
Source: Userenv
Version: 5.2
Message: Windows cannot access the registry policy file, %1. (%2).

This error indicates that there is a missing file in a Group Policy Object (GPO). GPOs reside on the domain controller’s Sysvol share, and a local GPO also resides on the local computer’s system drive.
The event indicates that the Administrative Templates client side extension was trying to access the registry.pol file. This file might be corrupt. The Event log indicates the location of the corrupted registry.pol file.

This error can also occur if the registry configuration is incorrect. Group Policy stores registry-based policy settings in the registry. If these registry keys have access control lists (ACLs) that prevent the system from writing to those values, this failure can occur.

User Action

To troubleshoot this problem, try the following:

  1. Make sure that the registry.pol file location is accessible.
  2. If the registry.pol file is present, it might be corrupt. To determine this, use Group Policy Object Editor to edit the GPO in which the file resides. If the Administrative Templates node under either User Configuration or Computer Configuration displays an error, you can safely assume that the registry.pol file is corrupted.
  3. To recover from corruption or a missing registry.pol file, use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) to restore the GPO from a backup.
  4. If the file is missing due to replication errors, the replication issue with DFS/FRS must be addressed; once the replication problems have been resolved, the error condition is resolved as well. The File Replication Service (FRS) Status Viewer tool, Sonar.exe, can be used to diagnose FRS problems. Sonar.exe is a command-line tool that allows administrators to monitor key statistics and status about members of a file replication service (FRS) replica set. Administrators can use Sonar to watch key statistics on a replica set to monitor traffic levels, backlogs, and free space.
  5. If an improper registry configuration caused the error, examine the policy registry keys of the trees HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (and HKEY_CURRENT_USER if the problem occurred with a specific user logged on). Deleting these subtrees can fix the problem, but be aware that any edits to the registry can cause unexpected problems and must never take place without backup precautions.

For more information about the Windows Server 2003 Sonar.exe tool, see “Sonar.exe: File Replication Service (FRS) Status Viewer” on the Windows Server 2003 Tools Web page.

For information about the layout of Group Policy information on domain controllers, see the “Group Policy Infrastructure White Paper” at the Microsoft Web site.

For information about managing distributed resources with DFS, see the “Simplifying Infrastructure Complexity with Windows Distributed File System” white paper at the Microsoft Web site.


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