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MS-Windows Troubleshooting

DllRegisterServer in COM failed.
Return code was: 0x8002801c


When attempting to register a COM object (e.g. Active-X component or OCX) with ‘Regsvr32’, i.e.:

regsvr32 COM

it fails with a message box displaying:

DllRegisterServer in COM failed.
Return code was: 0x8002801c

Where ‘COM’ is the name of the COM object file.


The error value ‘0x8002801c’ means ‘Error accessing the OLE registry’.


  • If this error is encountered when using ‘regsvr32 /u ...’, i.e. to unregister a COM object then it probably indicates that the COM object is not registered or has already been unregistered.
  • It is likely that permissions on part of the registry have been changed to deny you access. You will need to be a local administrator to register the COM object.
    • If you encounter this error on Windows Vista or Windows 2008 server then ensure that the command session from which regsvr32 is being run was started using "Run as administrator"
  • If you are a local administrator (i.e. a member of the ‘Administrators’ group on the workstation) then most likely someone or some application has modified (intentionally or unintentionally) the permissions on one or more registry keys and that this is preventing access. To identify which registry key is causing the problem use Regmon (a freeware tool published by System Internals). Use Regmon to capture all registry access when regsvr32 is run. If an ‘OpenKey’ request fails with ‘Access Denied’ (which is listed by Regmon as ‘ACCDENIED’) then run regedt32 and check the permissions on that registry key. If necessary change the permissions on the key to grant local Administrators ‘Full Control’. They try registering the COM object again. The only times I have encountered this problem it affected more than one key, so be prepared to repeat this process.

These notes have been tested with Windows NT4, XP, Vista and Windows 2008 server.

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