Tuesday, 1 May 2012

CryptAcquireContext fails again

Today I spent about two hours with a customer who was having problems installing some of our full version software.

When he ran the installation program, he was presented with a series of error messages, the first one being:

Error during CryptAcquireContext along with error code 0000054F or 1359

That error code translates to ERROR_INTERNAL_ERROR.

After some psychic debugging, I realized it probably had something to do with his user account and the way his machine had been configured by the manufacturer.

The default account settings some manufacturers use

I’m not exactly sure what was going on, but as I asked him what antivirus software he runs and the answer was none, it suddenly occurred to me that he probably only had only one user account on the machine, and that user account had no password.  Both of those guesses proved correct.

And sure enough, the problem was solved by doing the following:

  • Create a new administrator account on the machine
  • Create a password for the new administrator account
  • Log into that new account
  • Install the software

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