Msconfig Error – Access Denied

When you run the System Configuration Utility, you get an Access Denied error as soon as you make changes and click on Apply.

I had to repair a very troublesome PC that had this error. I wanted to make it load Windows XP faster, so I attempted to run msconfig in the hope of removing a few programs from the startup list. But as soon as I made my selection and clicked on Apply, this message came up: “An Access Denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using an Administrator account to make the specified changes“. I restarted the PC and logged in as administrator, but I received the same error.

I researched this problem on the Internet and found out that it is probably caused by the HP printer driver HPZ12. Many people have tried the following solution and solved the problem, but I was not so lucky, and this PC was indeed a HP model. However, it didn’t have this particular driver.

To see if this solution works for you, please follow these instructions:

  • Click on Start and select Run
  • Type in regedit
  • Navigate to the following folder: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/ System/ CurrentControlSet/ Services/ PML Driver HPZ12. Select the folder by clicking on it once.
  • In the main window to the right you will see the contents of the folder, including the Start key. Open it by double clicking
  • Change the value in decimal to 4 (disabled)
  • Click on OK and close the Registry Editor
  • Restart the computer

Now you should be able to use msconfig to remove programs from the startup list.

If this didn’t work for you, there is an easy alternative. Go to and download the Startup Control Panel, a very useful tool that lets you do the same thing as msconfig. It’s a very small file and as soon as you download and install it, you can run it from the Control Panel (use classic view if you don’t see it). In the HKLM / Run tab, simply right click on the program you want to stop loading at startup and click on Disable, or untick the box. Without this program I would still be looking for solutions on the Internet. Thanks Mike Lin!

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