ArcGIS Version 9.3 and Windows 7

Installing ESRI ArcGIS Version 9.3 on Windows 7 can be a frustrating task because of problem with the registry size limit.

We faced the problem after trying to install Autodesk Map 3D on a Windows 7 machine already running ArcGIS 9.3 and another with Microsoft Visual Studio and ArcGIS 9.3.

The Autodesk Autocad (With concurrent network license using FLEXlm) installation failed at the same point on both computers. Searching the Internet for this problem suggested that the problem is related to the registry size. A helpful thread that contains this information is located at

The symptoms of a full registry are:

  • Software installations on the machine fails without a clear error message (In our case it was: “Micro​soft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Failed Installation aborted, Result=1603” when we tried to install Autocad Map 3D 2011)).
  • Windows components appears empty at the “Turn Windows on or off” window.

The weird fact is that the installation of ESRI ArcGIS 9.3 is adding the registry limit.
After running the installation of ESRI ArcGIS the registry key is added to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\RegistrySizeLimit with a limited value.

Our guess is that it was probably added to enlarge the defaults for older windows versions. As far as we know this key was removed in the new versions (see here:

The solution is (running as administrator):

  • Open the Windows 7 Registry using the command: regedit
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control and locate the key: RegistrySizeLimit. Change its value to ffffffff (no limit) and then reboot the machine.
  • Run the command ” SFC /SCANNOW” on command line (with administrator rights)

This may solve many other Windows 7 problems as well.