Quickbooks can’t read qbregistration.dat

I had a problem today with our installation of Quickbooks – specifically 2010 Pro although I think this problem can occur on pretty much any version. When opening Quickbooks, you almost immediately get the following message and then the program closes:

Quickbooks has problem in reading this registration file. You need to ask you system administrator to REMOVE this file and re-install Quickbooks.
C:\ProgramData\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks\qbregistration.dat

Googling turned up this Quickbooks support article which suggests first trying to change the UAC settings from On to Off … or vice versa. That ‘have you tried turning it off and on again’ approach didn’t give me a lot of confidence in the article (especially as it made no difference) so I was sceptical about suggestion 2, a repair installation of MSXML 4.0. Sure, qbregistration.dat is an XML file but wouldn’t other things be having problems if that was broken and not just Quickbooks? Then I ran across a post on Microsoft Community support which said they’d solved the problem by following that step.

So I downloaded MSXML 4.0 SP3 and did a repair install with the suggested options:

msiexec /fvaum msxml.msi

My qbregistration.dat file looked OK so I left that as it was. I then re-registered the DLLs (on Windows 7 64 bit, I had to be in C:\Windows\SYSWOW64 to get the registration of MSXML4.DLL to work, that directory is not on the path I guess) and rebooted.

It worked! I had messed around with the UAC settings but they’ve ended up as they started off so I’m not sure that made a difference in my case. Invoices can now be created.