Configuration File May Be Locked by Another Process or Have Been Set Read Only

October 2, 2023 Ryan Wunderlich

Issue:
When launching any AutoCAD-based product after being installed you get the following notification:

Causes:
This problem can be caused by a few different things, but usually it’s a permissions issue of some kind or the logged in user cannot access a temp folder.

Solution:
First place to start is to review Autodesk’s article on it:
https://www.autodesk.com/support/technical/article/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/AutoCAD-Family-Configuration-file-may-be-locked-by-another-process-or-have-been-set-Read-Only-cfg-bak.html

Do not do the Uninstall and reinstall yet.

If you have reviewed the above and the conditions are ok, but it still will not launch and continues to give you that error then do the following:

The secondary installer (when you launch it under a different user than the user that installed it), is trying to locate and use the install source instead of the already available files.  In many cases it works fine for you or the Administrator (the logged in user who installed it), because those files are in your temp folder or in a folder under your user profile.  The other users on the system do not have rights to that folder, so they get this issue.

First thing to try, open the Registry Editor (REGEDIT) and navigate to 

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD

In there, you will need to locate the correct version (R24.1 is 2022, R24.2 is 2023, and R24.3 is 2024), and expand out the Key

Once expanded, locate and select the branch of the product you are having issues with

ACAD-#100:409 is Civil 3D, ACAD-#101:409 is AutoCAD, ACAD-#102:409 is Map 3D, etc.

Select that key (the ACAD-#101:409), right mouse click and select Delete to remove that key and sub keys, then go ahead and re-launch AutoCAD or the problem program and see if the secondary installer starts and the program successfully opens.

This is the other work-around, but it requires a little bit of work.
1. Under a Windows profile where the software runs (usually the Administrator account, if Admin rights were needed to install, you can also go to a known working machine instead), launch REGEDIT (Registry Editor)

2. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD

3. In there is where we'll harvest the registry keys we need for the other user.

4. Locate the version you installed (R24.1 is 2022, R24.2 is 2023, and R24.3 is 2024), and right mouse click on the key (R24.x) and select Export Key

Save this somewhere you can locate under the user's profile (I typically use C:\Autodesk)

5. Now we open the created .reg file (Right mouse click and select Edit)

This should open the .reg file in Notepad

6.  Now in here, we do a replace and replace the logged in User name with the user's login name and replace all instances within this registry file.

This will replace all instances of your name with the user's name

7.  Now we open Regedit under that user's profile and merge or add the .reg file to your user who cannot get in.
8.  Now we can launch the AutoCAD-based product and see if the secondary installer launches or if it fails (typically there will be failures - we don't care at this point).
9.  If we can now get the product(s) open, we close them and then reset the settings to the defaults using the shortcuts to do that:
https://www.autodesk.com/support/technical/article/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/How-to-reset-AutoCAD-to-defaults.html
If you do not see the icons, they may be hidden, and you can find them by browsing to here:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Autodesk Software version and year (AutoCAD 2024 e.g.)

Once reset to defaults, the software should be in a working state for the user.

Warning! Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer/operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.  Use the Microsoft® Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry as well as the system.dat and user.dat files as outlined for your operating system in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.  Additional information about the registry is also contained in the Help topics in the Microsoft Registry Editor.
 

About the Author

Ryan Wunderlich

Sr. Technical Support Specialist<br><br>An AutoCAD Certified Professional, Ryan is responsible for taking client cases and assisting with issues with the software - everything from regular glitches to software deployments and whatever else goes wrong. He's proficient in AutoCAD (including customization), VBA, LISP, and Civil 3D.

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