Windows 10 V1809: App error ‘The configuration registry database is corrupt’ explained

[German]Microsoft explained the error 'The configuration registry database is corrupt', which is triggered during launch of win32 store apps in Windows 10 V 1809.


This error isn't new, and it has been observed during updates, in Windows 8 apps (see here) at Office (see here). Also previous Windows 10 version caused this error (see here). And I found a case, where .NET Framework (here) caused this issue. The error 0x800703f1 stands for ERROR_BADDB, and repair attempts with sfc and dism won't help.

In Windows 10 V1809 seems to be another root casue. Win32 applications, converted with Desktop Bridge converter into a store app fails with this error. And this, although the data base isn't corrupt. Now Microsoft explained the reason for this error.

Microsoft explain the issue with Windows 10 V1809

I stumbled about the topic here and here, where references to Microsoft's article The Configuration registry database is corrupt has been given. Microsoft's employee explains the issue, that occurs with store apps at Windows 10 V1809 (Build 17763.55 and higher).

The issue affects Win32 applications that were converted into an app using a desktop bridge application and then published as apps in the Microsoft Store. Launching these apps ends with the message 'The configuration registry is corrupted' on machines with the Windows 10 build higher than 17763.55. The employee who wrote the blog post was able to reproduce the problem on a machine with version 1809. The reason for the error is that the app package stores a file named user.dat in the root directory of the package, which then causes the error.

Shit happens – Same file name twice

Mc Murphy struck here. In this specific case the following happened with the apps::


  • The apps created with the desktop bridge application have a file user.dat in the app folder. This user.dat is a binary file – I postulate to save user settings. 
  • But the Microsoft application platform also searches for a user.dat in the root directory of all app packages. But this is a registry file that contains registry keys. 

When starting the app, the Microsoft application platform tries to load the user.dat with the registry settings. Apparently no fully qualified path is used to access this file. Therefore, Windows uses defaults to search for the user.dat and returns the copy from the App folder. However, this file does not contain the required registry setting, which leads to the report the error with the corrupted registry. .

The cause is a change in Windows 10 V1809

Microsoft wrote that the error didn't occur in Win32 apps up to Windows 10 V1803, because the OS did not search for user.dat. This was only introduced in Windows 10 V1809. 

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