WoW64 and the registry.
Posted by Vadim on January 25, 2009
Have you ever had a case that one application cannot find a registry key while another one doesn’t have any problem accessing the same entry? It happened to me.
If you think it’s a security issue, I have to tell you that in case it’s not security fault.
To be fair to you I need to give some more information which I withheld from you so far.
I ran both application on 64-bit OS. The first application, that cannot read the specific registry key, is 32-bit app. and the second one is 64-bit app.
The both application are trying to access registry using the same statement. Something like this:
When 64-bit application executes the line above, it will try to retrieve HKLM\SOFTWARE\MyCompany subkey. However, when 32-bit application executes the same statement on 64-bit OS, it will retrieve HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\MyCompany.
All 32-bit applications are executed in WoW64 (Windows-on-Windows 64-bit) subsystem.
To fix this issue, I just copy MyCompany key under Wow6432Node key.