As per Microsoft, you may get this error when launching an installation from a system account (like the scheduler service). This can occur if you are initiating a per-user installation. Only per-machine installations are permitted from the system account because the system account does not have all of the necessary per-user profile folders.
A newsgroup post says that this error indicates that the application can't find the Application Data folder for the current user.
As per M290161 (not available anymore): "This behavior can occur if the following registry key is missing or damaged:
To resolve browse to the following key using the registry editor:
Add a new string value called "Common Startup" (without the quotation marks). Double-click the new value and type "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup" (without the quotation marks) in the Value Data box, and then click OK and then quit the Registry Editor."
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