I am receiving an error "unable to update system registry. Please use regedit." Any idea why I would get this when trying to use an new installed program? i don't know enough about the registry to try to fix it, or should I leave well enough alone?

What ws the beginning of the message. some process or other should have been referred to... and if it is new software you are installing there is almost no way you could know what info to load into reistry using regedit etc.

are you an administrator?
you on a domain?
os and version?

An administrator does not have the problem with the error "Unable to update system registry. Please use regedit".. A regular user has the problem. I was trying to install autoCAD r13, so it is not the newest software out there.

I am on a domain. I am an administrator. OS is windows xp sp2.

only administrators can install software?

yes in order for anyone who logs onto that pc to access it.

I think I understand... you have installed the software and it works, but only for administrators. You wish it to work for regular users, but they get the error.
This may work: go C:\Docs and Setts, then find in the user folders [it is probably under your folder as an administrator] in Start menu\Programs the link to the pgm, Autocad. Drag a copy of that link into All Users\Start menu\Programs.
It may not work, either. But try it.

Some older programs just dont run under limited accounts. Fact of life.