Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows: error 3057 displayed during installation

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  • Updated: 06 Mar 2014


The installation of Sophos Anti-Virus on Windows computers fails, and an error is displayed:

Error 3057. There was an unexpected error while attempting to create, repair or delete a user account. Contact your support personnel.

First seen in
Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows 2000+


Incorrect permissions in the registry entry HKLM\Software. The permissions configured there will be dependent upon how your system is set up and they may have been modified by other applications. Sophos components may not be able to install or upgrade if access is denied to the registry section it is trying to update or create.

What To Do

  1. Open the registry entry and browse to HKLM\Software
  2. Right-click on the above registry key and select permissions
  3. Ensure that the Administrators group and System are present. (If not, you must add them. Refer to your Microsoft documentation for details of how to do this.)
  4. Edit the Administrators and Systems permissions and give them full control. This should ensure the correct registry settings.
  5. Re-install Sophos Anti-Virus

Once the permissions are set as described above, your Sophos product should install with no issues.

However, if you have made a number of attempts to install, check to see if there are multiple accounts of the type SophosSAU<computername><uniquenumber> and if so, delete them. They will have been created by the failed install processes. If they are left in place, they could cause the installer to fail again.

Note: If the procedure described here does not work, you may want to consider re-setting the registry entries back to the Microsoft defaults. However, doing this is an extreme measure which should only be attempted if all other procedures have failed. It resets permissions, and potentially has far-reaching consequences. If you need to do this, details are provided in the Microsoft knowledgebase.


If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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