#84: setuptools 0.6c11 fails to install on Windows 7 64-bit

I am attempting to install setuptools for Windows 7 64-bit. Upon downloading the installer msi file for setuptools 0.6c11 for Python 2.6, the installer fails at the second stage with an error message "Python version 2.6 is required, which was not found in the registry".

I examined the Windows registry with regedit, and found an InstallPath variable at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Python\PythonCore\2.6\InstallPath. Clearly there is a registry value for the Python installation.

Workaround to install setuptools 0.6rc11 for Windows 64-bit

Apparently, the setuptools msi is looking for the Python installation registry value InstallPath in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python\PythonCore\2.6\InstallPath. Notice the Wow6432Node, which is a registry compatibility layer used for 32-bit apps in Windows 7 64-bit.

As far as I can tell, InstallPath is the only value that this installer looks for. Therefore, using regedit, you can create your own registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python\PythonCore\2.6\InstallPath, and copy over the InstallPath value from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Python\PythonCore\2.6\InstallPath. To be paranoid, you can try replicating the entire cluster, not just InstallPath.

After this, installation for setuptools seems to proceed correctly. Note that this may only install 32-bit libraries -- WoW6432 is a compatibility layer. Check the other documented solution to this problem if this is not sufficient.

Hopefully they'll fix this bug at some point, though the "not my problem" bug punting so far at the Python tracker and the Setuptools tracker makes this look somewhat unlikely.


  1. This is the right solution; to make life easier I follow this expanded version of the "replicating the entire cluster" solution:

    Step 1: Launch regedit.exe and locate the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Python".

    Step 2: With this branch selected, go to the File menu and select Export. Confirm that the "Export range" radio button is set to "Selected branch". Navigate to the directory in which to store your export, provide a File name (I used 'Python') and click "Save".

    Step 3: Open the export file in your favorite editor, and insert the "Wow6432Node" folder between "SOFTWARE" and "Python" so each line begins "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python". Save the changes.

    Step 4: Double-click on the modified export file and Merge this registry data.

    Problem Solved!

    Stuart Lathrop on March 06, 2010, 11:30 PM UTC
  2. Thank you so much! That was so easy.

    Anon on August 12, 2010, 05:21 AM UTC
  3. Thanks a billion, I was clueless why it wasn't working before. Your solution is easy and works perfectly.

    Tasha on August 23, 2011, 04:37 PM UTC
  4. Thanks a heap! Works great.

    ok on October 16, 2011, 12:39 PM UTC
  5. Thank you Stuart!
    I had tried many other solutions, none of which worked until I found yours.
    Very much appreciate your input!

    yamex5 on October 31, 2011, 05:15 AM UTC
  6. Thanks!!!!!

    Marouane on November 04, 2011, 03:06 PM UTC
  7. Awesone!! Also thanks to the first post about replicating a cluster.

    okand nice on December 10, 2011, 05:00 PM UTC
  8. thanks Stuart!

    rez on February 13, 2012, 06:13 AM UTC
  9. much appreciated

    keb on March 09, 2012, 07:39 PM UTC
  10. solved my problem for installing ipython.

    Thanks a lot

    H on March 09, 2012, 08:14 PM UTC
  11. thks man!

    yech on April 17, 2012, 04:18 PM UTC
  12. thanks so much! to repeat everyone else, you are the best stu

    tignas on June 15, 2012, 03:46 PM UTC
  13. This worked when I had problems installing PIL. Thanks a lot!

    Sverigevader on June 19, 2012, 12:14 AM UTC
  14. OOOOoooohhh!! Stuart Lathrop Merciiiiiiiiii Merciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :D

    Engel on July 31, 2012, 05:45 AM UTC
  15. Thanks for this step by step help. it worked.. :)

    Shahid on August 22, 2012, 02:55 PM UTC
  16. muchas gracias! funciona perfectamente ahora
    no podia instalar la PIL (Python Image Library) la cual es necesaria para usar el modulo Image... un verdadero dolor de cabeza para windows en 64 bits

    Ricardo on October 18, 2012, 08:08 PM UTC
  17. Stuart is a true hero! :)

    Wouter on October 29, 2012, 09:53 PM UTC
  18. Thanks so much!

    Ryan on November 03, 2012, 06:58 PM UTC
  19. that HELPED, thanx alot :)

    Sane on January 17, 2013, 01:59 PM UTC
  20. Thanks a lot!

    Gert on January 30, 2013, 08:00 PM UTC
  21. thank you very much!

    Sam V on February 10, 2013, 03:53 AM UTC
  22. Great!!! I would never get there alone :P

    nuno on January 10, 2014, 04:51 PM UTC
  23. Thanks a lot. Your suggestion saved my weekend from getting spoiled :)

    Sumit on January 31, 2014, 11:22 PM UTC
  24. Perfect solution. Thanks a lot!

    jo on February 12, 2016, 08:07 PM UTC

Python setuptools installer alternative

I've also found success using ez_setup.py. Running it with the Python interpreter at the command-line appears to install easy_install / setuptools. I have not tested this extensively, but it does pass the "works-for-me" test on my new Win7 dev box.

References used:


  1. I am a newbe trying to set up Python33 with Selenium Webdriver. But seem to need pip and setuptools and haven't worked out how to install any of them.
    Please can you help?

    Unknown_user_icon Brian3931 on June 21, 2013, 04:36 PM UTC

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