When viewing compliance policies and compliance reports, you may see the values "RegSubKey not found" and "RegTopKey not found". The string "RegSubKey not found" indicates that the specific registry key needed to evaluate the control does not exist. The string "RegTopKey not found" indicates that the path to the registry key does not exist.
If a control is expecting a value for a registry key, such as a disabled service, then the control will pass or fail based on the actual value returned for the registry key. If the expected value is a disabled service, the control will pass if the registry value has "disabled" in the data content field. A control may also pass or fail based on certain null conditions. For example, what if the service is not installed at all? You may also want to pass the control in this case. You may set the control value to pass the control when the registry key does not exist (RegSubKey) or the path to the registry key does not exist (RegTopKey).
The image below shows the Registry Editor window with RegSubKey and RegTopKey values called out. In the following example, the installed version of Mozilla Firefox is 3.6.3. The RegSubKey value is “CurrentVersion” and the RegTopKey value is “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\Mozilla Firefox”. The registry value in the Data column is what would appear as an expected or actual value for the control.