The best Vista tip I can offer and one that is sorely needed

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
EDIT: March 21, 2007 - I figure I'll get this out of the way and add the linkage to my other just created thread that is highly relevant and related to this particular post on many levels. If you're interested in knowing or learning more about why this method below is so useful, after reading this post go read Vista, Admin rights, UAC, and You. Thanks...

Ok, I've been considering this for some time now, and I know we've got a "tips and tweaks" thread stickied at the top but, somehow I think if I post it there it'll just get lost in the muss soooo... without further ado.

Vista is out, and upon us all it seems, and some people - that's some people - are having issues with some software installations, and even just getting the damned things to run properly after they're installed.

The tip I'm about to offer seems pretty simple on the surface, and it is really, but since no one else has come out and flatly stated it with a posting like this one, well, use the tip and report on your experiences if you want; I already know the results from over 950 Vista installs and several thousand pieces of software tested so far in my own experience.

What this tip is meant to do is alleviate some of the most predictable and common issues people are having with Vista: installing software, and once the software is actually installed, running it without issues or loss of data (i.e., you have to keep redoing application configuration/settings every time you run it), or you get errors about permissions, etc.

NOTE: If you're seriously [H]ardCore and you've disabled UAC, or you've enabled the ability to elevate tasks to Administrator level by using either a Registry edit or possibly something from the Group Policy Editor, most of what follows won't apply to you. This tip is designed for Joe Average, consumer that happens to own a computer running Windows Vista - any edition - and is sick of having issues installing and running his software.

Having said that, here's the first part of the tip:

When you get ready to install a piece of software, regardless of what that software is, use the option to right-click on the installer file, typically an .exe of some kind (like setup.exe) or possibly one of those newfangled .msi installer files that are supposed to be better. Regardless of which method is chosen, start by right-clicking on the .exe or the .msi or whatever and choose Run as Administrator on the popup menu that appears.

The only time this might not appear to be an option is if you're installing direct from a CD or a DVD and you just inserted the CD or DVD and AutoPlay started up the installer for you - if that's the case, close the installer application and open Explorer so you can browse the CD or DVD and find the actual stub installer, meaning the setup.exe, the setup.msi or whatever actual installer applicaton exists.

For some people, this is going to be a chore, I know that. They simply want to put in the CD or DVD and install the software and be done with it, and with Vista, and with a lot of older software and even some brand new stuff, that's just not going to work out right. Permission issues, software that won't run, software that doesn't seem to save your settings and you end up redoing them each time you run the software - that is, if you can get the software to run at all <hint, hint> - and other various issues can all be addressed by using this tip to its fullest.

If you are using some AutoPlay function and just letting the installer run off an inserted CD or DVD, well, it's time to learn how Windows installs software in that manner. There's a tiny file called autoplay.inf most of the time on a CD or DVD that Windows looks for when the CD or DVD is inserted. If Windows finds that autoplay.inf, it will read it (it's just a tiny text file with instructions on what to do automatically) and act upon the instructions found within.

Typically that means it'll "run" a specific piece of software, like a setup.exe file, or perhaps a setup.msi or something similar. The point is, the autoplay.inf file contains the name of the executable installer file you're looking for - the one you need to locate so you can right-click directly on the filename and choose Run as Administrator.

You can open the autoplay.inf file by right-clicking on it and choosing Open on the popup menu that appears (NOTE: Choosing Open on the popup menu does not open/run the file itself, it just "opens" the .inf in Notepad so you can read the contents). Inside you'll see something similar to this:

[AutoRun]
OPEN=setup.exe


That's about it, really. It's a very simple file with very basic instructions, sometimes more complex, but the gist is: it'll tell you the specific file it runs to start the application software installer. It might say setup.msi, or <software name>.msi, <software name>.exe, etc - I think you can figure it out from here. It might even list it like this:

[AutoRun]
OPEN=\installer\setup.exe


meaning the installer file is inside the "installer" directory on the CD or DVD and not directly in the root (\) directory.

Moving on...

Once you've located the installer file, be it the *.exe, the *.msi, etc. now's the time to right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator from the popup. If you haven't disabled UAC as mentioned in the NOTE above, you'll get the obligatory popup asking for permission to Continue, which you obviously will click, right? Right.

Install the software, then when the software installation is done - and this is the most crucial part of all so pay attention:

Do not run the application or software or whatever it is you've just installed at the end of the installation. Do not let the application or software installer automatically run the application or software you just installed after it's done; i.e. don't let Acrobat automatically start up after you install it, don't let Microsoft Word start up after you installed Office, etc.

Read that again if you must because it's absolutely critical for this entire tip to have any value at all. The problem with a lot of people installing software is that a lot of application software installers give you the option to "Run <xxx> when the installation is done." option as either a step during the installation or as the last step in the installation itself.

I hope that makes sense there, if not, I'll try to explain it better if people want. I can't say this is "Sticky" material but, I can promise that if people follow it, with each application or software package they wish to install, it'll go a long damned way towards cutting down on the problems that most people are having with Vista.

So, where to from here? Glad you asked, here's the second part of the tip:

Now that the application or software package is installed, and you've done the necessary reboot if you're forced to do it because the application or software is using some type of driver (an all too common thing nowadays), or it just likes being pushy (most software does not require a reboot after the installation; software that does typically needs an update or just needs to be written better), it doesn't matter. The point is the software is now installed and now it's ready to be run for the first time, and this is the second crucial point of the tip.

The first time you run the application or the software package, do the exact same thing meaning right-click on the application or software package launcher and choose Run as Administrator - only this time there's a helpful catch:

You don't necessarily need to locate the *.exe that is the actual application or software package launcher - you can do this from any shortcut the installer created. You can go digging into the Program Files directory (on Vista 32 bit and 64 bit editions), or even the Program Files (x86) directory (the default installation location for 32 bit applications and software on Vista 64 bit editions) and locate the actual .exe file that launches the application or the software package, but doing it from a Start Menu or Desktop or even a QuickLaunch shortcut icon is perfectly acceptable.

So, find a shortcut icon someplace to the software you just installed, or go digging for the actual *.exe file that launches it, right-click on that file, choose Run as Administrator, and as before, on the popup dialogue box that appears asking for you to give permission to continue, click Continue and voila...

That's it.

Following this tip - and I know it seems complicated but, I prefer to give more info than people probably want so they don't come back trying to chew me a new one because I left something out - will typically see you using nearly any application or software package you want under Vista (obviously they need to be Windows apps) without any of the issues, hassles, backlash, problems, situations, etc. that are plaguing people nowadays.

Installing software using Run as Administrator sets the proper Registry key permissions on any keys that are created by the installation program - this is the first crucial way this tip "fixes" a lot of crap people are going through.

Running software the first time using Run as Administrator does basically the same thing but... it also has the added benefit of setting permissions on the user data and application folders required by the software to work properly and ties it to that user account so you don't have these problems with saving data, loss of configuration information (i.e. having to redo the settings each time you run the software, etc).

If you've noticed some software seems to make you redo the window layouts, the fonts, the save folders, options, etc. each and every time you run it, that's why. Just installing with Admin priviledges is only half the battle - you then need to run the software the first time using the same right-click Run as Administrator "trick" and that will force the permissions to spread across any directories or folders the software creates the first time its actually run and ties those permissions to the user account name - and not specifically to anyone that's an Admin, although that's a permission issue you can resolve easily (I just won't cover that with this tip).

Sooooo... if you've read this far, congrats. You should now understand that there's two parts to installing applications and software packages under Vista that can practically guarantee a trouble-free operating system that doesn't nag you anywhere nearly as often as the idiotic "Mac vs PC" ads would have you believe.

I don't recommend disabling UAC, ever. I don't recommend changing elevation priviledges, ever. This stuff can be done on a case-by-case basis and it typically only affects the user one time and never again on an application or software package basis - it's not everyday you're constantly reinstalling a single application or software package and need to keep doing this over and over again, right?

And that's the whole point of this tip:

Do it right the first time.

Hope this helps, and have fun, always...
 

mket

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
227
Two things, first is it safe to say one has to actually do something that may create directories/files/reg enries? two, what about subsequent executions? does the user privilages 'stick' for say something like media player when you a week later tell it to 'scan for new media' ?

ps: awww common.. msi has been around the block, not quite wet behind the ears :D
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
If you're installing software, obviously directories/Registry keys/permissions/etc will need to be created and set for the user - using the Run as Administrator option locks that into place permanently, so yes the settings remain.

As for .msi, I know this, but Joe Average, consumer that happens to own a computer, has been "informed" to look for setup.exe. Tell him "Hey, Joe, to install that software I gave you, just run the msi," and he'll look at you as if you actually thought he'd understand it. :)
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
I considered it, but he's an idiot and is basically akin to a movie critic: he's paid to criticize, not praise.

"Bad press is better than no press at all..."
 

cherrypik

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2005
Messages
436
Is there an easy way to change the privileges for a game to avoid reinstalling it?
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
This one is getting lost in the muddle around here, so I'm bumping it myself to keep it in purview of newer members or casual passersby to the forums looking for Vista info.

Sooo...

*bump*
 

Puterguru

2[H]4U
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,499
A damn fine post, I've got Vista at home, to be installed in the next few weeks hopefully, and I think this is going to save me lots of Headaches.

Thank you sir!
 

dborden

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
276
I praise your effort in posting this however NOBODY should EVER EVER EVER EVER have to go through this rigamarole to get apps to run properly on their computer. EVER. PERIOD. Its the principle of the thing.
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
I praise your effort in posting this however NOBODY should EVER EVER EVER EVER have to go through this rigamarole to get apps to run properly on their computer. EVER. PERIOD. Its the principle of the thing.

You mean like the prompt you get under OSX when you try to add something to the Applications folder, like when you install new software?

Or the request for root access when you install something under Linux more often than not?

Gee, seems pretty normal to me... :)

People are mad and upset about it because they've never had to "jump through hoops" like this with Windows. Well, things are different now, soooo... get with the program.
 

djnes

Fully [H]
Joined
Mar 24, 2000
Messages
19,560
I praise your effort in posting this however NOBODY should EVER EVER EVER EVER have to go through this rigamarole to get apps to run properly on their computer. EVER. PERIOD. Its the principle of the thing.

Right. The principal is Windows took another step to be more secure, like it's competition, and like the users have been clamoring for. But yet somehow, the still take shit for doing it? We're really starting to see who understands the industry and who still hides behind their blissful ignorance. Not that I'm directing that at any one person.
 

ThreeDee

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Messages
11,335
good info ...been doing this since I started messing with RC1 of Vista and I'm glad to see this in windows now.

....windows becoming more linux like , whilst linux becomes more windows like ...who woulda ever thunk it :)

 

DanSan

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2005
Messages
350
Just to get this straight, ur suggesting I run as administrator for the first run of the program then is it ok to take that option off? only because those pop ups can get annoying
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
This is an as-needed-Administrative elevation; it's only "active" for the time the application/software installer is running and only for that process as it installs, and then again when you run the application/software the first time and only for that process as it runs.

This sets the necessary Registry permissions for the application/software, the necessary permissions on any files or folders it creates, and it ties those permissions to the user account initiating the process - afterwards, when that user (even without Admin priviledges) goes to run the software, there should be no issues of losing settings, not being able to create the necessary folders, or access to the Registry keys necessary to run the software (creating them, deleting them, etc).

Vista is a helluvalot different from XP in that respect and not every application/software installer that's currently out there will take advantage of what Vista offers - it'll get tripped up, so to speak, on the permissions and User Account Control protections and sometimes stuff just doesn't work right.

Elevating to Administrative priviledges just for the install and just for the first run of the application/software resolves these issues in about 99% of the cases I've encountered, as well as keeping UAC enabled as it should always be and also keeping the ability to run as a "power user" and not needing Admin priviledges 24/7 - always a bad idea, everyone agrees to that, or at least those that actually know enough to admit it should. ;)

Hope this helps...
 

FlyinBrian

Gawd
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
733
Sometimes i think people give themselves more trouble disabling UAC. I have been using Vista a while now and I dont ever right click and run as administrator. As soon as you launch an installation application, typically windows will ask your permision asuming your loged in under the administrator account, you click continue and all is well. I also agree with people need to decide what they want. Security comes at a small price. Its an extra click to have UAC enabled, thats it.
 

djnes

Fully [H]
Joined
Mar 24, 2000
Messages
19,560
Sometimes i think people give themselves more trouble disabling UAC.
Give it time until you start seeing the threads of people asking how to fight malware in Vista. You'll start to see a pattern that it will be the people who disabled UAC.
 

PinataUT

Gawd
Joined
Aug 9, 2004
Messages
775
Thanks / bump!

PinataUT

OT?
New Vista box coming soon. And considering upgrading my laptop to Vista once I get a feel for how well it works for me on the desktop. But my laptop works and I'm lazy, so that might not happen without getting a push in that direction (thus my reading on the OS forum in prep).
 

kelbear

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Messages
1,579
Thanks! Good tip, and something I'll definitely have to pass along to my friends if/when they ever make the jump to Vista as well.

I just disabled UAC outright to get rid of those prompts, but I'll turn it back on now after reading the OP.
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
I edited the OP and added the link to "Vista, Admin rights, UAC, and You" because of the relationship between all these things.
 

ASIA911

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,053
Does this mean I have to reinstalled everything and do this process again? I have to rightclick on my UnrealTournament.exe and Run as administrator everytime for it to remember my USER.INI setup. If I don't my setup wouldn't update inside or outside of UT. Is there a way to always run this under the Administrator?

edit: ok I am able to run this thing under Administrator mode now. I right click on UnrealTournament.exe and under Compatibility>Privilege Level>check Run this program as an adminstrator.
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
You can right-click on the .exe used to start up UT, click Compatibility, then check the box that allows you to always run it as Administrator - but everytime you run it you'll still get the popup asking for permission to continue. That's just how Vista works now, so get used to it.
 

ASIA911

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,053
You can right-click on the .exe used to start up UT, click Compatibility, then check the box that allows you to always run it as Administrator - but everytime you run it you'll still get the popup asking for permission to continue. That's just how Vista works now, so get used to it.

LOL ok thanks. Didn't know you would answer so quickly. Still the annoying popup privileges.
 

bbz_Ghost

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
3,548
Maybe you should look at it from the perspective of "I finally have an OS that keeps an eye on itself and as long as I don't fuck things up and alter the basic system properties, nothing else will fuck it up either. I can deal with a popup every once in a while because it's not like I start UT, close it, start it again, close it, start it again, and close it over and over again just so I have reason to be annoyed."

:D
 

ASIA911

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,053
Maybe you should look at it from the perspective of "I finally have an OS that keeps an eye on itself and as long as I don't fuck things up and alter the basic system properties, nothing else will fuck it up either. I can deal with a popup every once in a while because it's not like I start UT, close it, start it again, close it, start it again, and close it over and over again just so I have reason to be annoyed."

:D

True, oh well.:cool:
 

Catweazle

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
2,791
Does this mean I have to reinstalled everything and do this process again?
Does everything generate prompts? Worry only about software which does. Uninstall/reinstall properly will 'fix' some (most?) Programs which continue to be troublesome despite using these techniques are candidates for replacement, because they are poorly written.
 

ASIA911

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,053
Well I've reinstalled my video driver and Unreal Tournament like what bbz_Ghost had suggested and everything is working great now.

So for some reason before, my video driver would work on the first boot up. I get no choppiness in game play at all. But the next day it go right back to the regular screw up driver that can't handle a simple map. The game become pretty choppy. It's like the next boot up, the game doesn't get the full support of the video driver like it forgot something.

It's something like my control panel's icons. It keeps changing on almost every bootup.

Well, I'm going to uninstalled majority of my major softwares/programs and use this step to reinstall.
 

winston856

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
1,822
Great tip, I've read about right-clicking and selecting "Run as administrator" in Vista a while back and that's what I've been doing. Now though using that method I had to right-click and tick the option "Run this program as an administrator" box for foobar2000 and every time I open it, it always asks me if I want to allow it or deny it. So I'm hoping your method will solve this and I'm sure it will.

Thanks bbz, you are a big help in this section of the forums! :D
 

rbanzai

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
446
I'm still a little lost. Just the need to have to do something this convoluted to use my machine in a safe manner is making me frustrated. I shouldn't have to take a big workaround like this because of the security system. It makes the security system seem like an obstacle and not an aid.
 

djnes

Fully [H]
Joined
Mar 24, 2000
Messages
19,560
I'm still a little lost. Just the need to have to do something this convoluted to use my machine in a safe manner is making me frustrated. I shouldn't have to take a big workaround like this because of the security system. It makes the security system seem like an obstacle and not an aid.
What isn't working for you? Most of us have been able to install anything we want in Vista without issue or without special tricks. This is also completely normal when a new platform is released.
 

dot_Zen

Gawd
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
720
*Song to the tune of Over the Rainbow*
Ooooo...mmmmmm..oooooo...ooo...oo.ooooooo

Somewhere, over the [H]OCP, this thread..
stickied up high..
and the support that's given, won't die..
FUD will fly-i-y-i-y

Somewhere over the [H]OCP, real supprot will be given...
UAC and User accounts won't confuse..
Users can stop the abuse..
from illegitimate software rouse...

Oh why.. oh why..
Can't it be stuck up hi-i-i-gh
Someday my dreams will come true.....
 
Top