Author Topic: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!  (Read 15386 times)

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Offline Brynn

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Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« on: May 05, 2010, 05:56:28 PM »
Hi Friends,
I recently bought a new Windows 7 laptop computer, and really struggling with certain things.  In particular, when I try to download a program (any program), I get the following error message:
"You don't have permission to save in this location.  Contact the administrator to obtain permission."
I AM the adiminstrator, my user account is the only one on this computer, and it's the adminstrator account!  On my  XP desktop computer, I'm in the habit of saving my setup/installer file in its own folder, alongside the program folder, in a main program folder in Program Files.  Something like this:

Program Files
 + Adobe
 - Games
    - Tetris
       - Tetris program
       - Tetris installer
 - Inkscape
    - Inkscape program
    - Inkscape installer

I like to be organized, and this is the system I've set up for myself on Windows XP.

Since Dell no longer offers tech support for software (except for $239 per year  :confused:  :blink:  :shock:), I've visited the MS Answers forum for help, but I'm quite dissatisfied with their support.  So I thought I'd present the problem here, where I hope to receive the awesome kind of support you've always provided me.

The response from MS Answers is that it's a security measure.  But downloading into Program Files isn't the only thing for which admin permission is needed, but which is impossible to provide.  Just setting up a new folder manually I need to click through permission dialogs!  I've always been curious about other OSs like Linux, but knowing my own abilities (as many of you know or may have guessed) I'm not sure if I have what it takes to learn to use it (or others).  But I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have.

And of course I'd love it if anyone has a solution to the admin not having admin permission :D

Thanks for your help  :D
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." - Abraham Lincoln

Offline GR@PH;<'S

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 07:42:54 PM »
Brynn,
Try this click on the then type in to the search UAC this will open up your User Account Control Settings. you can ajust the settings to suit your own neds some turn off the UAC as they say it gets anoiying  :muahaha:
Other live with it  :tease:

However please NOTE turning the UAC off is the least secure setting.
When you set UAC to never notify, you open up your computer to potential security risks.
I sure Aaron or one of the other can tell you more.

GR@PH;<'S   :Hammys pint:
press Enter then have a Brandy then if the problem is still there have another Brandy
Q: does it work
A: It does seem to for a few hours at least.

Offline Temmu

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010, 08:50:41 PM »
download to the download folder provided by windows. 
let the installer place the unpacked files where they belong.

not a good idea to be manually adding / removing files from the program files folder.

Offline Brynn

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 01:21:47 AM »
Thanks for your help, guys.  I'll give these things a try and let you know what happens.
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Aaron Hulett

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 01:41:22 AM »
Have you tried saving it somewhere else first, such as your desktop, and then going into Program Files, making the folders you want (approving elevation prompts as required) and then copying the file from the desktop to that location?

I get what you're trying to do - keep things organized.  How you're approaching is fine - it's just outside what the Program Files folders were meant for, storing installed programs.  User stuff (the documents you make, files you download, so on) were meant to go in your user folder (Documents, Downloads, Music...) which is the reason you're seeing all the elevation prompts - the system is checking that you are OK with making changes in the Program Files as that's an administrator-level action.  Remember, you're not full administrator all the time - you become admin for specific actions (this is the elevation prompt) and are non-admin the rest of the time.

And, of course, I wouldn't personally recommend fudging with the UAC settings, unless you're cranking it up to max, but note the level it ships at is just fine.

//A

Offline Brynn

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 04:22:03 AM »
Ok, I've had a look at what you suggested, GR@PH;<'S.  I looks like that setting just turns off the 'do you want to allow this change' type of dialog.  I may turn it down one notch, because they ARE annoying.  But the problem I'm having isn't one of those dialogs.  The one I'm getting is about permissions.

Just tonight I've found the route to changing permissions (and I can hear you all thinking right now -- don't mess with the permissions!).  But I am thoroughly reading the User Access Control and Permissions help files, and trying to understand.  In the end, I may choose not to change the permissions, and just learn to live with it.  But if I can safely add a check mark or 2, and it won't have unintended "side effects" I might do a slight tweak.  We'll see how I feel about it after I finish reading and digesting.  In the end, I may not be able to understand it well enough to feel safe making changes.

Quote
not a good idea to be manually adding / removing files from the program files folder
But here's what I don't get, Temmu.  So many programs require you to download extra files in order to add more functionality -- like skins for example.  Or else one program that I'm thinking of in particular, a fractal graphics program called Apophysis, there's a gradient editor that has to be added separately later.  It doesn't come with the main program.  Or all kinds of add-ons, and...I think it's in that same program, or it might be a different fractal graphics program, where you can download various different scripts which allow the program to draw certain sort of varieties of fractal images.  And they have to be put into  that program's directory.  A vector graphics program called Inkscape has all sort of extensions available for download around the 'net, which also have to be installed into the program's directory.  And they don't come with an installation wizard.  You just download and put them in the directory, or previously I would download directly into the Program Files.

So there are all sorts of valid reasons why a compter's admin might need to access, add things to and remove things from Program Files.
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Temmu

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 10:39:59 PM »
ah, brynn, i see what and why you are asking,  the ability to add needed files to program's folders

i am logged onto my xp machine, not on my 7 machine.
later, i will fire up my 7 machine, explore and post.

Offline Aaron Hulett

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 10:54:43 PM »
I'll rephrase:  This is by design.

Offline Brynn

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2010, 07:40:01 PM »
Quote
I'll rephrase:  This is by design.
:thumbsup:  Yes Aaron, I understood you.

Slightly OT -- All this kind of stuff is why I hate upgrading, why I avoid upgrading as long as absolutely possible.  If XP had been available, I would have even put it on this new machine!

As I've said, I understand that W7 has better security, and I understand that these endless prompts (permission and 'do you want to allow this' prompts) are part of the better security.  What I don't understand is how a simple prompt or dialog can be called security.  I don't know anything about coding or hacking or whatever.  But compared to writing something that can download and install malware into all sorts of dangerous places on computers, it seems it should be a simple thing to write the code to OK the prompt itself.  That's what I don't get.  And as I've also said....not sure if I've said it here....anyway, if a security measure makes it so annoying to be able to use my computer, or to enjoy using my computer, that I would consider disabling that security, then it's not a very good solution to the problem.

Anyway, Temmu I'd be interested in any comments you have, whenever you have a chance.

Also wanted to say Thanks to everyone for your patience and support (during this difficult time  :tease: ).  I always appreciate your help, even if I don't like the solution.
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Temmu

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2010, 04:41:30 PM »
ok.  let's start with what a windows 7 user is notusers are not administrators.

ever noticed everything in win 7 has "run as administrator" or has the shield to the left of it?
that is because you are not an admin and to do most stuff in windows (since win 2000) you need to be an admin.
(this keeps you safe.)

now, armed with the sure knowledge you are not an admin on your own win 7 machine,
let's look at ntfs security (file and folder security.)

navigating to c: program files, and bringing up properties, security,
you will notice that users can read, run, and list contents.
administrators, however, (via the advanced button) can do anything to the contents.

that is why you, on your own machine, cannot add files and folders to "program files"

(can it be done? yes.)

Offline Aaron Hulett

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2010, 11:00:17 PM »
it seems it should be a simple thing to write the code to OK the prompt itself
It switches to Secure Desktop when prompting (well, unless you turn that off...).  Only items running in the SYSTEM context can interact here.  If you're infected, then yes, malware can inject itself into SYSTEM processes and do whatever, but, if you're already infected with malware that interfaced at the admin-level, you reached Game Over to begin with.

Some details:

The User Account Conrtol Team Blog
User Account Control Prompts on the Secure Desktop
http://blogs.msdn.com/uac/archive/2006/05/03/589561.aspx

//A

Offline Brynn

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Re: Windows 7 admin user account has no admin permission!
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2010, 03:00:08 AM »
Quote from: Aaron
It switches to Secure Desktop when prompting
So Aaron, you're saying that the prompts come from a place that is....highly secure, and harder for malware writers to penetrate?  Ok, now that does make sense to me  :thumbsup:

And Temmu, you're saying that everything with the blue and yellow shield is one of those special, highly secure things, or related to them?  If so, then yes, it's becoming more clear to me now.

Temmu and Aaron,
Yes, yes, I understand why the admin can't download files directly into Program Files.  (And I think I understand how to change it, if I want to.)  And I understand how the admin account doesn't really provide full administrative permissions, how it's really kind of a specialized regular or standard account, which is granted some admin permissions at certain times.  I was more asking....I'm trying to understand why the developers created W7 in this way.

I was more thinking....  I guess the old adage "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" is the simplest way to express what I'm thinking.  In order to increase our security, we've made it harder to use our computers.  To me, it's much like all the new restrictions on air travel, since "9-11" (in the US) (I'm not familiar with international travel, although I have the impression it's even more restrictive).  In order to increase our security, we've removed some of our freedoms (what we can put in our suitcases, eg).

And I'm concerned that, just like travel restrictions are growing (1st it was metal detectors, then shoe inspections, and now we can't carry shampoo!) this may be the beginning of a trend, that in the interest of security, ordinary users' admin accounts will make it more and more difficult to manage files.

And don't think I don't know, that these are the best solutions that have been found by all our most knowledgeable and skilled professionals, and they are sacrifices we all have to make in the interest of security.  For national and international security, I'm content to leave it up to the professionals.  But for computers, I'm not convinced this really is the best solution.  I don't use my computer for work, but it's as important to me as if I did; so I really want to understand, and try to help find better solutions, even if all I can do is voice my opinion  (:mrgreen:)

Anyway, thanks again for listening :D
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." - Abraham Lincoln