Overcome Vista Vexation (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

10 Sep, 2008 By: Robert Green

Here's one way to deal with Vista's overactive security settings that keep you from being productive.

First, in response to my coverage of cool utilities in the past few newsletters, many of you wrote to share your own favorites. I'll be posting these utilities, plus other ones I've referred to, on my Tools page, so feel free to drop by and take a look. And for those of you who sent in the nice writeups, I'll be sending you a Cadalyst souvenir for your trouble. Thank you.

Ever have something that works perfectly on your XP workstations yet won't work on one running Vista? I have, plenty of times. Because the Vista operating system is much more picky about protecting its system folders and the C:\ directory, it can sometimes be a problem getting custom programs or utilities to work on Vista-equipped machines. And I don't know about you, but I'm seeing most CAD laptops running Vista now, so the problems must be dealt with.

So how do you debug these problems? Here's a trick that I've used with pretty good success.

First, you'll need to open your control panel and find the User Accounts icon as shown in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1.

Next, double-click the User Accounts icon to expose the User Accounts dialog box as shown below in Figure 2:

Figure 2.

Then, select Turn User Account Control On or Off, as shown in Figure 2 above to expose the dialog box shown in Figure 3 below:

Figure 3.

Finally, deselect the UAC (see Figure 3 above) to turn User Account Control off. Now, when you run programs on the machine the security settings that are most likely causing your programs to not run will disappear. That being the case, you'll know that the reason you're having problems is simply due to Vista security settings, and almost certainly due to your attempting to make changes in a system folder.

And now that you know why you're having problems, you can make changes to your software's profiles so that it won't attempt to write into the Vista folders that are causing the security problem. It may take a few iterations to find the problem, but at least you have a method for doing so now that'll preserve your sanity while you isolate the problem.

Got a cool tip I should know about? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter, you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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