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Vista Compatibility

Introduction

Windows Vista includes a new feature called User Account Control (UAC) which is intended to help prevent unauthorised changes to the computer. UAC does this by asking for permission or an administrator password before performing actions that could potentially affect the computer's operation or that change settings that affect other users.

One of the ways Vista uses to detect whether or not a program needs to be given administrator privileges is to examine the program's XML manifest. The first version of POPFile designed to work with Vista's UAC feature was the 1.0.0 release (21 December 2007).

Although POPFile 0.22.5's installer includes a Vista compatible XML manifest, there are some limitations in the installer which need to be taken into account (see POPFile 0.22.5 below).

POPFile 0.22.4 and all earlier releases were created before Windows Vista was released. This means none of these programs include the XML manifest information used by Vista therefore these old releases will not work properly on Vista (see POPFile 0.22.4 (or earlier) below).

POPFile 1.0.0 (or later)

The installer for the 1.0.0 release was the first to allow easy installation from a standard user account or an administrator account. Similar improvements were also made to the uninstaller.

POPFile 1.0.0 incorporates many Vista-related improvements over the 0.22.5 release.

POPFile 0.22.5

The POPFile 0.22.5 installer includes the XML manifest data for Vista so it was the first version to run on Vista without triggering Vista's compatibility mode. However there are several limitations in 0.22.5's installer therefore it is recommended that users upgrade to the POPFile 1.0.0 (or later) release, especially if POPFile is to be used from a standard account.

Installing 0.22.5 on Vista

From an administrator account

The POPFile 0.22.5 installer and the NSIS-based programs it installs all contain the XML manifest data for Vista so Vista can tell which programs do not need administrator mode. This means all of these programs should work properly when used from an administrator account.

After POPFile has been installed it can be run from a standard account (see Running 0.22.5 on Vista below).

From a standard account

When the installer is started from a standard account, Vista will detect that the installer requires administrator privileges and ask for an administrator password. After the password has been entered the installer will run as if the administrator started it.

This allows the installer to install POPFile in the default folder (which is usually “C:\Program Files\POPFile” on English versions of Vista), create some registry entries and add some Start Menu shortcuts for all users.

However when the second stage of the installer, the “Add POPFile User” wizard, offers to configure POPFile for the current user it will actually configure POPFile for the administrator user and NOT the standard user who started the installer.

Although the wizard's WELCOME page mentions the Windows username it is easy to miss the fact that the “wrong” username is mentioned. Here is a screenshot highlighting the username on the wizard's WELCOME page:

"Add POPFile User" wizard's WELCOME page


When this WELCOME page shows the administrator username the standard user should click the “Cancel” button and then click “Yes” to confirm that they want to exit from the wizard.

To configure POPFile for use by the standard user who started the main installer the “Add POPFile User” wizard should be run. The safest way to do this is to run the adduser.exe program from the main POPFile program folder. The Start Menu has a shortcut that will display the location of this program folder:

Start – All Programs – POPFile – Support – PFI Diagnostic utility (simple)

Once the wizard has configured POPFile, the standard user should be able to use the “Run POPFile” shortcuts in the Start Menu.

Running 0.22.5 on Vista

After POPFile has been installed it can be configured and run from a standard account. To configure POPFile for a new user, use this Start Menu shortcut created by the installer:

Start – All Programs – POPFile – Run POPFile

If POPFile has not been configured for this user the “Add POPFile User” wizard will be launched (otherwise POPFile will be started).

Although POPFile 0.22.5 has some limited multi-user features, it should only be used by one user at a time (see the Multi-user support in POPFile 0.22.x page for further details)

Known 0.22.5 Issues on Vista

The POPFile 0.22.5 installer and the NSIS-based programs it installs contain the special data for Vista so Vista knows which programs do not need administrator mode. However this is only the first step towards making the Windows version of POPFile work properly on Vista.

Some of the NSIS-based programs need to ensure that POPFile has been shut down before they can run. If any of these programs is run from a standard account they will ask you to shut down POPFile manually even if POPFile is not running. Clicking “OK” will let the program continue.

This redundant message box appears because the code used to test if POPFile is running is not compatible with Vista's UAC feature.

POPFile 0.22.4 (or earlier)

Windows Vista includes a new feature called User Account Control (UAC) which is intended to help prevent unauthorised changes to the computer. UAC does this by asking for permission or an administrator password before performing actions that could potentially affect the computer's operation or that change settings that affect other users.

One of the ways Vista uses to detect whether or not a program needs to be given administrator privileges is to examine the program's XML manifest. POPFile 0.22.4 and all earlier releases were created before Windows Vista was released. This means none of these programs include the XML manifest information used by Vista.

Vista will run these old programs in compatibility mode. In this mode Vista does not always do exactly what the installer requests so unexpected things can happen, such as Start Menu shortcuts being created in the wrong place. This behaviour can cause some confusion when trying to use (or uninstall) POPFile so it is not recommended that these old versions are used on Vista.

 
howtos/vistacompatibility.1204850628.txt.gz · Last modified: 2008/03/07 01:43 by xuesheng

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