Installing SOLIDWORKS – But I am an administrator…NOT!

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Staring with Windows Vista (now of course Window 7), there has been much confusion of what having administrative rights really means. Prior to Vista, being part of the administrators group was all it took. This is no longer the case anymore….but why??

3 letters  -  UAC
Most of us are aware of this by now, but what is it really doing??

User Access Control

User Account Control (UAC) helps prevent unauthorized changes/access to a computer by asking privileged password. When a user designated with elevated privilege logs on to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, two access tokens are issued: a full access token and a filtered standard user access token. The filtering process removes the administrative privileges and disables the Administrative group Security Identifiers (SIDs), resulting in a filtered standard user access token. The standard user token is then used to start the Windows desktop (explorer.exe) and all subsequent child processes. Consequently, all applications run with the standard user token by default and only when an administrator with granted privileged permission can run specific application with a full access token. These internal processes happens in an Windows 7 and Windows 2008 operating systems to provide you with extra security so that you can make sure what you doing before it applied into operating systems.

When you log on to a computer, it verifies with Microsoft Active Directory RID master about your roles/privileges/authority in an Active Directory infrastructure and provides you with necessary pre-defined attributes assigned in Microsoft Active Directory and Group Policy Object. For Example: Domain Admins, Schema Admins, Enterprise Admins, Account Operator, Administrator, Power Users, Domain users, users, Cert Publisher and many more. If you log on to a standalone computer, Windows 7 and Windows server 2008 still verify with local account policies whether you are a power user, administrator or user.

The Credential Prompt (asking username and password)  and consent prompt (allow/disallow user to perform a task) are two components of UAC. Even though if you are a member of domain admins or administrator you will ask your consent to perform task like changing date/time, modify registry, running application, modifying any OS related tasks. A standard user can perform installation task in windows 7 and windows server 2008 unless user is part of Admin group.

How to get around this?

  1. Turn off UAC (this is not recommended for obvious reasons)
  2. When installing programs, use the “Run as Administrator” option by right clicking on the .exe file.

When installing SOLIDWORKS, to make sure you have full admin rights, exit out of the installation manager when it auto starts.
Navigate to your DVD/Installation folder and locate the “setup.exe” file.
Right click and select “Run as Administrator” – this will launch the installation manager with full admin rights.

This will hopefully correct installation issues due to a lack of rights.