Wednesday, 07 February 2007

I spent a good day and a half (off and on) trying like heck to get rid of some drivers that ended up being problematic in Vista on my new Z61t ThinkPad (which is a nice laptop by the way). The integrated Verizon WAN card was not happy (it needed updated drivers) and one of the virtual device drivers for the DVD-RAM drive was causing Vista to complain a lot. Despite al my attempts, the system would not allow me to remove or change them. There was not much helpful information about why my attempts were failing, though. After a while it was obvious there was a pretty serious access control problem.

It became clear that the issue I was likely up against was the new permissions and user account access limits established by Vista and its new security model. In order to get Vista to allow me, for example, to uninstall the software in question I had to go into the user managment applet in the control panel and disable User Account Control (UAC), despite the fact that my account was configured as an admin. Now all has been rectified and is well.

Interestingly, I have seen one application that, when run, included a button to elevate the privileges of the user running the app temporarily and just for that app so configuration data could be saved. Cool stuff and well-designed.

So, Vista's User Account Control certainly works - maybe even almost too well (if that's really possible). While I had to disable it to remediate some issues realted to drivers that were installed under XP originally, that's not necessary for items installed under Vista post-upgrade. And UAC is turned back on now, just as it should be.

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Wednesday, 07 February 2007 21:48:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Thursday, 08 February 2007 01:33:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Speaking of security, your server is bouncing all my email back to me that I'm sending to you:

"500 Mail appears to be unsolicited -- send error reports to"

Nice :)
Thursday, 08 February 2007 08:10:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
If an application has a button "elevate my privileges", doesn't it mean that a piece of malware can do the same thing silently? What is the point of all the inconvenience to you then?
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