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Vista's UAC is so annoying. I must disable it NOW!

Posted: 17 Feb 2008, 00:52
by bradavon
Hold fire:

There is a common perception that UAC (User Access Control) is a new Security feature in Vista to protect you from Viruses, Spyware and the like and as we all run some kind of Security Software (plus maybe a Router) anyway it's not needed.

Wrong!

The clue to what UAC is for is in the name "User Access Control".

It is not a security feature to protect you from viruses, spyware or anything else like it and was never intended to be. It's job is entirely different to that of your Firewall, AntiSpyware and AntiVirus tool. UAC's purpose is to educate the novice at what they're about to do could have consequences. For the majority of users they're rarely ever see it and because of that it has great worth and should be left enabled.

Incidentally the prompt in Windows that is for Security (the one that prompts you when you double click on a Setup program) isn't part of UAC, will still appear with it's disabled and is the same prompt found in Windows XP SP2.

For anyone with any IT knowledge it is just a pain in the neck (I already understand what I'm about to do could have consequences thank you!). Where it falls over is not in it's worth but how often it prompts you, there are way to many prompts.

The answer however is to not just go and disable UAC as this takes with it:

1. Running as a Standard User. See below for more information.
2. Internet Explorer's Protected Mode - This is closely connected to running Windows as a Standard User. See below for more information.
3. Folder Virtualisation - Whereby badly programmed code that tries to write user config data to Program Files or Windows\System32 is automatically re-routed elsewhere. See below for more information.
4. Registry Virtualisation - Whereby badly programmed code that tries to write user config data to the User area of the Registry is automatically re-routed elsewhere. See Folder Virtualisation.

Running as a Standard User: UAC is the component that sets a user as a Standard User. Run Vista as a Standard User and if malicious code is run it only has limited power to do any damage (i.e - it cannot gain access to Program Files or Windows\System32 folders) but with UAC disabled you're automatically a Full Admin User and can gain full access to such places as the Program Files or Windows\System32 folders, if you can malicious code can too. You (the user) can still copy data into these folders with UAC enabled.

Disabling Protected Mode: For years people have complained that Internet Explorer (by default) runs in full Admin mode and thereby any malicious code run from within it (i.e - a dodgy website) has full admin access to your PC. Protected Mode forces IE to run as a Restricted User (even less rights than a Standard User) so if malicious code gets by programs such as Kaspersky Internet Security/Anti-Virus it has much, much less ability to actually do anything. Firefox/Opera etc... run as a Standard User, unless you "Run as Admin" (again not if UAC is disabled), it is not possible to force Firefox to run as a Restricted User without it falling over.

Folder Virtualisation: It is bad practise to save user data into the same folder as program data. Why? Because you're giving hackers, viruses, spyware and the like more chance of infecting the program. Sadly a massive portion of software does write User Data to Program Files or Windows\System32, why? Because for years everyone has run their Windows systems as full Admin and therefore have full access to write data here with nothing stopping them. See my guide on Vista's Registry and Folder Virtualisation for more information.

By disabling UAC you open your PC up to all these risks!

You may as well go back to XP if you're going to start downgrading your security, which is exactly what you've done if you completely disable UAC. Why bother with Vista?

But the prompts are so annoying?

For starters think before you disable or set UAC to Silent Mode, can you live with it? The prompts do bring in an added level of security. If you cannot live with them:

The answer isn't to entirely disable UAC but to set UAC to automatically elevate the prompts for you (i.e - Click on OK automatically), also known as "Silent Mode". This can be done using Group Policy Editor on Vista Ultimate, Vista Business or Vista Enterprise but for Vista Home Premium and Vista Home Basic you need:

TweakUAC

This little tool makes it dead simple to elevate UAC prompts BUT crucially leave UAC enabled. With TweakUAC set to Silent Mode you'll never get a UAC prompt again (i.e - the user experience will be that you've disabled UAC but in fact you haven't) but can rest happily in the knowledge the aforementioned Vista features are still happily enabled and active.

TweakUAC can be downloaded here:

http://www.tweak-uac.com/

I'd also recommend having a read of the article about UAC on the site too.

I for one couldn't have lived with Vista without getting rid of the UAC prompts. TweakUAC is a life saver!

Re: Vista's UAC is so annoying. I must disable it NOW!

Posted: 04 Dec 2009, 07:10
by nabaraski
How do I install a laptop dvd drive driver using a installation disc? I just reformatted my hardrive and my computer need the drivers for my memory card and dvd drive. I have the cd but my cd/dvd drive had no drivers so how can I use the disc if the cd dvd drive wont work?

Re: Vista's UAC is so annoying. I must disable it NOW!

Posted: 04 Dec 2009, 10:40
by bradavon
Can you not download them off the web/from the manufacturers website? I'm surprised the DVD drive cannot be found using the drivers built into Windows.

Re: Vista's UAC is so annoying. I must disable it NOW!

Posted: 04 Jul 2010, 06:40
by dubeena
I am running vista and want to change the login screen to one like windows 7, only theres the vista logo. Help? I am running vista and want to change the login screen to one like windows 7, only theres the vista logo. I tried using stardocks login studio, only the vista logo appears at the bottom of my page and looks rather bad offplaced to the windows seven logo. Does anyone know of how to remove it, or software that will cover that logo up as well as the background theme?
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Re: Vista's UAC is so annoying. I must disable it NOW!

Posted: 04 Jul 2010, 11:41
by bradavon
Why do you want to change it? As far as I can remember they look the same anyway, except for the different colours used.

Re: Vista's UAC is so annoying. I must disable it NOW!

Posted: 03 Aug 2010, 08:16
by logithera
Can i install kaspersky on windows 7 and windows xp, which is installed on the same computer as dualboot? If yes, then how kaspersky can identify that these two os are in the same PC ?? I have a 3 PC licence of kaspersky. If i install it on my both OS in my pc, then will it be counted as 2 PC and only one licence will be left????
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Re: Vista's UAC is so annoying. I must disable it NOW!

Posted: 03 Aug 2010, 15:09
by bradavon
This needs it's own thread but Yes. The check is against the PC's hardware, so as long as it is actually the same PC, dual boot is allowed.