Even developers have trouble getting an application to install at times. One of the problem areas for Windows users (including developers) is the User Account Control (UAC). It keeps some applications from working properly and others from installing at all. That’s one of the reasons I included a section about the UAC in Chapter 11 of Professional Windows 7 Development Guide. The “Interacting with the UAC” section of that chapter describes the difference in handling of the UAC between Vista and Windows 7.
It turns out that the section is helpful in another way. A reader recently wrote to tell me that he was having trouble installing an extension for a project with a .ZXP file extension. Windows 7 will let you unZIP the file. You can also double click the file and that starts a copy of Flash, which proceeds to start installing the file. Unfortunately, about 1/3 of the way through the installation process, the UAC displays a message stating that you don’t have the appropriate rights to install the extension. Right clicking the .ZXP file shows that there is no Run as Administrator option either, so you can’t escalate the privileges to complete the installation.
Fortunately, as described in my book, you can use the the slider in the User Account Control Settings window to temporarily downgrade UAC protection. Once the installation is complete you can reset the privileges to the ensure the system remains safe. So, it looks like the UAC is still a problem in some situations (fortunately, far fewer than before), but there is an easier way to overcome the problem in Windows 7.
I’m always amazed at how readers use the information in my books! Of course, this particular e-mail also makes me wonder about other potential UAC problems in Windows 7. Are you encountering UAC problems as you develop applications or try to use Windows 7 yourself? Let me know at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.