Vista 'deciding' a program needs to be run as administrator

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Administration' started by david, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. david

    david Guest

    Hi, I'm using Vista Home Premium, and up until now everything's been going
    fine. Today I decided to install an add-on for firefox, which worked fine,
    but when I closed firefox Vista popped up a dialog suggesting that something
    may not have worked correctly, and asking if I would like to try running
    firefox with administrator priveleges. Thinking that this would be one-off,
    perhaps to complete installation of the addon, I pressed yes. Now every time
    I run firefox I get the UAC 'Continue' screen. I've looked in compatibility
    settings, and nothing's checked.
    I did a little experimentation and found that if i renamed or moved
    firefox.exe, this no longer happaned. In fact, if i replace firefox.exe with
    another completely unrelated executable (say notepad.exe), vista will run it
    as administrator, ie. Any file called C:\program files\mozilla
    firefox\firefox.exe now requires administrator priveleges to execute. How
    can I resolve this issue?
    A web search returns one forum posting with the exact same problem, on the
    MSDN forums, and these guys dont seem to solve the problem either:

    And another thing: I initially thought "well, since I spent so much on vista
    I may as well use the professional support", but on going to and following the instructions, I'm told that I
    entered my product ID in an incorrect format, even though I did not. It even
    says this when I allow the ActiveX control to submit my ID for me.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas.
    david, Apr 27, 2007
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  2. david

    Michael Guest


    Right click the Firefox.exe file,
    select properties
    select compatibility tab
    make sure Privilege Level has the check box cleared for 'Run this program as
    an administrator'

    If you purchased your Vista from an OEM (not boxed or from Microsoft) they
    are responsible for support, not Microsoft.
    An OEM supplied ID will not work to obtain support, the error message is
    really misleading.

    Michael, Apr 27, 2007
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  3. david

    david Guest

    Hi, thanks for your reply.

    The box is cleared, as I stated in my original post. I've also tried setting
    the box, pressing apply, and clearing it again, but to no avail.

    I'm running Vista preinstalled on an HP laptop, so I guess I should contact
    them for support, though the message is indeed misleading. However I'm not
    sure how helpful HP support would be with this issue, hence my posting here.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael" <>
    Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 7:36 PM
    Subject: Re: Vista 'deciding' a program needs to be run as administrator
    david, Apr 27, 2007
  4. david

    david Guest

    A quick registry search solved the problem. If anyone else has this problem
    and wants to fix it, go to:


    Find the key referencing the troublesome executable and delete it.
    It would be nice if there was a more elegant way to do this (maybe there is
    but I just don't know)
    david, Apr 27, 2007
  5. The system that automatically prompts for and applies compatibility
    fixups for apps (as happened here) is separate to that presented via
    the various shell and Properties UIs.

    So you have the shell "Run as admin" setting, and related Properties
    setting, and you have the "Admin" checkbox within the Compatability
    section of Properties as well.

    But in addition, there's the system-initiated automatic fixer-upper
    that you tripped over, and that (by design) has no UI at all (other
    than the initial pop-ups). So to manage the setting, you have some
    research ahead... it may be registry, but it may also be something
    "outside", such as program manifest files.

    I'd like to know more about all this, too ;-)

    The most accurate diagnostic instrument
    in medicine is the Retrospectoscope
    cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user), Apr 27, 2007
  6. david

    david Guest

    As i posted earlier, its HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
    david, Apr 30, 2007
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