Getting your application ware of Vista’s UAC

If your application does anything “bad” like writing to program files directory or the local machine part of the registry then its unlikely to run as expected on Vista (dont use the virtual stores).

If your app really needs to write to these forbidden lands your users will need to escalate it to admin privileges via the UAC dialog. Visual Studio 2008 makes this pretty simple, just right click on your solution and select at Add New item, then select Application Manifest File. Open the app.manifest file and change the “requestedExecutionLevel” level to “requireAdministrator”. If, like me, you package the setup.exe bootstrapper and setup.msi in to a self extracting zip, make sure you include the word setup in your exe name. Vista automatically shows the UAC dialog when any executables named *setup*.exe are ran.

Also see


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