UAC in Windows 7 – slightly odd

It’s weird: in Vista, a lot of people were always complaining about the way UAC interrupted their lives. I didn’t think it was a big deal at all, it just didn’t bother me.

Now in Windows 7… well… I’m not sure what it is, but I find UAC a bit odd now. The reason is simple: it continuously pops up when I don’t expect it, causing me to waste time.

For instance, I run an installer and go through 8 wizard pages, and I click the final “will you please get on with that installation, FFS” button, I see the status bar for the installation process pop up in wizard page no. 9, I walk away or at least alt-tab out of that VM to do something useful in the meantime. A little later I think it’s done, I switch back to the VM, and…. I see the UAC dialog hanging there, waiting for me. It hasn’t installed a single byte. Brilliant.

That’s weird, it never seemed to happen like that before. I haven’t gone back and actually compared in detail, but I just never had that impression with Vista. Did that thing come up earlier or something? I believe it might have.

On an install I just did, I noticed that there’s a link in the UAC dialog saying something like “change when this dialog appears”. Sounded great to me, just like what I’d want to do, and I clicked it.

Result no. 1: the installer that brought up the dialog decides that I canceled the installation. No, that’s not right. That sucks.

Result no. 2: I can’t decide when the dialog comes up, like the links promises, I can only decide (like it was always possible, just the dialog is now nicer) under which circumstances UAC requires special confirmation and whether or not to use secure desktop for it.

So — Win 7 UAC better than before? I don’t know. Seems more irritating to me.

3 Comments on UAC in Windows 7 – slightly odd

  1. Well, the behaviour you have written about has been with us in Windows Vista as well. It is part of the architecture and it happens when you directly install MSI packages all the time. Usually, it does not happen that way when the installer comes with some EXE-file for start up. Try it, but it was this way in Vista as well.


  2. The “improvements” in Win7 don’t really affect installers, or elevated programs, they stop UAC popping up when you do things in explorer like add a new folder, then have to rename it in a system directory – things that you initialise.

    Mind you, I put mine back to the prompt for everything Vista setting. Having whitelisted programs, into which you can inject plugins like explorer, is a damned stupid idea.


  3. Ah, I see… yeah, that makes sense, I haven’t played round enough to see changes in those details.

    Thanks, guys!


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