ARisely

I have a number of commercial applications which do not display network drives in their open/save dialogs.

The Microsoft Forum Team indicated that this might be a Known issue with the Get First Network drive with UAC enabled, particularly as I was using an older version of Wise installer.

However, since I have downloaded an installer which is certified with Vista (InstallAware) and this is replicating the same problem. The problem is elliviated if I logon as an administrator but I only get 1 of 4 network drives mapped on the PC and it has a red cross through it.

Are there any work arounds to this issue apart from disabling UAC which incidently, does allow the apps to work correctly

Regards



Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

ARisely

Just to clarify this is not isolated to install software, I am also experiencing this whilst using the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit - Compatibility Administrator.

Selecting File Open display the dialog with only my local c:, d:(cdrom) and only the first network drive with a red cross is shown. I have 3 other network mappings uncluding a Home folder h: which are not listed.

This Vista PC is joined to our company domain running SBS 2003 SP1.

Regards





Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

Aaron Margosis - MSFT

The issue is that with UAC and elevation there are two active logon sessions: your non-elevated processes run in one session, and your elevated processes run in a different logon session. Network drive mappings (and SUBST mappings) belong to a logon session -- they are not global to the entire system.



Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

Mo Nail - MFST

See the following article for brief discussion on mapped network drives. (Search for the word "mapped" on the page).

https://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/07/01/uac/default.aspx






Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

ARisely

Sure, I understand this and have read the linked article. Aaron said the Network drives are in a different logon session to the elevated process which is great but this by default would make them inaccessible to any elevated application then

Like I indicated "Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit - Compatibility Administrator" is exhibiting the problem and I am sure this application has been written by the book!

Is this scenario simply something software manufactures must cater for in designing for UAC or is there a way round this for pre Vista software products





Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

AndyCadley

 ARisely wrote:

Is this scenario simply something software manufactures must cater for in designing for UAC or is there a way round this for pre Vista software products

I believe this is just one of those things you have to cater for in the design of your application. It's not really feasible to assume that the elevated account will always have access to the same shared drives, even with UNC paths rather than mapped drives. That should be the case if the user elevates themselves (a Deny permission could break it), but could well fail if an over-the-shoulder elevation from a proper Standard User account is done by a different Administrator (since they will have a entirely different security token).





Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

ARisely

Sounds like something that may effect installers more than other applications as these packages clearly must run elevated in order to access the restricted parts of the system such as Program Files etc.

This is an issue for the installer which may have to install some files locally (elevated process) but scan the network resources for an installed application.  This is typically the case for commercial applications which operate from a network data share yet have client installations.

This requirement to perform a client install and locate/interrogate the network share during the installation would be quite common for commercial multiuser business applications.  It would appear a lot of effort has been put into Application Compatibility in Vista which is great, however this assumes you can install the application in the first place!

At this stage switching off UAC for the installer to run seems the only solution We have made application changes to our products to allow them to operate on Vista as Standard Users, just got this last issue with installers to go now!

I cannot be the only developer having issue with this

 

 

 





Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

AndyCadley

ARisely wrote:

At this stage switching off UAC for the installer to run seems the only solution We have made application changes to our products to allow them to operate on Vista as Standard Users, just got this last issue with installers to go now!

I cannot be the only developer having issue with this

A few points:

  • Corporates prefer automated deployment and that means that installs generally occured when nobody is logged on (Group Policy deployment) or under a special account (SMS). In both cases this can break installers that assume they'll have network access.
  • Even in manual install scenarios, a resource available when installing (by a System Administrator) may well not be available once the desired end user is logged in anyway. In large organisations this can work the other way around too, the staff responsible for installing applications may well not have access to sensitive corporate information held on shared folders (staff records, payroll info etc)
  • Having an installer rely on access to a network resource can cause issues should the network become temporarily unavailable for whatever reason (cable falls out, switch fails, server being rebooted etc). You'll have a much more resilient installer if you can remove any dependency on the resource being available during install (even if it must be present when the application runs).
  • If you absolutely can't avoid the server having to be contacted during install, at least use UNC paths rather than mapped drives. This is considerably less likely to break, easier to workaround if it will and much less likely to cause collisions (I've seen apps that insist on mapping a specific drive letter that fail because the workstation had already allocated the letter in question to an internal device).





Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

ARisely

Sure your points are valid for Corporates/Large organisations but what about the small to medium business which do not use these deployment technologies - I'm sure they represents significant market share

The thing to bear in mind here is commercial 'installers' offer the scripting functionality to be able to derive resources ableit from the OS or Network during install.

Just seems madness that you cannot access resources that are deemeed to have lower or equal privilages to that of the current process -  abeit standard or elevated.

This is not really for me to solve as it effects commercial installation software and the functionality offered. Right now my only depoyment route is swicth off UAC, install product enable UAC At least it wont be too difficult to document!

Seriously, I would like to known if there is a solution in the pipeline, especially considering the Setup detection in Vista that is supposed to combat issues with UAC

 





Re: Application Compatibility for Windows Vista UAC enabled Network Drives not available in Open/Save Dialogs

AndyCadley

As I said, UNC paths will probably mask the issue for small business scenarios, where the elevating user is likely to have access to the resource as well.

If you want to wander down the road of somewhat unsupported techniques you can have your users enable linked connections. There are issues doing it, so you should defintitely not try to do it automatically in your installer, but it's a much better approach than disabling UAC entirely (even for a brief period).

Details at http://www.windowsconnected.com/blogs/joshs_blog/archive/2007/02/20/windows-vista-tip-enabledlinkedconnections.aspx