A fresh look at Vista's User Account Control, Part 2

Summary:User Account Control is a controversial new feature in Windows Vista. But as many beta testers have discovered, UAC prompts can also show up when you perform seemingly innocent file operations on drives formatted using NTFS. Why do these prompts appear? And why do some so-called Windows experts miss the obvious reason (and the obvious fix)?

[Update May 5, 2006 1:35pm PDTA portion of this post was accidentally deleted on May 4 due to a production error. The text has now been restored and can be seen here. – Ed Bott.]

In the first post in this series, I provided a close-up look at a major new security feature in Windows Vista. User Account Control (UAC), which will be enabled by default in all versions of Windows Vista, monitors a user’s actions and prompts for an administrator’s credentials before allowing any action that has a potential impact on system security.

The UAC prompts I depicted in the first post are those that appear when you install a program, when you run a program that requires access to sensitive locations, or when you configure a Windows setting that affects all users. But as many beta testers have discovered, UAC prompts can also show up when you perform seemingly innocent file operations on drives formatted using NTFS.

In this post, I explain why these prompts appear and why some so-called Windows experts miss the obvious reason (and the obvious fix).

File operations trigger a UAC prompt anytime you try to do something with a file or folder where your current set of user rights doesn’t grant that access. For example:

Next >>

Topics: Windows

About

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.