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Windows 7: Compatibility mode and run on startup

09 Nov 2010   #1

Win7 Starter
Compatibility mode and run on startup

Hi there.

I just registered myself in this forum because I need help :) I hope I don't do anything wrong with my post and I hope it is in the right category :) Today I encountered a problem. I found a workaround but I would like to ask whether there is a more elegant solution.

Here's the story:

I need to start a little program in compatibility mode so that it works and I want it to start automatically when Windows starts. Both methods of starting a program automatically (i.e. startup folder and manual entry in registry) work normally when I do NOT switch compatibility mode on. However, when I right click the file and go to properties, compatibility to set the mode so that it works on Win 7, the file does NOT get started automatically when Windows starts, even though it is in the startup folder, or even if I put it manually the correct way into the registry! If I start it manually, everything is all right. But automatically it just won't start, even if I make a shortcut to it and put it manually into the run folder in the Windows registry.

I noticed that whenever I want to start a program in compatibility mode, the UAC (User Account Control) asks permission to continue before it starts (just as the UAC asks permission when I want to change system settings). My guess was that programs that need UAC permission cannot be started automatically when Windows starts, regardless of whether the file is in the startup folder or whether the file is added to the Run folder in the registry. So I tried to switch the UAC notifications completely off! And surprise surprise, it started working completely normally! So when I annulled and canceled out the UAC, the program starts without any problems also in compatibility mode!

So this was my workaround solution. Now I fear that canceling out the UAC might be a security threat for my computer. After all, it is a security feature, right? Thus, I would like to ask whether there is some kind of a different solution to start programs automatically when Windows starts in compatibility mode. Does anybody know a better solution than switching the UAC off? Or do you think that I should just live with the fact that I don't have the UAC switched on on my computer?

Looking forward to your answers! Thank you very much in advance for your help :)



P.S. If you need to know what I need to run in compatibility mode, here are the details: I am using a program called Autohotkey. Normally it works completely ok in normal mode. But today, I wanted to add a new script to my AHK script from this source: Volume OSD [with mute in red]
If you read that thread, you see that at the end one user says that the script works in Win 7 only in compatibility mode. Well, I can confirm that it indeed works only if I switch the compatibility mode on :) Does running a program in compatibility mode have any other disadvantages? I guess it is a bit sad that I need to run the whole program in compatibility mode just because of one script that does not work otherwise :-S

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #3

Win7 Starter

Ok so I created a task to run the program in compat mode at startup and login, switched the UAC back on, and restarted the computer: And it works!! :) Thank you, you provided me with an elegant solution

Just two more small questions: 1) Even though this solution is quite elegant, it is still basically a workaround, as the basic fact is still true that Windows does not let programs that require UAC action to start directly from the startup folder (or with any of the other startup methods). What's the reason for that? Would it otherwise be a real security threat? And my 2) question: Would you recommend me to switch the UAC off and not have any problems with it, or would you recommend me to keep the UAC on and use the task scheduler instead?

Thanks again for your help!


My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

Hey there, I'm glad that works:)

1. UAC’s Goal

UAC is meant to enable users to run with standard user rights, as opposed to administrative rights. Administrative rights give users the ability to read and modify any part of the operating system, including the code and data of other users—and even Windows® itself. Without administrative rights users cannot accidentally (or deliberately) modify system settings, malware can’t alter system security settings or disable antivirus software, and users can’t compromise the sensitive information of other users on shared computers.

Running with standard user rights can therefore reduce urgent help desk calls in corporate environments, mitigate the impact of malware, keep home computers running more smoothly, and protect sensitive data on shared computers.

UAC had to address several problems to make it practical to run with a standard user account. First, prior to Windows Vista™, the Windows usage model has been one of assumed administrative rights. Software developers assumed their programs could access and modify any file, registry key, or operating system setting.

Even when Windows NT® introduced security and differentiated between accesses granted to administrative and standard user accounts, users were guided through a setup process that encouraged them to use the built-in Administrator account or one that was a member of the Administrators group.
The second problem UAC had to address was that users sometimes need administrative rights to perform such operations as installing software, changing the system time, and opening ports in the firewall.

The UAC solution to these problems is to run most applications with standard user rights, obviate the need for administrator rights all the time, and encourage software developers to create applications that run with standard user rights. UAC accomplishes these by requiring administrative rights less frequently, enabling legacy applications to run with standard user rights, making it convenient for standard users to access administrative rights when they need them, and enabling even administrative users to run as if they were standard users.
Don't have the link for the above, I apologize.

2. I would not recommend turning UAC off. Anyway, its your choice.
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My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Compatibility mode and run on startup

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