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Windows 7: UAC and Gadgets

16 Jan 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate Beta x64 / Windows Vista Home Premium / Windows XP Professional / Linux Ubunu
UAC and Gadgets

If it’s too good to be true, then it’s too good to be true

One of the great new improvements in Windows 7 is the ability to customize the settings for the UAC (User Account Control), or even disable it completely. However disabling the User Account Control means that you will no longer be able to use the Gadgets feature. Personally, I find this a nuisance, I love the Gadgets feature; it allows me to have the current live weather, headlines and even exchange rates stream to my desktop. But at the same time I feel that the UAC gets in the way, why can’t it work both ways…

Windows 7 News | UAC and Gadgets

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2009   #2

Vista Ult 64 bit Seven Ult RTM x64

I would think that it would be pretty easy to stick malware in a gadget. There is a warning about installing them.

UAC and Gadgets-gad.png

Better safe than sorry.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2009   #3

7600 x86

i'm not quite sure how i did it, but i have UAC off and gadgets are still working...

maybe it's because i'm using administrator account?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jan 2009   #4

Windows 7

Try activate UAC with the lowest level, if it's not too disturbing... And deactivate UAC again...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2009   #5

Vista X64 ultimate/ 7 X64 Ultimate (7264)

I don't have UAC on and my gadgets work, but this is due to me vliteing my disc so i'm admin by default. I don't remove anything or do an unattended setup, it just skips the user creation for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2009   #6


Yes, if you are running as the hidden administrator account, then you have more privileges than a user who has been granted administrative privileges...

It's weird, that nomenclature, but that is how it is.

However, do realize that anything that works its way onto your system *also* has the ability to make use of those privileges. The whole reason Vista and now W7 were developed with UAC is *because* running like that left your system entirely too vulnerable to attacks. These days, with even banner advertising on *legitimate* sites being hijacked for use in dropping malware on your system, I would *never* run as the administrator account.

The only way to be sure you're protected is to then use your 7 layers of protection just like in XP - and I'd rather not have to kill my system efficiency running so many programs in real time just so I can avoid a couple of UAC prompts.

There is a reason why Servers are setup so that the administrator login is closed, and that only a few trusted people in any IT department know it - so that you have a backup login in case something goes screwy.

If you run as administrator, you have *no* backup. There is not another account that has the level of privileges that the administrator account does - so, if you think you can create a second account on the fly and use it - guess what, it doesn't have the same level of privileges. And if you need those privileges to do something, you're hosed faster than you can say uncle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2009   #7

Vista Ult 64 bit Seven Ult RTM x64

Well put JG.

I don't even enable the Admin account unless absolutely necessary.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2009   #8

7600 x86

so the admin account in win7 is like a standard account in xp. and that's bad?

i ran xp for years without antivirus or malware protection. about 6 months ago i started using ESET Smart Security, but i have yet to have a single alert. i only keep it around because i like the firewall it offers.

i'm pretty reckless online too, i download anything from anywhere. if i really don't trust something i might run it in sandboxie first, or maybe i'll unpack an installer and have a look inside before i run it, but really, i've never had a major problem. i keep an eye on things, and fix whatever problems might arise. every time i have been forced to reinstall windows in the last decade has been because of something i did.

so i think i'll take my chances. i hate having UAC always second-guessing me. if i double-click something, it's becuase i want to run it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2009   #9


You misread. The administrator account is *not* like a standard account in XP - any other user added to the administrators group do not enjoy the same level of privileges as the administrator account does.

And The warning was not toward you so much as anyone else that views this thread - I want users to have an *informed* opinion before they get all pissy and decide that they want to disable UAC because of a couple of prompts at boot time or whatever.

I cannot stress this enough - If you are not a Security researcher / professional and not an Uber geek, don't do it.

Oh, and BTW - using sandboxie / unpacking an installer to check out contents is well above a novice - to intermediate advanced user's level of thinking and knowledge. And it is to that group of demographics that my comment was aimed at.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2009   #10

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit

Here's a workaround for this UAC disabled issue.

Open registry, nav to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\Settings

Right click and add new Dword value, name the new key "AllowElevatedProcess" and make the value "1" (hex)

Worked for me, Gadgets are now working.

But I also agree with John. I happen to have allot of Security experience, insider experience, but I also run with limited privileges when surfing. I only run Admin account when I'm plottzing around my machine offline.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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