A friend just showed me his installation of Quark 8.1 on his Vista system and I was surprised to see that it requires administrator privileges to run... That's pretty lame from a security point of view, especially for software that was apparently Vista compatible in version 7 (ie. so it's not old).

I use my Mac for design work so I don't have this issue, but I know that apps generally shouldn't be asking for Admin access just to be able to run. Anyone got any ideas what on earth it uses it for, and if I can disable it without worrying that my friend will discover why it needs those privileges halfway through a major project! :)

Thanks in advance!


Most likely because it's been coded a little rubbish. Back in XP, people didn't have to worry about this stuff, so they could use API calls and low-level hackery without fear. Now Vista and 7 exist, they can't, but the stuff is already inside the program, and too central to remove.

The "Vista compatible" version is probably one that was told to need admin rights before it was run - before, it would probably fail if you didn't run it as administrator.

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  • Yeah, it baffles me because Quark 7 was given "Vista Certification" in 2007, apparently. Quark 8.1 is supposedly Windows 7 compatible and was released in 2009. Could they be THAT bad (ie. STILL require admin access after all these years)? – Django Reinhardt Nov 12 '09 at 17:45
  • It depends. It works, so if it's a lot of effort to 'fix' it, then the company behind it probably doesn't see the advantage in it, so it could need admin rights indefinately. Bear in mind I could be completely wrong, but this has been the reasoning behind other issues and programs in the past. – Phoshi Nov 12 '09 at 17:46

Have a feeling it is simply a folder permissions problem, and it needs the user to have full access to the program's installed folder location eg program files\quarkXpress 8.1\ (or whatever it is these days, long time since I used it).

IIRC this problem existed on XP too, you had to have admin rights then (but so many people did that they often did not realise the problem).

Log on as admin (or user if he has admin rights), browse to the folder, open properties and under security explicitly add the user by name and give them full control.

MAKE SURE THERE IS ANOTHER ADMIN ACCOUNT ON THE SYSTEM then take them out of the admins group. Log off and on, test, revert if it it does not work

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  • Thanks for the solution, but doesn't an App automatically have control over the folder it was installed into, even if it's program files? (Ignorant here I'm afraid.) My only concern with implementing your answer is if it raises issues that aren't immediately obvious :-/ – Django Reinhardt Nov 12 '09 at 19:01
  • No. Only the program files should go in there, then they are effectively read-only for the user (so malware can't simply replace your trusted application with it's own exe). User files (eg to hold settings) should go in their profile, other settings in the registry under HKCU – AdamV Nov 13 '09 at 1:10

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