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Thread: Run as Administrator

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
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    Question Run as Administrator

    I think I'm having continuing problems with the feature of " Run AS Administrator ".

    A couple years ago I was having problems with my saves not working and I think I found the answer in these fora that due to WIN updates that one had to run programs as an Administrator to make the saves actually work!

    The problem I think I have now is that even though I start a program as an Administrator:

    My re-install of WIN 10 does not seem to be recognised by saved Trainz data as the same Administrator that saved it and when I pulled a short-cut out of my seperate Trainz SSD to put on my new WIN 10 desk top, it does start Trainz 2019 as Administrator but after re-entering my internet connect info, Trainz acted like it was a new, bare program and it started downloading all the original payware routes and after that was all done I went into the game and none of my other routes that I had added before having to re-install WIN 10 were there. I've done extensive work on my sessions for my favorite routes and I guess I have to figure out how to re-import my routes and sessions to use them!!!!!!

    Your thoughts Please!

    Wild Willy the Wacko

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Pacific Time
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    Default

    Your Windows re-install probably wiped out the registry keys Trainz used to identify which administrator owned it.

    The first thing to try is to reinstall your software over the old stuff. If you look in the Setting-Apps list, it is probably missing a lot of things - again, registry keys got wrecked by the reinstall, which sometimes happens even if you choose to keep your data. That might fix the need to run stuff that shouldn't need it as Administrator.

    EDIT: you might have to be logged in as Admin to (re)install stuff. If the software offers the option, be sure to install it for everybody on the machine. Some software will install for only the current user - that's not what you want.

    The cleanest solution if that doesn't work (because you should NOT have to run everything, or even most stuff, as Administrator) is to back up all your data, locate all your install media, and do a clean install of Windows. You can do the clean install from Windows 10 in the Settings - Update and Security - Recovery page, choosing Reset this PC. It will ask whether you want to save your data - say no (after backing it all up of course). Then acknowledge all the warnings and tell it to start. It may take several hours, depending on your computer, to wipe the C: disk and install a fresh copy of Windows.

    At some point, it will ask you whether or not you want to sign in with your "Microsoft Account". I generally don't recommend that for Real Computers (phones and tablets OK, maybe laptops that are commonly used in the field) - instead (it's hard to find in the setup options) generate local accounts. Set one up as Administrator - you should do this even if logging in with your MS Account, since if something goes wrong and you need to use Safe Mode you will need a Local Administrator account to log into - MS Account won't work. Set up one or more standard (limited) user accounts to use for general purposes. Note that an MS Account login is an Administrator login, so beware. And even if your computer is all Local accounts, you can always choose to sign in with your MS account from a Limited User account later.

    You might be offered a screen with privacy settings. It's up to you, but I generally turn them all off or down to the minimum, and set the telemetry to Basic (can't go to Security-only unless you're running Enterprise). Also, with Win10, it's worth going through ALL the settings looking for privacy and advertising-related stuff; they move around and change with each feature update.

    Once Win10 is installed and user accounts are set up, re-install your software. That will set up the correct registry keys authorizing operation. I've had to do that with MSTS several times after Windows 10 Feature Updates.

    Finally, restore your data from your backups.

    Consider this (essentially building a new computer) an excuse to look at what software you have and clean out what isn't used or useful any more. Also, consider it an opportunity to update any software that has updates available. And I'm sorry, but in my experience you will probably spend several days doing it all.

    I've done the Reset a couple of times in a tablet and a laptop that seem to be prone to errors. I've been lucky that the only thing wrecked by it in the most recent Reset was MSTS. Likewise, the last couple of Feature Updates (which install a fresh operating system btw) haven't messed with program registration other than MSTS and Open Rails. Previously, Resets did a lot more damage to software.
    Last edited by mikeebb; 02-28-2019 at 11:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
    Posts
    818

    Question I know enough to be dangerous so I'm taking this slow!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeebb View Post
    Your Windows re-install probably wiped out the registry keys Trainz used to identify which administrator owned it.

    The first thing to try is to reinstall your software over the old stuff. If you look in the Setting-Apps list, it is probably missing a lot of things - again, registry keys got wrecked by the reinstall, which sometimes happens even if you choose to keep your data. That might fix the need to run stuff that shouldn't need it as Administrator.

    EDIT: you might have to be logged in as Admin to (re)install stuff. If the software offers the option, be sure to install it for everybody on the machine. Some software will install for only the current user - that's not what you want.

    The cleanest solution if that doesn't work (because you should NOT have to run everything, or even most stuff, as Administrator) is to back up all your data, locate all your install media, and do a clean install of Windows. You can do the clean install from Windows 10 in the Settings - Update and Security - Recovery page, choosing Reset this PC. It will ask whether you want to save your data - say no (after backing it all up of course). Then acknowledge all the warnings and tell it to start. It may take several hours, depending on your computer, to wipe the C: disk and install a fresh copy of Windows.

    At some point, it will ask you whether or not you want to sign in with your "Microsoft Account". I generally don't recommend that for Real Computers (phones and tablets OK, maybe laptops that are commonly used in the field) - instead (it's hard to find in the setup options) generate local accounts. Set one up as Administrator - you should do this even if logging in with your MS Account, since if something goes wrong and you need to use Safe Mode you will need a Local Administrator account to log into - MS Account won't work. Set up one or more standard (limited) user accounts to use for general purposes. Note that an MS Account login is an Administrator login, so beware. And even if your computer is all Local accounts, you can always choose to sign in with your MS account from a Limited User account later.

    You might be offered a screen with privacy settings. It's up to you, but I generally turn them all off or down to the minimum, and set the telemetry to Basic (can't go to Security-only unless you're running Enterprise). Also, with Win10, it's worth going through ALL the settings looking for privacy and advertising-related stuff; they move around and change with each feature update.

    Once Win10 is installed and user accounts are set up, re-install your software. That will set up the correct registry keys authorizing operation. I've had to do that with MSTS several times after Windows 10 Feature Updates.

    Finally, restore your data from your backups.

    Consider this (essentially building a new computer) an excuse to look at what software you have and clean out what isn't used or useful any more. Also, consider it an opportunity to update any software that has updates available. And I'm sorry, but in my experience you will probably spend several days doing it all.

    I've done the Reset a couple of times in a tablet and a laptop that seem to be prone to errors. I've been lucky that the only thing wrecked by it in the most recent Reset was MSTS. Likewise, the last couple of Feature Updates (which install a fresh operating system btw) haven't messed with program registration other than MSTS and Open Rails. Previously, Resets did a lot more damage to software.


    "Your Windows re-install probably wiped out the registry keys Trainz used to identify which administrator owned it. "

    I think my first problem was that when I tried to re-install WIN while saving apps and settings, I got the message that I could not do that because the volume was mot a "Master Boot Record" and so I had to do a full, fresh install but I thought I was OK because I had my games on a seperate physical drive. I did, however, have to Clean and re-initialize the seperate physical drive that WIN 10 and associated apps and data were on. As I said, I'm dangerous and I don't understand why the volume was not a MBR but I do recall a request to set up a " restore " partition and I thought that was a good idea except when it came time to restore, it didn't.

    I was just now looking into Administrative privilages thinking that there should be an option for an Administrator to assume ownership of everyting except maybe the WIN files. I noticed in looking at security and then " Advanced Security Settings" for my Trainz Physical drive that the owner is listed as " SYSTEM " instead of Willy or Administrator.

    Like I said, I'm taking this slow and I will try to understand your other instructions and work on them. I just don't want to wreck my machine again right now because I'm working on a big project of converting home movies and things are going too smoothly but I still can't access my Trainz saves from before my WIN problem.

    If you know exactly which folder Trainz saves are kept, maybe I can go and try re-assigning ownership to them.

    Thanks

    Willy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Pacific Time
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    847

    Default

    Understand, and that's why I suggested simply reinstalling over your previous installation (after making a backup of course) as a first move. I've had to do that with MSTS a number of times to fix messed-up registry entries (though there's a .reg file floating around somewhere that lets you fix things with regedit - don't recommend that unless you really want to live dangerously). Not sure how Trainz works that way, though - if it has some kind of copy protection that prevents easy reinstallation for instance.

    As for ownership, having the files owned by SYSTEM often does require running as Admin. I've run across a number of installers that somehow result in that. If you're looking at Advanced Security Settings and can see ownership, you should be able to "Take Ownership" to change that in the same dialog. Be sure to do that at the top-level folder for the application, and select "all files and folders" when asked how you want to apply it below that folder. MAKE BACKUP FIRST of course.

    I don't know where Trainz saves files. But a good guess would be, as with many games and other software, in the "Appdata" folder for the user. If you're running as Admin, the Admin account's "Appdata" folder is where it would be. It's a hidden folder, so you have to adjust the view settings in File Explorer to see hidden and system files to make it visible. If Trainz is following standards, there will be a Trainz (or the publisher's name) folder in there with various contents, probably including saves.

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