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Windows Thread, One computer not letting students run software, file permission issues? in Technical; Hi Yesterday i was investigating a problem with one computer which would refuse to run certain programs. The school runs ...
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    One computer not letting students run software, file permission issues?

    Hi

    Yesterday i was investigating a problem with one computer which would refuse to run certain programs. The school runs a network of 20 or so classroom computers all running XP. They are tied down with the use of group policy so the student profile cant access the C:\ drives. The software in this case is Izzys Island and Starspell 2001. On this problematic computer, they will run fine under admin but not under student. The software throws up various error messages which i gather is a result of not getting 'proper' read access.

    The only difference between this machine and the others is that it was rebuilt by me not so long ago and has an NTFS formatted drive. The rest use FAT32 as provided by the OEM and they work fine. I have tried reinstalling the software in the exact same way i have done with the other computers but no luck.

    I will be working in this school again next week to try and remedy the problem. I hope anyone could give any advice to someone who may otherwise sit there for hours scratching his head.

    Thanks


    Will

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    ajs
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    Since the drive is NTFS then I would certainly point to file system permissions as the problem.

    By default, NTFS will have normal users with Read Only access to most (if not all) the hard drive.

    You could either grab something to convert the file system back to FAT32 (I'm not sure if gparted can do it off the top of my head) or you could log in and change the permissions of the folders for Izzys Island and Starspell so that Users have Full Control (probably doesn't need to be so open but it's the quickest and easiest way of finding out if permissions are the issue).

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    Ok, i'd rather keep it NTFS so i'll try changing the permissions when im there next week.

    Do you know why FAT32 allows this by default whilst NTFS doesnt? improved security?

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    ajs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willith View Post
    Ok, i'd rather keep it NTFS so i'll try changing the permissions when im there next week.

    Do you know why FAT32 allows this by default whilst NTFS doesnt? improved security?
    Pretty much. FAT32 has no concept of security :-)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    FAT32 has no security at all it is a free for all. If your other systems are running fat32 there is very little security afforded to you on the systems even with limited user accounts as anyone can go anywhere.

    XP (anything newer won't allow you to install on FAT32) also works slightly faster with NTFS and certain newer software won't even run on an FAT32 volume. FAT32 is really Windos 98 era technology and was probably used at the time simply because it was easier for your OEM to use their older tools to distribute it. NTFS includes many nice features like much more robust support for managing and recovering from errors on hard drives. Most modern tools now support NTFS without any hassel at all. I would just set the NTFS permissions to full control for the users group of that computer.

    I would also continue to use NTFS in any new installs if I were you as installing with FAT32 now is somewhat mad from a security and reliability prospective.

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    Yea i was quite surprised to find some computers doing a scan disk on boot up. I remember taking them out of their boxes and setting them up in 2007 so it beats me as to why the manufacturer did this (other than your suggestion that they use older tools for distribution). Im all for NTFS as far as windows goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willith View Post
    Yea i was quite surprised to find some computers doing a scan disk on boot up. I remember taking them out of their boxes and setting them up in 2007 so it beats me as to why the manufacturer did this (other than your suggestion that they use older tools for distribution). Im all for NTFS as far as windows goes.
    Eeek, 2007 I had assumed they were much older to be using FAT32. If they were still using FAT32 then and had not updated their tools or methods in the four years since XP or the seven years since 2000 came out I would be stearing well clear of them or asking them some very serious questions before going back to them.

    Personally if I found at the time that someone had shipped me machines in 2007 with FAT32 I would have sent them right back to be done propperly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willith View Post
    Ok, i'd rather keep it NTFS so i'll try changing the permissions when im there next week.

    Do you know why FAT32 allows this by default whilst NTFS doesnt? improved security?
    Have a look at this tool;

    Process Monitor

    It should tell you which files the programs are trying to access.

    As for FAT32, I've only seen it on post 98 kit in two situations. One where machines had been upgraded from 98. The other was on my own PC when I had a multiboot setup, Win98, Win2k (twice!) and Red Hat.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 2nd July 2010 at 08:31 AM.

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    Not sure if it offers much help anyway had a similar issue at one of the schools I worked at and I had amended the permissions on the applications root directory to give authenticated domain users relevant access rights and applied that, after rebooting the computer they had the same issue, turned out that the anti virus ( mcaffee ) at the time was causing issues, I think I did one o the following things

    * Disabled it to start with which got rid of the problem - so re enabled AV and did the 2 below things
    * did a virus definition update
    * Added said application as an exception in the anti viruses list of exceptions

    Was fine after that

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    I defintly wouldn't go to the extrerme of converting drives.

    Might be a bit late for you (July Post)

    But programs like that need to access certain files to be able to work.
    To see which files the program wants to use you can use Process Monitor (microsoft website) and load the program and let it fail.

    Alt+F4 the program and the Process Monitor will then tell the files it failed on.

    Then go into GP and give all users (everyone) permission to edit those particular file, by editing setting Computer Config>Windows Settings>File System, you will need to add an entry for each file.

    Matt

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