Turning off UAC results in data loss?



I got tired of having to click on the Startup Programs icon everytime to
enable such basic things as my Anti Virus scanner so I decided to disable
UAC. I'm not sure why Vista won't just automatically allow a program to
startup even though I've manually asked it to many times but that's a
different matter.

After disabling UAC I noticed that my programs seemed to have reverted back
to an older state. I backup all my Trillian chat logs and after I turned off
UAC all the new data were gone. The logs had reverted back to my backups
right before I had installed Vista. All my conversations that happened after
I installed Vista were gone. I checked the actual files in the Trillian
folder and it had been rolled back as well. Re-enabling UAC returned the
logs back to the state they were in before I disabled UAC.

I noticed the same thing with other programs as well. Feedreader marked
news items that I have previously read as unread. Again, after re enabling
UAC the items were correctly marked read again.

Winamp also didn't have the same play list and media library, it was back to
an older state.

Why are program data not being saved properly?

Jimmy Brush


This sounds like you are experiencing a side effect of "Virtualization".
This is the technology Microsoft uses to make older programs run without
error under the new Windows Vista security model. Basically, when a program
tries to write to certain security-restricted registry keys or folders,
Windows actually writes a copy of the data to a seperate location, keeping
the original file intact. It appears that when you turn UAC off, these older
programs no longer see the "virtualized" files Vista made, and instead see
the actual original files.

I don't believe there is currently a feature in Windows Vista that will
merge these virtualized changes to their actual location.

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