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View Full Version : Why does Stars need to run as an Administrator in order to save HHs? (and related Qs)



domino66
08-28-2011, 01:29 AM
I'm figuring out Windows 7 for the first time.

I configured PokerStars with all of my desired preferences and table mods, and thought I was good to go...except that it wasn't saving any HHs at all (even though I had clearly checked the box - see pic below)

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/9158/hhsrz.jpg

Did some quick googling, and found that it's because I needed to run Stars "as an admin" (an annoyance I never had to deal with in XP).

So I set the Stars .exe file always run as an administrator...but before I could even check to see whether that solved my HH problem, I immediately noticed that all of my preferences and table mods that I'd set had been undone. In short: they only show when i'm NOT running Stars as an administrator...which I need to do if I want it to save HHs, right?

Although I guess I could re-set all of my preferences/mods in 15 mins or so, I want to get to the bottom of this, because I'm annoyed by this entire W7 privileges thing. So while these questions are probably related:
1) Why won't Stars save HHs to my C:/Program Files/ directory unless I'm running as an admin?
2) Why does running as an admin 'break' all of the modding / preferences I've set?

netsrak
08-28-2011, 06:38 AM
If you want to write Handhistories to a c:\program files folder you need admin privileges under Win7 - so you need to run stars as admin and this is a different user with different settings.
Another solution is to use another folder for the handhistories: i suggest you use a folder like c:\stars.hands, configure this in the stars client (as normal user) and add it to the HM auto-import folders.

domino66
08-28-2011, 12:11 PM
If you want to write Handhistories to a c:\program files folder you need admin privileges under Win7 - so you need to run stars as admin and this is a different user with different settings.
Another solution is to use another folder for the handhistories: i suggest you use a folder like c:\stars.hands, configure this in the stars client (as normal user) and add it to the HM auto-import folders.

OK -- I gues the bolded part above is the part of the whole W7 / "admin user" thing that I don't really get. Basically, I set my computer up with an administrator account named "Admin_Mike"...but on the recommendation of a 2+2 poker security thread, I setup another non-admin account called "User_Mike" that I log in with...

It sounds like what you're saying is that when I'm logged in as User_Mike, and I select "Run Stars as an administrator", I'm actually running it as though I was logged in as Admin_Mike, is that correct? I thought that all that was really happening was that I would still be running it as User_Mike, but it would prompt me for Admin_Mike's password, as though he were just looking over my shoulder and saying "yeah, User_Mike is a trusted guy, so let him run this program as though he had admin privileges". But it sounds like that's NOT really what's going on...but instead my computer thinks I'm telling it to actually run that program as though I wanted to 'pose' as Admin_Mike (with all of his settings). Sorry for the weird articulation of this, I just want to better understand what running something as an admin actually means.

And second quick Q: what's so sacred about the c:\program files\ folder that requires admin privileges? Is that the ONLY folder on my system that can't be written to? Would it be smart to just create a folder called, like, C:/HandHistories/ and create subfolders for EVERY site I play on in that?

Patvs
08-28-2011, 06:20 PM
Even when you login as Admin_Mike (the administrator account), you can run into the same issue.
HoldemManager, PokerStars, PostreSQL need "super user" administrator privileges. It helps to turn off User Account Control: How to Disable and Turn Off UAC in Windows 7 My Digital Life (http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/12/30/how-to-disable-and-turn-off-uac-in-windows-7/) so every program is automatically started "as administrator".

And add it to the firewall exceptions list. The reason for this is, HoldemManager runs on top of the PostgreSQL database, and PostgreSQL is a running 'server'. Many programs (Windows Firewall, Antivirus, etc.) don't understand why this server is running and will fully block... or monitor (causing huge lag) the connection.

Windows itself also likes to block C:/Program Files, C:/Windows and C:/Users. They don't allow a program to make changes to any files in those folders (because these folders contain critical Windows files), unless the program has super user administrator privileges.

Turning off UAC should do the trick.

domino66
08-29-2011, 05:49 PM
Thanks for the replies - what I've done is just set PS to save HHs in a C:/handhistories/ folder, which it's my understanding shouldn't trip any of the UAC stuff, right?

On the topic of UAC in W7, maybe you've seen this thread on 2+2:
How to prevent your pc from 90% of all malware in 30 seconds - Computer Technical Help - Software and Hardware Forum (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/48/computer-technical-help/how-prevent-your-pc-90-all-malware-30-seconds-1004831/)

Basically the author of it says that it's a terrible idea to turn off UAC. The problem is that nearly every HEM troubleshooting post starts with "First, turn off UAC..." Why do you guys seem to be at such opposite ends of the spectrum? Do you guys just not agree that turning off UAC is as big a security hole as the author of that thread does?

Patvs
08-30-2011, 12:48 AM
C:handhistories shouldn't trigger any UAC stuff.


About UAC: Windows XP doesn't have it, and doesn't cause any such problems.
UAC turned on, makes Windows Vista unusable. Since it will give "Are you sure you want to run this program" popups for EVERY program you want to run. When you click yes if will ask a second time "Are you really really sure??" It's really annoying.

For Windows 7, it's saver to have it on. You can set manual exceptions for HoldemManager. Run the windows explorer and navigate to your Holdemmanager installation directory. Right click the executables (holdemmanager.exe and hmhud.exe ) and select properties... then select "Run as admin" from the compatibility tab.

We don't see turning off UAC as a security hole though... The only security it provides is warning you if you want to run/install a program that Windows doesn't recognize. And it will not give programs super user privileges.
Only if you often download and run programs that could potentially harm your computer...... or if you run programs -by blindly clicking on .exe files- accidently will it help you when it's turned on.

For most users, it's just an annoyance warning you, when you're running your favorite programs, that aren't on Microsofts 'save programs' list. Even running Adobe software will trigger it.