Heads up, win 7, blender 2.5 a2 needs admin rights

Just an FYI - user prefs do not save in win 7 w/o starting as admin. once you’ve got them set, they seem to stick around though.

I’m using 64bit in-case the 32bit version doesn’t have this issue.

Yes, this is because Microsoft has (finally) tightened some of the default file permissions. They have always recommended against having programs write data where they are installed, now it is enforced. To be “Windows 7-compliant” Blender should probably put “b.blend” into a subfolder of the logged-on user’s “Application Data” folder. This way a non-admin can run the program and still save preferences, and multiple user accounts on the same computer can have different preferences.

I just wanted to add some more notes to this thread…

This issue, Blender writing to files in the installation location, wasn’t much of a problem before. Because the default permissions on the “program files” folder let most users write to it, this allowed many programs to go just what Blender does. Many other programs did much worse things, like writing to the “HKEY_Local_Machine” part of the registry for user settings or writing to operating system file locations. These issues meant that many programs would not run correctly unless you are running as an administrator. Of course this also means that programs you accidentally run, like viruses and trojans, also run as an administrator.

Since the release of Vista, Microsoft has gotten a little more serious about security and has been enforcing its long-standing recommendations. Once installed, programs should no longer require administrative access. If they need to write to the registry they should do so in the user’s section at “HKEY_Current_User”. If they need to write to files they should do so in the user’s profile folders.

For Blender, this means that we need to ask the operating system where these locations are. You don’t want to hard-code these paths. To get the location of the “temp” folder we should use the Windows API function “GetTempPath”. The default location to save blend files should be obtained by calling “SHGetFolderPath”, looking for CSIDL_Personal. Similarly, “b.blend” should be stored in the user’s “application data” folder that we get by calling “SHGetFolderPath” for CSIDL_AppData.


Ever since Vista (I have Win 7 now) I got into the habit of creating a “Program Files Legacy” directory where I installed all applications that would otherwise require admin rights to run properly. Blender was one of them (going back to Vista/2.49).

hmm. good thing i’m always an admin in my windows operating systems, i never run into any of these problems. i love windows 7.

Yes, none of this is too much of a problem for most people running Blender on their own computers at home. It is a little more of a problem when you are a kid trying to learn Blender on the family computer and your Dad doesn’t want to make you administrator.

But where it is huge is outside of the home. In businesses and schools with large networks and shared computers you can’t have all your users being administrators. Any user that has the ability to save “b.blend” also has the ability to erase the program itself.

At my school I make Blender available on all our 300 computers by having 2.49 on a shared network drive. It runs fine like this on a read-only drive, except for the preferences, which I have to set for everyone. It would be be much nicer if each user could set their own preferences by storing it in a better location as mentioned above.

As a long-term goal we should be moving toward making Blender easier to use and manage on large installations.


Sorry to hog this thread…

In an ideal situation, Blender would be distributed exactly as it is today, including the “b.blend” in with the program. However, in normal circumstances that file would never change, but remain defaults as defined by the developers (and possibly tweaked by a domain administrator if site-wide changes are needed).

User settings would be saved in a “b.blend” in the user’s “Application Data” folder. When Blender loads it would look for user preferences, and if it does not find one would then use the default preferences.

This way new users always start with good default settings, yet can save their own, and can also revert to the original defaults. And the installation of blender does not have to create files outside of its program folder.


to be clear, my account is admin, and I still had to run as admin (not sure why that is really), but I figured that it was storing info in program directory, so i figured running as admin would take care of it until I had the changes saved, and then wouldn’t need to be dealt with again.

Is there a reason why the windows installer can’t install the program files to the “\program files” folder and the program prefs files (any any other files that need write access during runtime) to the individual users “\application folder”?

This is seems to make most sense and probably why all other windows applications work this way.

i dont have any problams installing 2.5 a2 or a1 on win 7
maybe becouse i have a dual boot for xp and win7.
if the installer doesnt work just use the .zip and place it in program files
anyway im a admin on both of them


no reason except that Blender is not currently designed to do that. I’ve been considering “signing up” as a developer to work on some of these Windows-specific issues but I’m not sure how I go about joining the club.

Harley it would be nice if Blender could be designed to work like this, it would stop all these admin rights issues.