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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
How do you guys handle Windows Virtualization when need to store application information, such as a license key, either in the Registry or one of the Special Folders, like ApplicationData?
The problem I run into is on 32 bit Windows 7 where Virtualization is applied by default. An admin installs and then enters their license key which the application writes to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. But the admin is not the user that needs to actually use the program -when that user tries to run it, it can't find the license key so the app runs in trial mode. Same thing happens with a config file(for app data, not user data) that I store in the ApplicationData folder
When this happens I get a support email and have to tell customer to have the person that needs to use the program register it, but sometimes that user does not have admin rights so cannot write to the Registry. Then I suggest turning Virtualization off, but they dont like that because of side effects, like security issues.
If your app is properly compiled (with a newish compiler and the proper manifest) then it won't use "File Virtualization" or "Registry Virtualization" at all. I can point you to a couple of links that explains this in detail, if you want.
Those 2 types of "Virtualizations" are compatibility shims written in Windows Vista specifically so poorly designed "I'm always Admin" style Windows XP apps would "just work" in the more restrictive Windows Vista+.
So don't use file/registry visualization at all. It's a bad practice.
Friday, June 21, 2013
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