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2006 Feb 06 14:09

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] windows support, unfortunately
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Re: [vox-tech] windows support, unfortunately



Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
On Mon 06 Feb 06, 1:11 PM, Micah J. Cowan <micah@cowan.name> said:

On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 02:19:39PM -0500, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

Hi all,

At work I have to use WinXP, but all of my development is with open source
tools like cygwin, miktex, etc., so I'm almost happy.

This morning a bad thing happened. Adobe Acrobat wanted to install an
update 7.0.5 on my work computer, and stupidly, I allowed it. It wanted to
reboot to finish the upgrade, and again, I allowed it.

Unfortunately, after the reboot, my system has become flakey. Here are some
manifestations:

<snip>

It's an obvious one, but I'm obliged to ask it: have you tried
/uninstalling/ Acrobat, and if so, did it make a difference? Also, is
your desktop backed-up?

Thanks, Micah.

After the Acrobat update, I seem to have completely lost the ability to
install and uninstall programs.

Most of the time it says that I need admin privs. Some of the time it says
it can't access a particular .dll or it can't find a particular file.
Before this whole thing started, I was able to install/uninstall programs
just fine.


The reason why I'm posting to vox-tech is that one of the help desk guys
noted that i have a lot of "illegal software". this is the term he actually
used; i'm not making that up. he was referring to firefox, putty, miktex,
gvim, cygwin, etc. he said i have to uninstall the "illegal and unsupported
software" to "fix the machine".

IMO, this is worth making an issue of. All of these are extremely legal
to have on your machine, and it is worth making the support guy
understand this. Now, some of it /may/ be against company rules: but
since you mentioned that you use cygwin to do development, I sincerely
doubt it.

Beat this into the support guy's head. Actually, a good tactic is to ask
/him/ questions, and make him answer them reasonably. Most answers from
these sorts of people will reveal more questions to ask.

How, exactly, is Firefox (e.g.) illegal to install?
How did you learn this (from the answer to previous)?
What do you think about (appropriate link to strong materials denying
the truthfulness of his previous answer)?

I think his intent was "it's against company policy", but I'll try this
tactic.


I don't have the admin password for this computer, but I noticed a utility
on the web that obtains the admin password on XP machines. Actually
*changing* the admin password is out of the question, for obvious reasons.

Actually snooping it may be a bad idea as well. You can certainly get
fired for such activity, and probably jail time, depending on the judge.

Woof! Yeah, I definitely don't want to lose my job. ;)


If you must use this, make it a last resort. Probably the one right
after attempting to reinstall your system, reinstalling cygwin, etc on
top of a fresh install.

Unfortunately, my hands are completely tied now; I can't install or
uninstall anything. It's almost as if my user account went from 'admin' or
'power user' to 'restricted user'.

Maybe tomorrow I should try calling support again and telling them that I
can no longer install/uninstall software? I really don't know what else to
do, and you have me too spooked to try to change my user permissions now...

Pete
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Agreed. I would be very wary of stepping on the wrong toes in the support department. Most, if not all, offices that have worked in do not generally allow employees to install random software, whether it be free, open source, or anything not on the "list". I have always been a developer, and they generally leave the developers alone (until you begin to pester the desktop support guys) It sure sounds like you have successfully hosed up a windoze installation, and I would suggest a walking over and sweet-talking the desktop guys. This approach has worked for me *several* times. < I have hosed up many windoze boxes ;) >

Good Luck
-Mark
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