Every time I start The Old Republic launcher/updater, it throws up the UAC prompt. Is this normal? If it isn't (or is I suppose), how do I prevent it without disabling UAC?
It's a bit of a hassle to set up.
Before I start, here's an installer for the end result, if you are willing to trust me. You'll only need to rename the VC redist as described at the end of this answer.
This installer applies Microsoft compatibility shims to remove the "Administrator required" flag from the launcher.
How to create your own Shim database for SWTOR
You'll need to use Microsoft's Application Compatibility Toolkit to apply shims to the launcher.
- First, download and install both the Compatibility Toolkit and the Application verifier.
- Run the Compatibility Toolkit's Standard User Analyzer Wizard. It is located in Start Menu > Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit > Developer and Tester Tools
- Enter the location (or browse for) the launcher. It should be in
C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\BioWare\Star Wars-The Old Republic
- Click Launch
- Very Important: You should see 2 LUA Prompts: the first for the Standard User Analyser and the Second for the SWTOR Launcher. Accept the first but decline the second.
- The Analyser will ask whether the application ran without problems. The launcher should not have launched (If it did, you may have accepted the LUA prompt I said to decline earlier). Click No
- The Analyser will suggest some mitigations. You should only need
ForceAdminAccess*, but if it doesn't work, you can check them all; it will only loosen some security in a few extremely specific folders/registry keys. That should not cause any problem in an environment that allows you to play SWTOR.
- Click "Launch" to test the settings.
- The launcher should have launched properly without any prompts. If it didn't, click no and select somemore mitigations in step 7.
- Once the launcher works properly, Click Yes then Export to create an msi file containing your fixes.
- Run the generated MSI to install the shims permanently.
There is one last step to take care of every last prompt. In the
extras folder of your SWTOR installation (so
C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\BioWare\Star Wars-The Old Republic\extras), there should be a file named
vc2008redist_x86.exe. Rename it to
* Despite the name,
ForceAdminAccess does not automatically grant admin access as if you accepted the LUA prompt. It simply lies to the launcher when it asks whether you are an admin.
It's possible the update launcher itself specifies that it needs admin privileges in its manifest.
Download Microsoft's LUA buglight tool here to see what is tripping the UAC prompt.
To use this tool, you'll need to run it with UAC on and admin approval mode enabled.
The otherway is to use Microsoft's Application compatability Kit. I'm not going to step through how to use that thing, but if it is the manifest this may fix it.
I successfully run the program using Compatibility Mode for Windows 2000.
launcher.exe and go to the program Properties (Right-click > Properties) > Compatibility tab. There, check the
Run this program in compatibility mode for: box, and select
Windows 2000 in the Drop-down.
My specific information: I'm running Windows 7 with or without UAC (on a non-administrator account, of course), and installed to a location outside of my Program Files directory.
Edit: I received negative votes because people thought this solution requires a user to disable UAC. This solution does not require you to disable UAC. I have verified that this works with UAC as well (i.e. does not show the UAC prompt).
For Windows 10 use the following method:
- Install only
Application Compatibility Toolsfrom Windows ADK for Windows 10.
Compatibility Administrator (32-bit)
- Click on
Fixin the Menu
- Fill in Name, Vendor and Path to the
Run this program in compatibility modeand select
Windows 2000 (SP3)
Matching Informationselect only
- Save the Database somewhere. Rightclick on the Database in
Compatibility Administratorand install it
- The Launcher should now start without the UAC prompt
Should look like this:
The shortest and quickest way to do this is unfortunately to disable your UAC settings:
Running as admin or running in a compatibility mode does not make any difference.
There are many and varied opinions on UAC, some people insist on leaving it on, whilst some self proclaimed professionals "never use it". All of them swear by a good firewall and anti-virus. I do not accept any responsibility for anything happening to your PC if you disable UAC. For your information, some of the more interesting talks on SWTOR and UAC can be found through these links:
The way that other MMOs have fixed this is by writing to public files on the computer as opposed to system files, SWTOR does not do this (yet), but hopefully they will see the noise on the forums and implement it in a patch soon.
There does appear to be an other workaround that I am currently investigating, and I shall amend this answer once I have confirmed that it works.
I hope this helps.