FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (FIX)

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FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (FIX)

Postby Stel2112 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:47 pm

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EDIT: There is now a simpler version of this workaround here: viewtopic.php?f=108&t=34839
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I was having issues getting FAH to run on a 'standard', non-administrator account on WIN10. It ran ok on the administrator account, but not on the standard 'user' account (the problems were: FAH did not start automatically, and when ran manually the log listed various access/permission issues and errors especially after downloading a work unit, also FAH icons were missing on the standard account). This is a major concern since most people are running WIN10 as a standard user, as they should since doing so stops about 94% of malware from infecting the PC. The FAH client could be installed as a service, but that would prevent the system from using the GPU to fold. GPU folding generally results in a higher Points Per Day when compared to CPU folding. (However, both forms of folding, CPU and GPU, are beneficial for science.) With the following install method, the system can fold using the CPU or the GPU, or simultaneously use the CPU and GPU, on a standard Windows 10 account.



My workaround to run under a standard Windows 10 account with GPU support is:

First uninstall FAH

1. This can be done through either 'add or remove programs', or you can run 'Uninstall.exe' in the FAHClient folder. Check the box to remove 'data' as well (if FAH wasn't working right, there probably wasn't much completed data there anyway).

Reinstall FAH:

1. Run the installer (you will still need to give it administrator rights for the install). Choose custom install, change program install folder to C:\FAHClient\ and data folder to C:\FAHClientData\

2. Choose 'Automatically start at logon time' ('start manually' will work too)

3. Uncheck run FAH (Otherwise this would start the client under the admin account since the installer runs with admin rights. It still needs to be setup to run as a standard user, so if you accidentally started the client, just right click the client and select 'quit')

Make some OS changes:

**** EDIT: After further testing, most people should be able to skip steps 1 and 2 here since 'users' should already be able to write these folders when in this location. ****

1. Change security permissions on the 'C:\FAHClient' folder to allow 'full control' for 'users' (right click the folder, click 'properties', click 'security' tab, click 'edit', select 'users', for 'full control', check 'allow', hit 'apply', hit 'ok').

2. Do the same for the 'C:\FAHClientData' folder if needed.


3. If you weren't already, login to windows on your 'standard', non-administrator account.

4. Create a shortcut to run FAH. (Right click the desktop, click 'new', click 'shortcut', for the location of the item enter:

"C:\FAHClient\HideConsole.exe" C:\FAHClient\FAHClient.exe

(with the quotes), click 'next', give it another name if you want, and click 'finish')

5. Doubleclick the shortcut to start the FAH client (allow firewall permissions if it asks).


Choosing 'Automatically start at logon time' only sets that up for the admin account. If you want FAH to startup automatically at windows logon for the standard user account, just copy the shortcut to the startup folder at:

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

while logged in to your standard user account.


I was able to download a CPU work unit and start folding within a few minutes as a standard user. The GPU started working on a work unit about 15 minutes later. (Note: the FAH servers seem to be struggling to keep up, work units are not always available and it may take hours to get a work unit.)

This really should be fixed in a new release, most people run their PC's as a standard user and will not want to go through all this, most probably are not even aware that the client isn't working right. A lot of potential folding power is being wasted! (btw changing permissions on the default client install folder 'C:\Program Files (x86)\FAHClient' does not work. I can give the 'user' account full access to that folder, but it still has access/permission denied errors in the log).
Last edited by Stel2112 on Sat May 02, 2020 2:45 am, edited 20 times in total.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby russ1642 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:52 am

The installer is broken. You don't need workarounds. You don't need manual permission changes. It's a glaring flaw that just needs to be fixed.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby bruce » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:28 am

The installer works for me.

I log on as a standard user.
I download the windows installation package and run it. I accept the default settings
The OS asks me for permission to install and it either asks me for the Admin password or is simply want my permission to use my administrative permission.

FAH can be stgarted immediately or automatically whenever I log on as the standad user.
If I need to stop folding, I can do it by using PAUSE in FAHControl or I can log out.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby rwh202 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:28 am

bruce wrote:The installer works for me.

I log on as a standard user.
I download the windows installation package and run it. I accept the default settings
The OS asks me for permission to install and it either asks me for the Admin password or is simply want my permission to use my administrative permission.

FAH can be stgarted immediately or automatically whenever I log on as the standad user.
If I need to stop folding, I can do it by using PAUSE in FAHControl or I can log out.

What's special about your system then?
When logged in as a normal user, have you checked
1. which user FAH is running as
2. Where it has put the data directory
3. whether this survives a restart

What I think you will find is that it has installed for the administrator regardless and runs it as the administrator. Task Manager will show this. When you log back in as the normal user, there is nothing to start folding - the startup script was installed for the admin and you'd need their permissions again to access the data folder.

It may appear that the installer works for a standard user, but it doesn't! (at least for myself and the other users reporting here).
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby Stel2112 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:31 pm

bruce wrote:FAH can be stgarted immediately or automatically whenever I log on as the standad user.
If I need to stop folding, I can do it by using PAUSE in FAHControl or I can log out.


Was it installed as a service? If not, as mentioned, see if this survives a restart and logging in on a non-admin account (you can see which account is running the process with 'Task Manager', 'Details' tab, 'User name' column).

The tray icon may appear, but this does not mean it is working. Click the FAH icon and goto 'advanced control' and look at 'work queue'. See if you have actual work going on with percent complete and an ETA. I have WU's for CPU and GPU. Also look under the 'log' tab and see if there is progress or errors there. My log looks like this when it is working:

13:11:26:WU01:FS01:0x22:Completed 200000 out of 2000000 steps (10%)
13:11:31:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 1875000 out of 2500000 steps (75%)
13:12:38:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 1900000 out of 2500000 steps (76%)
13:13:34:WU01:FS01:0x22:Completed 220000 out of 2000000 steps (11%)
13:13:42:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 1925000 out of 2500000 steps (77%)
13:14:48:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 1950000 out of 2500000 steps (78%)


Also it will need to upload results ok. If all of this is working for you, are you sure the account you are using is actually a standard, 'user' level account? It might actually be another admin account. You can go to a command prompt and check with the command:

net user account_name_here

Admin accounts will list "Administrators" under Local Group Memberships:

'Local Group Memberships *Administrators'

User accounts look like:

'Local Group Memberships *Users'

If it is working fine with the default install under a standard account, I'm curious why. Many people seem to have issues on Windows 10 (I'm using the 64-bit version, Win 10 Pro, current build 1909).
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby bruce » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:00 am

On a single Windows home computer, there are two resources that any standard user can allocate to FAH, the CPU and the GPU. Only one user owns the desktop and therefore the GPU(s). Group membership means absolutely nothing. That same user can start a job that uses ALL of the CPU resources (at a low priority, so it yields to almost any other activity). That same CPU could be runing under a Windows service and accomplish the same processing for FAH.

FAHContol can send messages to FAHClient to tell it to PAUSE (or whatever) and I don't think group membership matters.

FAH was designed with the home computer in mind so I'm not absolutely how it will work in your environment.

For my standard user's installation, FAH's working files are in %APPDATA%\FAHClient which expands to a hidden directy owned by me. If some other user loggs on, the working files will be put in his private directory and the ones in my private directory will not continue to be processed unless we're both logged on. If we're both logged on, we'll be competing for the CPU resources and the total amount of work completed will be the less, and the bonus points WILL CERTAINLY BE REDUCED.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby Neil-B » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:39 am

Standard user installation may well work fine for the vast majority of people (does for me) ... always looks like there are always issues with it on the forums because the only people who post on the forums about it are people who have issues (which is exactly what you would expect tbh) but actually probably quite a low error/issue rate.
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3: i7-960@3.20GHz, 12GB DDR3, SSD, Win10 Pro, GTX 750Ti 2GB, FAH 7.6.13
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby rwh202 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:57 am

Neil-B wrote:Standard user installation may well work fine for the vast majority of people (does for me) ... always looks like there are always issues with it on the forums because the only people who post on the forums about it are people who have issues (which is exactly what you would expect tbh) but actually probably quite a low error/issue rate.

First off, this is not a problem that affects my folding. I've got 30 linux slots giving me 25 million PPD just fine.

I only jumped in when I saw these claims about windows installations being dismissed out of hand. I've run the current 7.5.1 installer on 3 windows 10 installations, both new and old, and seen exactly the same behaviour as users have been reporting on here.

The claim is that the current installer doesn't work on windows 10 normal user account.

Until someone can produce evidence to the contrary, I think this issue should be treated with more seriousness.

Neil - Have you used the 7.5.1 installer on Windows 10 as a non-admin user? And it installed for the non-admin user just fine?

If it wasn't so hard to post images on here, I'd show screenshots of the install steps I'm seeing and then hopefully someone could workout what's different. I've seen people mention 'install for everyone' or 'install just for me' - those are not options that I see in the current installer.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby Neil-B » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:15 am

Wasnt intending to dismiss anything simply responding to russ1642 assertion the installer is broken ... the installations I have done have been 7.5.1 Win 10 and fairly sure non admin rights ... I did not intend to say people aren't having issues - there obviously are scenarios where system configurations permissions firewalls and the like mean that the installer is not successfully working as as intended and this does need addressing - but for some people like myself (and I may be just one of a lucky few) the installer has worked fine.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby rwh202 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:29 am

Neil-B wrote:Wasnt intending to dismiss anything simply responding to russ1642 assertion the installer is broken ... the installations I have done have been 7.5.1 Win 10 and fairly sure non admin rights ... I did not intend to say people aren't having issues - there obviously are scenarios where system configurations permissions firewalls and the like mean that the installer is not successfully working as as intended and this does need addressing - but for some people like myself (and I may be just one of a lucky few) the installer has worked fine.

Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have quoted you directly - it was probably better directed at others in this and the other threads.

Also, since posting, I've had an idea - what edition of windows do you use? All of the machines I have access to are Windows 10 Professional - just wondering if we can find a differentiating factor.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby Neil-B » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:49 am

Win Pro 10 and Win 10 Ent … and they were current up to date "vanilla" (no lockdowns) installs at the time I installed FAH - the only thing "special" I had done was install the latest Nvidia drives as I recalled for ages back when I used to fold that vendor drives was a safe move … I am going to throw together another build later today (I'll wipe a box I have and do a bare metal build) and see if I have any issues - I may have just been lucky in the past … It is possible that the Win 10 Pro machine has elevated rights on it (can't remember doing this but is possible as I "play" around a bit on that box occasionally)
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby Joe_H » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:21 pm

rwh202 wrote:If it wasn't so hard to post images on here, I'd show screenshots of the install steps I'm seeing and then hopefully someone could workout what's different. I've seen people mention 'install for everyone' or 'install just for me' - those are not options that I see in the current installer.

As long as the images are hosted elsewhere, they can be posted or linked to from here.

The "Install for everyone" option was removed from the Windows installer during the changes between the previous 7.4.4 version and the current 7.5.1 version. It caused too many problems once MS restricted access to he GPU to only the logged in user as more and more Windows users were setting up for GPU folding.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby SeanPearce44 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:27 pm

*this* explains why I need to re-install on my sons machine after every shutdown/re-start!
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby bruce » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:30 pm

SeanPearce44 wrote:*this* explains why I need to re-install on my sons machine after every shutdown/re-start!


Maybe ... maybe not. We simply do no have enough information to understand that installation.

Find FAH"s log and post the first couple of pages, especially beginning at ****SYSTEM******

If you happen to find more than one log originated by FAH, it would be nice to see the others, but the one that's actively being written by FAH is the most important.
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Re: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (F

Postby susanreads » Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:12 pm

Hello,
I'm a newbie and I'm having a problem like this. Do I have to read all of the above, much of which I don't think I'll understand? I downloaded it earlier today on my Windows 10 laptop, where I'm running as not-an-administrator, and it installed and started just fine, then I shut down the laptop, came back later and it didn't start automatically. I didn't know where to find it (can't see it in the start menu), so I reran the installer, which I could find. I don't want to have to do that every time! I used to work in IT but I'm very very out of date. Please can somebody explain how to make it start automatically, or failing that, what to look for and set up a shortcut to? I reckon I can create a shortcut if it's not hidden. (I used the default installation, and hope I don't have to uninstall it and do all the stuff Stel2112 talks about in the top post on this thread, and in any case I'm not trying to use a GPU because I don't think I have the right graphics card.)
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