FAH issues running as a 'standard' user on Win10 (NEW FIX)

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FAH issues running as a 'standard' user on Win10 (NEW FIX)

Postby Stel2112 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:17 pm

(This is an updated, simpler version of my old fix. The old thread is here: FAH won't run correctly as a 'standard' user on Win10 (FIX))

I was having issues getting FAH to run on a 'standard', non-administrator account on Windows 10. It ran ok on the administrator account, but not on the standard 'user' account.

The problems on the standard/limited account were:
  • FAH did not start automatically at Windows login
  • When ran manually from the client folder, the client did not work (the log listed various access/permission issues)
  • FAH icons/shortcuts were missing everywhere on the standard account
This is a major concern since most people are running Windows 10 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 FAH under a standard Windows 10 account with GPU support is:

1. Login to windows on your administrator account.

2. Install as usual, express install.

3. Find the admin FAH startup shortcut here (must be logged into your admin account):

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

and copy it to the 'All Users' desktop here:

%public%\Public Desktop

this will make the proper shortcut, with the proper 'Start in' folder, available to all users. (I also rename the shortcut to "Folding@home tray" to distinguish it from a different shortcut that would otherwise have the same name)

4. Login to windows on your 'standard', non-administrator account.

5. The shortcut should now be visible on the desktop on all Windows accounts. Double-click the shortcut on the desktop to start the FAH client (allow firewall permissions if it asks). After a few seconds the tray icon should appear on the lower right in the system tray. From that icon you can launch Web Control, Advanced Control, Protein Viewer, etc (it might take a few more seconds for those to work) .

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.)

Autostart FAH at login:

Choosing "Automatically start at logon time" during install 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 desktop shortcut created above to the startup folder at:

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

while logged in to your standard user account.

Missing FAH shortcut?

If you lost the original FAH startup shortcut you can create a new one like this: Right click the desktop, click 'new', click 'shortcut', for the location of the item enter:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\FAHClient\HideConsole.exe" "C:\Program Files (x86)\FAHClient\FAHClient.exe"

(with the quotes), click 'next', give it another name if you want, and click 'finish'. (Important!) Right click the new shortcut and click "Properties", change "Start in" to:


Replace "<admin_name_here>" with your Windows administrator account's folder name (usually it's the same as the Admin login name). Click 'ok'. (note: this assumes windows is installed to drive "c:". If not replace "c:" accordingly)

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. Most Windows users are willing to simply only: 1. Download FAH, 2. Run the installer, that's it! A lot of potential folding power is being wasted!

Explanation of why this works and my suggested fix for a future installer is here: viewtopic.php?f=106&t=33531&p=330204#p330204
(basically the installer is creating a folder "FAHClient" under the admin account's roaming folder and then setting that folder as the work folder and changing permissions on it to allow user access...which it really shouldn't)
Last edited by Stel2112 on Sat May 30, 2020 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:25 pm

Re: FAH issues running as a 'standard' user on Win10 (NEW FI

Postby Stel2112 » Sat May 02, 2020 5:33 pm

Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:25 pm

Re: FAH issues running as a 'standard' user on Win10 (NEW FI

Postby Foldingforscience » Thu May 21, 2020 3:24 am

The only "gotcha!" is that the installer is allowed to specify where to load the EXE and DATA. That doesn't work.
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 3:17 am

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