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Why are mapped drives lost when a Vista/Windows 7 administrator is elevated

Symptoms
Running a networked ClassAct workstation installed on Vista/Windows 7 results in either an error message that a file or one of its components cannot be found, or the install program just closes with no action being completed.
(One symptom that this may be caused by the installation elevation issue is that the ClassAct Launcher Start Menu shortcut points to a UNC path, e.g. ’\\server\path\LJCAI\LAUNCH3.EXE’ instead of a mapped drive ’G:\LJCAI\LAUNCH3.EXE’.)

This same issue may affect installation of learning content through a networked workstation.

Operating Systems affected
Microsoft Vista, Windows 7 

Cause
When installing to/from a mapped network drive in Vista/Windows 7, the drive mappings are lost when the Administrator account is elevated.

This is a function of the User Access Control (UAC) in Windows. The elevated and non-elevated administrator accounts have different logon tokens and can therefore have different drive mappings.
(See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article KB937624).

New ClassAct installations have been updated to handle this issue. Use the following workaround if you encounter the issue on an earlier disk.

Workaround
One workaround is to create a mapped drive for the elevated Administrator before starting the installation:

1. Logon to the Vista machine using the Administrator user.
2. Use Windows Explorer to check that the correct drive mapping for the LJ software is in place.
3. Locate the command prompt on the Start Menu (’All Programs\Accessories’), Right-click and select ’Run’
4. Enter the following command:  net use G:\\Server\ShareName
Where ’G: ’ is the drive mapping you identified in step 2 and ’\\Server\ShareName’ is the server path you wish to map.
5. Close the Command Prompt and run the install following the standard instructions.

Alternative approaches include switching off UAC or ensuring that drive mappings for elevated and non-elevated accounts are set the same at logon.