Originally Posted by i run bad
what is the uac and how do i shut it off?
User Access Control. It's what nags you all the time to allow programs to do things. It's a misguided attempt by MS to improve Windows security, but IMO it's implemented poorly and more trouble than it's worth. It tries to mimic Unix/Linux sudo functionality, but without the underlying security infrastructure that Unix/Linux has had for 30+ years, so it's a half-assed attempt.
Anyway... while I also recommend that UAC be disabled (and it's necessary for some software to work properly), I always do it as soon as possible after Vista is installed. You have to be careful with disabling it much later, after you have a lot of applications installed already. Doing so can break many apps. UAC does more than just prompt you for permission, it also virtualizes parts of the registry and filesystem to isolate potentially buggy or rogue software from hosing your system & software configuration. It makes certain folders and registry keys *appear* to be others for that purpose, so for example a program thinks it's accessing "C:\Program Files" but really it's accessing a sandbox folder elsewhere, or to one system registry key when it's really an isolated key. If UAC is disabled after the fact, it can cause some programs to fail to find their configurations, libraries, etc. (because now they're looking in the real "C:\Program Files" or the real registry key) and thus fail to run. This could also potentially affect things like driver installs, which are less conspicuous than applications and can lead to some hair pulling when you can't figure out why some piece of hardware isn't working or your system is suddenly unstable.
Of course the opposite is true as well -- re-enabling UAC after it has been disabled for awhile and a lot of software has been installed can have the same effect.
This can usually be fixed by reinstalling the affected application(s), but just be aware of the possible implications with blindly disabling UAC on a busy Vista system.
Of course most of you are likely not the techno-geek software developer that I am, and don't have near as many applications installed, so the impact on your systems may be negligible or non-existent. I just wanted to toss out the caveat just in case...