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General Windows tips

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Windows 7

  • Every now and then, users attempting to install or copy WoW to the c:\program files or c:\program files (x86) directories. With Windows 7, these are now protected directories and WoW will give you all sorts of fits if it's left there. A better location would be c:\users\%login%\games or c:\users\public\games. If you install from scratch, WoW will usually install itself to the newer locations. Do not try to force it back to the old directories. You'll just end up deleting it and doing it all over again. If you have more than one hard drive in your system you can also install the game folder to a hard drive other than the default C drive.
  • User Account Control (UAC). While UAC IS a good thing, the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. In some cases, it's UAC that prevents some write actions from occurring during patching. Now just because your patch blows up doesn't mean you should automatically blame UAC. However, turning UAC off during the patch process MAY help you get things done. To turn off UAC, go to Control Panel, then select Action Center. You should see something like this:
Windows 7 Action Center

On the left side, up towards the top, you'll see a link that reads: Change User Account Control Settings. Select that. You should now see:

Windows 7 UAC

Move the slider all the way to the bottom and save.

Once your patch is finished, you can go back and turn UAC on.

Video Drivers

Sometimes, when you attempt to update your drivers, something prevents the new drivers from installing, even after you've attempted to remove them by uninstalling them from Control Panel. If you run into this issue, try manually removing the drivers by going to Device Manager.


Ensure you select "Delete the driver software for this device" as well. Once this is finished, restart your machine, then install the new driver. You'll most likely need to restart again for the new changes to kick in.

Running as Administrator in Windows Vista and WIndows 7

Run as Admin.png

Many have the misconception that when they're logged in as "Administrator" or have admin rights on a Windows machine, they automatically have full run rights to everything. With the introduction of the UAC in Windows Vista, this is no longer the case.

To prevent many permission issues with WoW, you should run the game as Administrator. Right mouse click on the launcher icon and select "Run as Administrator". To set the launcher to do this permanently, right mouse click on the launcher icon and go to Properties. Select the Compatibility tab and check "Run this as an administrator". Save by clicking Apply.