Re: [Rd] Windows Vista Issues

From: Uwe Ligges <ligges_at_statistik.uni-dortmund.de>
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 18:40:39 +0200

Dominick Samperi wrote:
> This is a repost of a simple question about Windows Vista and R (with
> answer), along with a heads-up on other Windows Vista issues that people may
> not be aware of and that may impact R development.
>
> 1. The standard package install process fails because the user does not
> have permission to write to Program Files/R/R-version/library. Apparently
> the install process has already been modified to give the user the option
> of maintaining the library directory under his/her personal space, so this
> issue has a work-around.

Well, if you are Administrator and work under corresponding privileges (and start R with those privileges explicitly, right click to do that!) you can do package installations as on any other Windows. If you have not had the privileges before, package installation into that directory already failed with old versions of Windows.

Please do read the R for Windows FAQs as the R-help posting guide suggests. Those FAQs address these user errors.

We are talking about recent versions of R, I assume?

> 2. Windows Vista issues a very misleading error messages when the
> file Explorer encounters a zipped file that was created with an older
> version of winzip (say version 10, 2006), and perhaps with some
> unix versions of zip as well (haven't tested). The error message is:
>
> Windows cannot open the folder
> Access to the Compressed (zipped) Folder '\\machine\whatever\foo.zip' is
> denied.
>
> Now, if you try to look at the file permissions for this file it says
> you don't
> have permission to look at the permissions!
>
> If you rename the file to foo.dat (on the source machine) then the
> permission
> problems disappear on the target system, so the problem definitely is
> related to the '.zip' suffix. (In my testing the source system is running
> Windows XP professional, but the problem is not related to the network
> configuration: even local zip files created with older versions of Winzip
> will have permission problems.)
>
> After several hours of trial and error work it became clear that the correct
> message should have been:
>
> Windows detected a zip file in a format that it doesn't accept. Probably it
> was created by an older (more than a few months) version of Winzip.
>
> Upgrading to Winzip 11.1 and using it to compress the file on the source
> system fixed the problem on the target system.

Winzip is not related to R development nor package installation and was never recommended, AFAIK.

> 3. If you use the increasingly popular (and free) program Zip Genius instead
> of Winzip beware that the latest released version will cause the file
> Explorer
> to crash under Windows Vista. There is a fix: upgrade to the latest patched
> release of Zip Genius: 6.0.3.1140 (download the standard version, then run
> the update program).

I never heared about "Zip Genius" before, it is not related to R development nor package installation and was never recommended, AFAIK.

> 4. In a number of situations Windows Vista issues an error message like
> "This task requires permissions" and whatever you were trying to do fails.
> Unfortunately, this happens even when the user has Administrator privs,
> and Vista gives no indication what permissions are needed and where to
> change them. (Though I suspect that you may have to upgrade to
> "Vista Ultimate Edition" to do so.)

No, you can do it with your version as well, just start with the right privileges.

There is not a single R-Vista issue here (and no R issue at all). All are problems of the user who has not read Windows Vista documentation.

Uwe Ligges

> I don't have a solution for this problem. Perhaps another Vista user can
> provide one. Of course, one possible solution is to downgrade to Windows
> XP and wait for the kinks to be worked out in Vista...
>
> Thanks,
> Dominick
>
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