[Rd] Windows Vista Issues

From: Dominick Samperi <djsamperi_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2007 17:42:47 -0400

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.
  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.

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: (download the standard version, then run
the update program).

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.)

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...


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