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Old 06-18-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
Grape
 
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In order to run Steam properly on this version of Windows...

Quote:
In order to run Steam properly on this version of Windows, the Steam service component must be installed.
The service installation process requires administrator priviledges.

<<Install Service>> <<Cancel>>
I have just reinstalled Windows and now Steam, and this is the message I got when I ran Steam. I have never got this message before during past installations. Is it new? For the first few times that I clicked <<Install Service>>, it would not believe that I had Administrator priviledges despite the fact that I did, but soon afterwards, when I clicked the install button, it then went on to ask me what account to use, without confirming that the service component had been installed.

Can someone at Steam please elaborate on what this is, when it is required, what it does, and how to confirm that it has been installed successully?

Thanks


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Old 06-18-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
Adradis
 
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What version of windows?
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
Grape
 
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Vista Business
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:51 PM   #4
ZeBool
 
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Basically, Vista makes you believe you have Administrator privileges when you actually don't (due to the fact that a lot of people feel that when you get a virus, it's the OS's fault for actually letting you run things on your own computer), and whenever something comes up that needs elevated access, you get a prompt from User Account Control to confirm it.


There's 2 ways to handle this as an end user:
  • Manually run things elevated, and let UAC prompt you when it has to.
  • Disable UAC completely if you don't feel the need to be protected from yourself.
If you choose the first option, installing the Steam service component is necessary, as it has a lot of features which require more than UAC gives to you by default. It basically runs a service at elevated permissions, and communicates with the Steam client, doing things for it that normally would require Administrator access.

For the second option, you would run msconfig from the run menu (Windows Key+R if you're using the default Start Menu, as Run isn't there), and look for this option. Click "Launch" when you have it selected, then reboot. The shame (and I've brought this up before) is that you still have to install the Steam service component (you can actually choose not to and Steam will run fine, but it'll just prompt you every time you launch Steam) due to the fact that Steam doesn't detect whether UAC is on or off. The resource usage isn't substantially higher, with mine sitting at 2.7MB memory usage and no CPU usage constantly, but it's just annoying to see it there.

The upside to disabling UAC is there are a lot of applications that aren't UAC aware that won't bother prompting you, and they'll fail for what looks like no reason, and it just adds to the hassle of using them, as well as the fact that you won't have to be prompted every 10 seconds to see if you really want to run something.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:23 AM   #5
Epsilon
 
 
 
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UAC is just correcting one of the damaging legacies of the 9x days.

In 9x, there was no concept of administrators and standard users and the like, everything on your computer ran with full permissions, able to do whatever it liked to any part of the system, so programs were designed assuming they could do anything.

Now, Windows has a much firmer foundation (the NT kernel) that like other proper operating systems (Linux, Unix, BSD, etc.) has a concept of security permissions, disallowing users from interfering with each other, etc. Unfortunately, because it was a requirement to ensure all these old 9x programs still ran, the default was to have everyone run as administrator. If you didn't, a lot of programs would fail, because they were designed assuming full system control.

This is a really bad idea. It's the reason why in the Linux community, nobody runs as root all the time.

UAC is designed to mitigate these problems in various ways, and scale down "programs break" to "program generates annoying pop-ups". The goal of UAC is really to get us into a position where in future, developers write their software assuming least privilege, and only requiring admin rights when it's absolutely necessary to change the global configuration of the system.

It's also a good safety measure - it insulates you against bugs and vulnerabilities in the programs you run. If a hacker exploits a program that's running with admin rights, he has full control of your system, and can do whatever he likes. If he exploits a program running with limited rights, he can't even change the system time. It's all about reducing your attack surface.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:54 AM   #6
ZeBool
 
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It's ridiculous to run as a limited user on the desktop, because that's the ONE system you should know everything about, and the one system where you can be absolutely sure.

Having to jump through hoops to run applications doesn't make it more secure. It makes it more tedious. At the server level, there's no reason why users should have access to more than is doled out by the administrator, but on the desktop (not counting domains, where the desktop is a homogenous experience), you're the administrator, and you're just as likely going to get rooted if you have administrator access to start with as if you had to click an extra button. The difference is that the latter is going to get old fast.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:13 AM   #7
Grape
 
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Hmm I don't really mind UAC. And it's not just clicking a button, you have to enter an admin password. I agree with Epsilon that it provides another layer of insulation against exploits. Anyways, this is straying a little off-topic.

So, given that I didn't do anything differently when I ran Steam successfully in the end and that there was no confirmation dialogue, I'd think that either:
  • the service component wasn't installed but for some reason Steam decided to let me through anyways (weird... why..?)
  • somebody compromised my system and disabled UAC at the moment I was trying to run Steam.

How can I check that the component is installed and how can I install it if it isn't?
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #8
m-p{3}
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeBool View Post
It's ridiculous to run as a limited user on the desktop, because that's the ONE system you should know everything about, and the one system where you can be absolutely sure.

Having to jump through hoops to run applications doesn't make it more secure. It makes it more tedious. At the server level, there's no reason why users should have access to more than is doled out by the administrator, but on the desktop (not counting domains, where the desktop is a homogenous experience), you're the administrator, and you're just as likely going to get rooted if you have administrator access to start with as if you had to click an extra button. The difference is that the latter is going to get old fast.
Actually, I run my personnal computer with the lowest amount of rights required (User) and I don't find it annoying. It just add some more steps to install a software (run as), but I'm not a software-junkie so it doesn't happen frequently.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
Epsilon
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grape View Post
So, given that I didn't do anything differently when I ran Steam successfully in the end and that there was no confirmation dialogue, I'd think that either:
  • the service component wasn't installed but for some reason Steam decided to let me through anyways (weird... why..?)
  • somebody compromised my system and disabled UAC at the moment I was trying to run Steam.

How can I check that the component is installed and how can I install it if it isn't?
Easiest thing, hit the windows key, type "msconfig" without the quotes, hit enter, click through the UAC prompt, go to services tab, check the "hide microsoft services" tab, and if there's a line that says "Steam Client Service" then it's been installed.

Even better, you can see that Valve are actually careful to make sure the Steam client service only runs when the Steam client does, as opposed to say the Punkbuster services, which apparently run all the time. Nice.

You can install it manually using an elevated cmd prompt to run SteamService.exe in Steam\bin.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #10
Epsilon
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeBool View Post
you're just as likely going to get rooted if you have administrator access to start with as if you had to click an extra button. The difference is that the latter is going to get old fast.
If you have UAC on, all user processes run with standard user permissions by default. You have to explicitly elevate with UAC to get rooted, as by definition something running with standard user permissions doesn't have root access. Having UAC gives you an extra layer of protection.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:11 AM   #11
wildkard1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grape View Post
I have just reinstalled Windows and now Steam, and this is the message I got when I ran Steam. I have never got this message before during past installations. Is it new? For the first few times that I clicked <<Install Service>>, it would not believe that I had Administrator priviledges despite the fact that I did, but soon afterwards, when I clicked the install button, it then went on to ask me what account to use, without confirming that the service component had been installed.
I am running WindowsXP and getting this message ONLY when I check for updates from a regular limited account. When I use an account with admin privileges, steam doesn't feel any need to apply this update. Unfortunately clicking <<Install Service>> under the regular account doesn't actually do anything.
  • Is there a way to manually install the service since Steam doesn't seem to be able to?
  • Is it really needed to play anything?
  • Does this count as a bug?
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #12
justregisterme
 
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I fixed the same issue. the manual way to install is:

"c:\program files (x86)\steam\bin\SteamService.exe" /install

you need to do this as a privileged user. once the service is running, and you have given the correct registry key permissions to your limited user(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve ) also for good measure (HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\services\eventlog\A pplication\Steam Client Service)



steam will then run as a limited user no problem.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:47 AM   #13
Washell
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justregisterme View Post
I fixed the same issue. the manual way to install is:
Good, I'm sure he was still looking for a way. After 4 years.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:02 AM   #14
Tito Shivan
 
 
 
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God Lord, the stench...
Was it really necessary to dig a thread out of it's grave two years after it's last post??
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:34 AM   #15
owlsparker
 
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This is still an issue for people so why deride people trying to help ?
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