Windows Vista - is not supported : 2017 - August 1

PSMotion Ltd cannot guarantee MechDesigner will work correctly with Windows Vista. However, if problems occur, we will endeavour to correct them, but they will not be our priority.

CopyMinder under Vista

Windows Vista can be much more strict than previous versions of Windows as to which folders, files and Registry items can be modified. Microsoft have introduced a new security system in Vista called User Account Control (UAC) which is enabled by default. If UAC is turned off then CopyMinder behaves in much the same way under Vista as it does under previous versions of Windows. However, we do not recommend that you turn UAC off. Setting your application to run in XP compatibility mode will also prevent the problem.

UAC can be very confusing for both End Users and Software Developers because it does crafty things behind the scenes without telling the user. On the other hand, it does improve security and most users will have it enabled by default.

In an try to maintain backwards compatibility with existing applications, UAC will often create virtual folders and Registry items that can be quite confusing. For example, if you install an application that is not Vista aware to a folder in Program Files then it will install it to a different folder and make that folder part of Program Files. They refer to this as 'Virtualization'

The current version of CopyMinder copes with all this by means of an installer program called CMInstall.exe (produced when you create protection). With CMInstall, you can install to Program Files without 'virtualization'. Since CMInstall can be used with all versions of Windows, we recommend that you include it in your distribution as standard.

The only known problem at present is to do with multiple user logon accounts. If the user wants to use a protected program with multiple logon accounts then disable UAC. This is resolved in the next release of the CopyMinder .cm file.

Earlier CopyMinder Versions

Earlier versions of CopyMinder will also work with Vista but make some changes if ALL of the following conditions are true.

Your users are running under Windows Vista or later.
They have Windows User Account Control (UAC) enabled during installation.
They want to install to their Program Files folder (or a sub-folder off it) or other restricted folder.
They want to run in non-Administrator mode.
They want different users to be able to log on and run your application.

In this situation, do one of the following:

Get you to provide them with a copy of the program protected with the current version of CopyMinder.
Disable UAC. You can turn it on/off within 'Control Panel'|'User Accounts'.
Install to a folder other than Program Files.
Run the program as Administrator.
Use this procedure:

As administrator make sure that the protected program and the .cm file are in the directory under Program Files that you require. First run of the protected program may be done as either Administrator or a restricted user. The CopyMinder information is 'virtualized' by Vista and activation will proceed as normal. Note that the software will only be activated for that user, not for other users. If you swap users and the new user attempts to run the software, they are prompted to install it and provide a Product Key as if it were a new installation, because Virtualization is occurring on a per user basis here, so the second user cannot see the activated files.

In summary, although you can use old versions of CopyMinder with Vista, your best policy is to use the current version of CopyMinder and run CMInstall.exe as Part of your installation procedure.


If you use the CMInstall program then CopyMinder does not mind if UAC is off or on and all should be fine.

CMInstall will put copies of CopyMinder files (.cm, .cm.log, .cm.ini, .cm.msgs.dll) in a new folder called

%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\<did>\<ProdCode> (e.g. c:\ProgramData\a\abc). It will also create a new .cm.ini file in the application directory so your application knows to look in %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\<did>\<ProdCode> for the .cm file.

To send you a copy of the .cm.log file, remember that the one that is used is in


The only problem we know of is not really a CopyMinder problem at all but can result in CopyMinder error messages appearing. It occurs if you do not use CMInstall and start playing around with installing with UAC off and on. It is then possible for you to end up with copies of your application in two different places; one virtualized and one not. If this happens, your best bet is to un-install both copies, check that they also disappear from the VirtualStore and start again.

If you are installing a non-Vista aware application to C:\Program Files\ABC and UAC virtualizes it then Vista will put your application in %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\ABC instead. It will then put a link in C:\Program Files\ABC so that your application appears to be in C:\Program Files\ABC!. Check the VirtualStore to see if it is really there.

Confused? Go to and download the 'Virtualization Reference' for some bedtime reading.

Tutorial and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 13.2 + © Machine, Mechanism, Motion and Cam Design Software by PSMotion Ltd