Friday, October 27, 2006

Run 3ds Max as regular user

Summary: Running 3ds Max 4 as regular user causes problems but as administrator it works fine. The following is my solution.

In my lab we are still running 3ds Max 4, which at time of post is 5 versions too old. But one problem that was nagging us (till date), and were never able to solve, was that 3DS would run fine as administrator but on a regular user account it would never startup and throw a [16.1.7] error. A quick Google search will pull the following solution from Autodesk's website. The basic solution to the problem is stated as follows:

  1. Find folder "C:\C_Dilla". Make sure Hidden folders are visible. You can change this in Windows Explorer-> Tools -> Folder Options. The Autodesk page has the required screenshots for this.
  2. Give your Users account Full Control to the "C:\C_Dilla" folder and sub-folders.
This definitely fixes the problem while starting 3ds Max. But we were still having major problems while closing 3ds for which I suggest following solution. It turns out that 3ds Max needs to write to the location where it was installed and some sub-folders [UI sub-folder in "\Program Files\3dsmax42\" to be precise].

[Disclaimer: This solution is actually a crappy workaround that shows how poorly some applications are developed in a manner that reduces security on a Windows PC].
  1. Log in as Administrator to your Windows PC.
  2. Open Windows Explorer.
  3. Scroll down to your Program Files folder [most probably "C:\Program Files\" or "D:\Program Files\"] and expand it.
  4. Find the "3dsmax42" folder. [Providing access only to the UI sub-folder was not sufficient. Don't know why.]
  5. Right click on it and select Properties. Click on the Security tab.
  6. Select the Users group and give Full Access to this group [and weep a little].
  7. Log off and log on as regular user. Start 3ds Max and watch it open and close like it is supposed to.
I don't have access to the latest 3ds Max and don't know if they have fixed this problem. If yes then do let me know. And more importantly if this does not work for you then please leave me a comment and I will look into it.

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