Why do I get 'elevation required' or 'access denied' errors when using the command prompt?

In Windows Vista, programs are only allowed limited access to the system, even if you are logged in as an administrator.

If you want a program to have administrator-level access to the system, you must explicitly give that program access. Some programs ask you for this permission when they start, others must be given this permission manually.

Unfortunately, attempting to run an administrative command-line program does not automatically prompt you for this permission, so the command fails instead.

The solution is to open an "elevated" command prompt, which means granting a specific command prompt administrator-level access to the system. This permission will also apply to any program you run from that command prompt.

To do this:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type: cmd
  3. Right-click cmd when it appears underPrograms
  4. Click Run As Administrator

For more information, please read an overview of UAC and What's changed in Windows Vista.