Cisco Network Assistant doesn't start correctly

Unanswered Question
May 1st, 2008
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A bit of background:

We've been replacing our 'old' Catalyst 3550 boxes with 3750 Switches, and since the web-interface on these are 'a bit lacking' in functionality(to say the least), we figured that CNA(downloaded latest version) would be just the thing...

Except, when we try to start it, we get this message:

Read/write access problems:

Ingen tilgang


Note: Read/write access is required for user home directory and installation directory:

C:\Documents and Settings\BOFH

C:\Programfiler\Cisco Systems\Cisco Network Assistant


'Ingen adgang' is Norwegian for 'No access'.

Also, I've altered my profile name in the message(No need to give away login name, is there? :-)

Now, my PC is set up according to 'best practices' for a SECURE NETWORKED PC In an office environment.

In other words, my user doesn't have write access to any folder in the %Program Files% areas, and that's the way we like to keep it...

So, Who goofed up the software, and how do I get around it without compromising the security of my PC?

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Overall Rating: 5 (6 ratings)
aborole Fri, 05/02/2008 - 05:32
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  • Cisco Employee,

I guess you can simply install the application in a directory that your user has the permissions - there is no need to compromise security :)

trygveah Fri, 05/02/2008 - 05:41
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That is NOT a solution.

The reason why a user shouldn't have write access to the \program files\ folder is that it contains EXECUTABLE BINARIES, which many virii likes to infect.

Moving the install to another folder and giving a user write access to that just moves the problem to another place.

What COULD help is a list of subfolders(which doesn't contain binaries or other easily-infected files) or files which the program needs to have write access to, or an updated version which stores its config data somewhere else...

aborole Fri, 05/02/2008 - 05:59
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  • Cisco Employee,

okay, I see your point. for now you could give write access to "Cisco Network Assistant" folder only and block all other subfolders inside it - you will not need write access to any of those subfolders if you do not plan to automatically update the installation. hope that helps.

brechtmonkerhey Wed, 01/15/2014 - 03:15
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this somehow became a problem with version 5.8.9 in windows 7 x64. No issues with previous version.

I'm not exactly fond of changing permissions in the Program Files folder as it is a bad practice and no application is supposed to need write permissions there as a regular user. Compatibility mode does not help.

However, allowing users to change the folder and starting the application once, then reverting the security of the folder, seems to fix it. I guess the required modification or check only happens once.

trygveah Wed, 01/15/2014 - 04:24
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Since I wrote the original post in 2008, several things have happened...

1. We upgraded from WinXP to Win7.

2. We upgraded our switches again.

3. Networking went from being a regional headache to being handled by a dedicated group in my organisation.

And guess what, I'm not in the group, so I no longer need to use this SW.

(The only switches I have to contend with is the pair in our HP c7000 bladeserver rack)

Tshepo Matshebula Wed, 02/19/2014 - 23:51
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The solution to this problem is to give read and write or full control access to the cisco systems folder where the network assistant is installed in.

JohnHulley Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:50
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Running the program as Administrator in W7 worked for me


Right click on the icon, properties, compatibility, run program as administrator




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