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Why do I receive the error “cannot open C:\Program Files\Stata11\STATA.LIC” on a Windows Vista machine?

Title Windows Vista error while creating stata.lic  
Author Theresa Boswell, StataCorp
Date July 2007; minor revisions October 2012

Some users may encounter the following error message when attempting to install Stata on a Windows Vista machine:

I cannot open C:\Program Files\Stata11\STATA.LIC for writing.
No Action Taken.

The default Vista or Windows 7 permission settings do not allow applications write permissions to their respective install directories, even if you are logged into a machine as administrator. Stata needs these permissions to create its license file. (This issue has been resolved in Windows 8.)

To get around the problem, you must right-click the Stata executable in the Stata install directory and select “Run as Administrator” from the right-click menu to open Stata. Then you can enter your authorization information, etc., and Stata will create the proper file.

Technical note:   If you are having trouble updating Stata on a Vista machine, click here.

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