Read-Only Launch Error 3027

TYPE    -    issue document

You may receive the following error message during startup...
     "error 3027" or "read-only error"

The error occurs when the installation folder is missing the necessary write permissions. New machines using the initial factory settings encounter this situation more frequently, particularly on the Vista or Windows 7 operating system.

When the software is installed to its default location within the "Program Files" folder, it may automatically get assigned read-only permission. The installation folder requires full write permission for the program to run properly.

There are two fixes for the issue, depending on your technical level. The easy solution to completely avoid permissions issues is just to install the software to a non-system folder, instead of the "Program Files" default. The advanced solution involves manually changing user permissions for the installation folder.

Easy Solution (less technical):
  • de-install software using Add-Remove Programs
  • manually delete installation folder from "Program Files"
  • re-install software to non-system folder, like "C:\User Apps\..."
  • run program
  • open PREFERENCES dialog
  • update directory preferences

Advanced Solution (more technical):
  • right-click installation folder from "Program Files"
  • select "Properties" from pop-up menu
  • select "Security" tab
  • set full permissions
  • run program

In attempting to make systems more secure, Microsoft has unwittingly introduced an extremely frustrating issue for users, including annoying prompts or warning dialogs, just to run ordinary software. Furthermore, there is no "don't ask me again on this program" check box, so certain features provide all-or-none security.

It is typically recommended that applications get installed in the system "Program Files" folder, which keeps them in the same location. However, users that encounter these types of permission issues frequently, might want to add their own "C:\User Apps\" folder.

You might wonder why some software needs permissions and others do not. There are primarily two approaches to software installation. In the first approach, the software is installed in a single location, keeping all of its files together, and which requires full permissions. In the second approach, the software is installed in two locations, one for read-and-execute and another for writing data. When using the two locations approach, only the write area requires full permissions. Because the write area is located in a non-system folder, it automatically receives full permissions. Each approach provides advantages, and each can cause issues.

The Microsoft Access platform requires full permissions. All of the products listed in this solution run on the Microsoft Access platform, and are therefore much easier to deploy using the single location approach.

It is typical that home users would be granted full permissions for applications. Corporate networks would be a place where user permissions might have restrictions, for security reasons.

Sometimes, not being logged in as an administrator can yield the error instead, although this is much less likely.

Although not directly related to error 3027, this issue provides more details on permissions.
Page Updated: March 5, 2014