Error Message at startup: Band-in-a-Box® for Windows is unable to write data to the BB folder.

This information also applies to RealBand for Windows.

Last updated:  Tuesday, 13 October 2015

In order to work properly, Band-in-a-Box® needs to be able to read and write files in it's own folder. There are a few things that may prevent it from doing so, so Band-in-a-Box® does a check at startup to see if it can write and then erase a file (WriteTest.txt). If it encounters a problem, then it issues an error message.

One example situation where the problem may occur on some systems, is where User Account Control enabled on your computer (which is the default in Windows Vista and later), and you are logged in as a non-admin user, and you are running the program from an external USB hard drive. Either way, doing one or more of the following tips should resolve the problem:

  • If you have Band-in-a-Box® installed in the "Program Files" folder, move it somewhere else. On some versions of Windows, the Program Files folder has unique properties which can prevent files being written. This is ok for programs that write their settings files elsewhere, however Band-in-a-Box® is entirely self-contained within it's own bb folder. The default folder for Band-in-a-Box® is C:\bb.
  • A security / Anti-virus program may be interferring. Try disabling the program temporarily (sometimes called 'realtime protection') to see if it is causing the problem. If so, then you may be able to add an exception for the BB and/or RealBand folders within the security program's settings.
  • Run Band-in-a-Box® as an admninistrator. Even if you are logged on as an administrator, if User Account Control is enabled on your computer, programs don't run with full administrator privileges. To run a program as an administrator, right-click on it and select 'Run as administrator'. You can also set Band-in-a-Box® (and other programs) to always run as an administrator. To do this, find the file bbw.exe in the bb folder. Right-click on it and select Properties, then click the Compatibility tab. Check the box under Privilege Level. Note: You may need to click 'Change settings for all users' first.
  • Optional: turn off User Account Control. UAC is security feature in Windows Vista and higher. You shouldn't need to disable UAC to run Band-in-a-Box®, but some people prefer to disable UAC on their computers, and at the very least it could help you troubleshoot the problem. This was more of an issue with Windows Vista, as UAC is much improved in Windows 7 and higher.
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