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I have a company laptop running windows 7 enterprise edition 32bit without admin rights (resp. almost no rights to anything at all). I put the current version of MiKTex 2.9.4757 and Texmaker onto my user drive and installed ghostscript portable etc. according to the guideline of Jim Stitzel (using Asympote and no external pdf reader). But instead of putting it on a stick (which I tried too with similar problems) I saved it as I said in a separate folder at "My documents".

I've tried a lot and read through forums, but I just cannot get it to run. (Sorry for the mess here, but I am not allowed to post any images that provide a better overview to make that would make live easier for everyone):

  1. I get the error message "Invalid control sequence" or "Permission denied" when I want to

    • install packages with MiKTeX "Package Manager"

      MiKTeX Problem Report   Message: Invalid control sequence.
      Data: Source: Libraries\MiKTeX\Core\config.cpp
      Line: 1690  MiKTeX: 2.9     OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise Edition, 32-bit Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
      Invokers: explorer  SystemAdmin: no     PowerUser: no
      Root0: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      UserInstall: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      UserConfig: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      UserData: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      CommonInstall: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      CommonConfig: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      CommonData: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      
    • update Formats via the MikTex "Option" Panel

      MiKTeX Problem Report   Message: Invalid control sequence.
      Data:  Source: Libraries\MiKTeX\Core\config.cpp
      Line: 1690  MiKTeX: 2.9 OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise Edition, 32-bit Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
      Invokers: explorer  SystemAdmin: no     PowerUser: no
      Root0: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      UserInstall: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      UserConfig: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      UserData: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      CommonInstall: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      CommonConfig: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      CommonData: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex
      
    • update packages with MiKTex "Update" Panel

    The Operation could not be completed for the following reason:

        Permission denied: \\HE100172e002\a19736526$\Home\Data\09_SIBE_Studium\09MixTexPortable\MikTex/data/le\mpm.fndb
    

    It is no internet connection issue, proxy is set, repositories load properly

  2. Not sure if this has anything to do with the whole issue, but when I started MiKTeX for the first time via miktex-portable.cmd it put all the files in the Windows programms menu instead of the system tray which is normally does when you boot from usb. The icon links did not work at the beginning but I managed to relink all of them except the "Update" Panel. There I get the error message "Windows API error 3: The system cannot find the path specified".

Anyone got any idea how to fix this please? I'm grateful for any hint or links to related threads that I might not have found yet.

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1  
There is no problem to install a normal miktex without admin rights. Simply choose an installation folder where you have writing rights. (I wouldn't use "my documents" but something like "C:\myprograms"). The portable installation is only needed if you don't want to leave any trace on the PC, that is don't want to put something in the user profile. –  Ulrike Fischer Aug 15 '13 at 11:21
    
Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. –  Heiko Oberdiek Aug 15 '13 at 11:29
    
Hi Ulrike, installing the normal MikTex was the first thing tried and I got a "permission denied" error at some point. But I did install it in my documents as well, so I will try again at another location (C:\Users\A19736526\MikTex) and let you know. @Heiko: Thanks. I'll check it out. –  Mary Aug 15 '13 at 12:14
    
@Ulrike It worked to install basic-miktex-2.9.4 directly on first level of the user drive (C:\Users\A19736526\MikTex). Sorry, but I cannot find the how to mark your reply as the accepted answer and close the thread. –  Mary Aug 15 '13 at 15:15
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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

To allow the question to be closed I add my comment as answer:

There is no problem to install a normal MiKTeX without admin rights. Simply choose an installation folder where you have writing rights. (I wouldn't use My documents but something like C:\myprograms). The portable installation is only needed if you don't want to leave any trace on the PC, that means if you don't want to put something in the user profile.

Firewalls, proxy, VPN and other things can disturb the on-the-fly installation, package installations and updates from the internet. In this case you should download the packages by other means together with the two miktex-zz-...-files, put them in some folder and use it as local repository for installations/updates (see e.g. MiKTeX: [...] does not seem to be a local package repository).

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Please ask your company whether you are allowed to install programs or to use an usb stick. What you said sounds that the company has very strict rules that do not allow to use a private usb stick or to install a "privat program" (Company rules, part of the windows installation).

At last consider to ask the company administrator to install MiKTeX for you or that you get the rights to do that by your own.

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They just recently took all admin rights from employees and are reluctant to install stuff. But Ulrikes hint actually did work. –  Mary Aug 15 '13 at 15:20
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