CUDA SDK requires admin privileges


I am trying to install the SDK 2.3 (cudasdk_2.3_win_32.exe) but I am getting the following message:

“You do not have sufficient privileges to complete this operation. Please log on as administrator and retry again.”

I don’t understand why the SDK requires admin privileges. I can understand why the driver needs admin privileges but the SDK? I don’t have admin privileges in my machine. Is there a workaround to this problem?

Thank you,


It might be because the SDK sets up a couple of environmental variables which are being used by the projects to find include/lib paths.

In that case, is there a way to bypass that? I can set the env variables manually. All I need is some CUDA examples. Or is there another way to download the SDK in zip format?

Thanks for your help,


I’m having the same problem with the GPU Computing SDK 3.0 on Windows XP x64. The CUDA Toolkit installs ok in a regular user account, but the SDK installer dies early, claiming it needs Admin access.

Any way to:
Install into non-admin account?
Extract samples separately?
Some other workaround?


if you want only the samples, then you can download it from the nVidia CUDA Zone itself. All the samples are available in the link given below

CUDA SDK Sample Codes

Those of you for whom this fails (meaning all but the message immediately prior): this is the XP conference, but still, are you in fact running on either Vista or Windows 7? (I don’t see conferences for either or both of these newest version of Windows)

If so, then unpermissioned, you can’t write to C:\

In the file explorer right click on the install image and Run As Administrator.