I have a Setup project that I have build using Visual Studio 2010.
The installer works fine in terms of installing the application and all its dependencies into their proper sub directories and Program Data directories.
However, I noticed that each directory (the root folder and all of its sub directories) that the installer created does not give "Write" permissions. The only permissions that are added to the directories for the "Users" group are:
By default Users group doesn't have write access in per-machine locations like Program Files. This is a Windows standard which is not related to installations. However, during install you can set any permissions you want.
Windows Installer does support custom permissions, but Visual Studio doesn't offer a way for setting them. So the only solution in Visual Studio is a custom action.
Unfortunately Visual Studio doesn't support attached custom actions. So using XCACLS.EXE to set permissions would work only if you include it in your package (it will be installed on the target machine along with your files).
A cleaner, but more complex solution is to write a custom action yourself (using custom code) to set the permissions you want.
The fastest and cleanest solution would be to use a different setup authoring tool which offers more control over permissions.