runas difficulties...differences in command vs. right-click



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I am trying to make use of the runas feature in XP home to enable a user
(child) with limited account to run an application as a privileged
user. The particular application will run properly from an account with
administrator privileges, but not from a limited account.

Based on previous postings to this group, I have experimented with the
runas feature from the limited user account, but am having some
difficulty. If I right-click on the application icon (or a shortcut to
same) and choose runas, I can then enter a username and password into a
dialog box and the application works properly.

If, on the other hand, I enter the runas command into the Target
location of the Properties dialog of a shortcut to the application, and
attempt to open the application, then I get all sorts of complaints
about not being able to access certain files. It seems that the
application is being started from the root directory where the runas
command is located rather than from the root directory where the
application is located.

In particular the application is looking for files in
c:\windows\system32\application_directory (which does not exist), rather
than in c:\program_files\application_directory (which does exist and is
the proper location for the required files).

It does not seem to matter what path is entered in the Start In field of
the Properties dialog for the shortcut, or whether the /profile or the
/no profile options are given to the runas command. Any ideas on how to
get this command line version of runas working?


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Roger Abell

A few observations
1. your child will end up knowing the account name and
password for an admin account, and can then log in with
that account instead of only logging in with their own.
2. there is a tab in the properties of shortcuts where you can
specify to run with different credentials (use runas).

Now, modifying the target of a shortcut does give you more
control than the use of the other tab in the shortcut properties.
To do this, "" double quote all that is already in the target field,
and then edit to add the runas and desired switches. What was
initially in the target field should be a full path specification for
the executable, but if it is not, then make it that way.

IMO the superior approach is to get the app running as a non-admin.
There are some applications for which this simply is not possible.
Most however only require adjustment of the permissions on the
application's installation directory structure, and some need adjustment
of permissions on the applications registry keys in HKLM\Software.
A very few may be trying to write to odd places, and for these use
of filemon and regmon from can be a great
aid in discovering where permissions need to be adjusted.
If the machine is Home then filesystem permissions are most simply
adjusted using the Security dialog in the properties of the folder that
roots the area to be changed - which must be done in an F8 safe mode

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