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  1. #1
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    Sharing Programs Among Different Users (XP Pro)

    Howdy,
    I have 4 accounts with administrative capabilities for each family member and 1 guest account. How do we share certain programs across those accounts? i.e. Norton A/V? Winamp? Office etc? Right now, each person has his own account set up but can't access other programs we would like to share? Any ideas? I'm sure it's too complicated for a simpleton like me.
    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    Re: Sharing Programs Among Different Users (XP Pro

    Folks,

    If I could just broaden this question a bit. I've been running only one user account on my XP installation, Administrator. Having learned that this is bad practice, I created a new user account, call it Joe. Joe is a Power User account.

    Now for the question. In addition to needing to know how to share programs (Moxilla's Firefox, for example, doesn't show up in Joe's Start|All Programs or rather the folder is empty), I need to know how to transfer the various preferences and characteristics the Administrator account now possesses to Joe account (obviously to the extent possible given that the Joe account is not an Administrator account).

    Would it be simpler just to create a new administrator account, rename the current one say Fred, then add Fred to the Power User group and delete it from Administrators?

    As you can see, I'm pretty new to this SysAdmin stuff, so I'd appreciate any help you can give.

  3. #3
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    Re: Sharing Programs Among Different Users (XP Pro)

    With several caveats it should be as simple as copying shortcuts for each account. #1. Many programs/applications now ask a question, have a check box, or radio button to select 'All users' or 'Current user' at installation time. Select the option you need. #2. Each program/application much be installed by an administrator. #3. Each user must have appropriate access rights to the files/folders required for the program to function.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
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    Re: Sharing Programs Among Different Users (XP Pro)

    ...And #4. Install programs from Installation Mode (Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs | Add New Programs | CD or Floppy...)

  5. #5
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    Re: Sharing Programs Among Different Users (XP Pro

    After installing the programs that you intend to use, you can copy the shortcuts that they create in the start menu to the Default User's start menu. To do this, click Start - Run and enter %userprofile%. Click OK.

    An Explorer window will open to the current user's Documents and Settings location. If you do not see the list of folders in the left hand pane, click View - Explorer Bar - Folders to expose them.

    From here, you can copy shortcuts from the Start Menu folder to the user accounts and/or the Default User folder. Default User will create these shortcuts for individual users the first time they log on and their profiles are created without affecting current users. Alternatively, if you want something to appear for all users on the system, copy or move the shortcuts to the All Users folder, and they will then appear for everyone who logs in.

    Hope that helps, if it's not clear what I am describing let me know!
    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Sharing Programs Among Different Users (XP Pro

    Setting 'appropriate access rights to the files/folders required for the program to function' can be tricky. But even trickier is setting those rights for the required registry keys. At least you can usually identify the directories fairly easily-this ClassID s**t MS developed makes the registry virtually indecipherable.

    I installed a word processing program for my daughter. Added the appropriate access rights for the directories. Added the appropriate access rights for the keys I could identify. Appeared to work fine until she tried to use it. In testing I didn't think to test the features-only the main program. She got an access error as soon as she tried to run the spell checker.

    I ended up reverting to the cumbersome way I've found to install programs 'for others'. Cumbersome, but the only way I've found that works reliably. First, log on as administrator. Second, change the other user to administrator. Third, log on as the other user. Fourth, install the program. Fifth, log off as the other user & switch back to administrator. Sixth, change the other user back to normal. Seventh, log off as administrator & back on as the other user. Now test the program-if you're lucky it will work. Bless Microsoft for making things so easy.

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