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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Installing program using Run As (XP/2000)

    This would be easy enough to test I suppose but since I don't have a test machine available at the moment I thought asking would be quicker than setting one up.

    The biggest reason most people I know run with administrative privileges under WinXP/2K isn't to avoid logging off & back on as administrator when they want to install a program, it's because most programs only install for the account you're running under when you install them. If you log on as administrator to install the program then that program is available to the administrator account but not to your 'normal' account. Usually. (More & more programs are becoming 'multi-user' aware so this is a diminishing problem, but it's still currently a major problem for most people.)

    The best way I've found so far involves 12 steps-far too many for the average user. This morning I got to wondering about a shortcut. If you're logged in as your 'normal' user & run the install program as administrator, using the Run As function, does this apply the administrator rights & privileges to your normal user account-for the purposes of that program-or does it run it as a full logon to the administrator account? In other words, under this scenario would the program be installed for your normal user account or for the administrator account?

    For those who are curious, the 12-step best installation method I've found is:
    1) log off your normal account
    2) log on as administrator
    3) make your normal account an administrator
    4) log off administrator
    5) log on to your normal account
    6) install the program
    7) log off your normal account
    8) log on as administrator
    9) return your normal account to a limited user
    10) log off as administrator
    11) log on to your normal account
    12) test the program

    If the test fails then you must, of course, go thru the same 12 steps to either uninstall it or 'fix' whatever the problems are, assuming you can identify them.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Installing program using Run As (XP/2000)

    I think you are asking if using RunAs will activate the administrator (or whatever user your "Runnin-As" ) profile, thereby installing all the user setting for the administrator profile. It's hard to predict what an application will do when it installs, but I don't think it would make changes to a user hive that wasn't loaded as HKey Current User.

    I know what you mean about changes to the local users' profile. We noticed this when we started to move to NT. There just doesn't seem to be any good tools to deal with the situation.

  3. #3
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    Re: Installing program using Run As (XP/2000)

    Thanks. I should get a test machine set up this weekend if nothing more urgent interferes. If you're right (and it sounds reasonable to me-but many things that sound reasonable to me turn out to be incorrect when dealing with Windows) then using Run As might, in fact, be a decent solution.

    By the way, something else that I've never looked into-what happens to the registry, specifically the HKCU hive, when you have multiple users logged on? Since both are active both must, somehow, be considered 'current' and I can't see the registry constantly switching the HKCU hive between/among them every time the CPU switches tasks.

  4. #4
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    Re: Installing program using Run As (XP/2000)

    1. When you install a new program, do it from Installation Mode (Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs | Add a New Program | CD or Floppy | Browse), rather than from Windows Explorer or Autorun. Usually this way you make the program accessible to all users (sometimes you must copy shortcuts manually from installer account to All Users).

    2. Avoid to log on multiple users! It is the same as running several Windows instances on the same machine - it consumes a lot of resources. Sometimes you can allow to log on second user to check the e-mail or for similar task, but log him off as soon as his job is done. Suggest to log off the first user before to log on the second: keep multiple documents open during user switching is not a smart thing anyway, and saving the documents and logging off the user you can avoid potential data loss.

    3. Using RUNAS command is not recommended for security reasons: you need to type another account's password and can disclose it to user. It can be done for emergency repares, but not on regular basis. It is better to create a new group or assign more rights for your user's group.

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