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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    More on Limited User

    I originally succumbed to the cogent arguments that Aaron Margosis made about the dangers of running full-time with administrative privileges. He seemed like a voice in the wilderness for a while, but if Vista is going to default to a LUA his point was obviously made. He's suggested some small utilities that I downloaded (RunAs and MakeMeAdmin) and I've been coping with the various "challenges". In researching some of the problems I was having, I went back to his blog on MSDN that I thought others might be interested in following.

    In fact, he has some new information (that's all a bit technical for me --- well, I sorta understand it but I Don't Do Registry Edits). I've used RunAs (which doesn't always work, darn) but not MakeMeAdmin. Then I saw this part that might be what I could/should be doing to in order to be able to run programs as a Limited User, instead of RunAs. I figured I might be able to just install into the Limited User acct but using MakeMeAdmin to do the install?

    LUA bugs

    My question is, if I have XP Home, do I even have "groups". Or am I on the wrong track here?

    Thanks,

    Callie
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Installing new software is a reasonable excuse for logging on as the administrator, it seems to me.

    Also, if you are really interested in modify your installation to make it wor for you (instead of the other way around), you are probably going to have to alter the registry at some point.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Yes, I agree that installing new software might reasonably be considered an administration job. Except that I understood it was supposedly possible to have software that was on a per user basis --- which would mean that a Limited User could install some things for themselves?? --- and other programs the Admin installs that would be available to everyone who uses the computer. Some programs actually offer that choice during their install, but most have some "default" of their own that they don't tell you. Sometimes, to make it even more confusing, installing as Admin will have the program show up in the Start Menu of other users, but they can't open it.

    If I knew ahead of time which ones would do what, it wouldn't be so bad --- although it's a pain to have to logout of my normal acct, login as Admin and change the LUA to an admin acct, logout, login on the usual acct and install, then logout and login as Admin in order to restore the Limited privileges on the normal acct, then logout and login to use the new program. (Did I mention that my Fast User Switching isn't working??) Maybe THAT will be the problem that makes me brave enough to tackle the Registry!!

    Thanks,
    Callie
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: More on Limited User

    <hr>which would mean that a Limited User could install some things for themselves?<hr>
    NO. Limited Users can create, change or remove their own passwords and change their Welcome Screen picture. That is all they can do as far as system tasks. Even some applications require that you be logged in with administrative privileges to run them. This article by Paul Thurrott provides a summary of the differences between Home and Pro.

    As for applications that don't specify whether or not to install the application "for all users" or "for this user only", that is a pain. But for those that don't (or for those whose shortcuts appear but don't work with other accounts), you have no alternative but to temporarily give administrative rights to the user accounts, install the software, and then remove the rights.

    You say that your Fast User Switching isn't working. What happens when you try to invoke it? How much physical RAM do you have installed on your machine? Insufficient resources can cause this problem.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Oh, I love that Paul Thurott article --- I've worried at times that I was stupid to buy the Home Edition, that it was some limited version and I had fallen for the hype. But I do want to do audio/video stuff so maybe I did okay after all. I *know* I don't need the various user groups etc.

    As for the FUS, I realized I had started another post on that subject, and there were some suggestions about resources --- especially a MSKB article explaining that to do FUS Windows needs to have enough resources to create a new winlogon service or something like that. So after reviewing it I took some time to sort out possible resource. issues.

    I noticed I had a lot of running processes (59 --- I have probably too much "security" running) but the one that was using the most memory (or whatever it was that was listed) was Google Desktop Search. I removed that program, removed some others that I'm not likely to use or where expired trials, and also turned off Indexing for the C: drive. I also took some programs out of the Startup via msconfig (none of them were listed in the Startup folder). Now I have 44 running processes.

    The "commit charge" hasn't actually changed much and, and one person suggested I check my swap file and asked about RAM etc. Is Virtual Memory the same as swap file? It's set at 768 MB, which is the "recommended". I have 512 of RAM and the drive is about half full after I compressed it.

    I just tried the Fast User Switching and it worked! so I guess I did manage to clear up some resouces. However, Firefox crashed while I was gone, so the situation isn't as good as I'd like just yet. I'm going to reinstall Google Desktop Search (it hasn't really turned up anything particularly useful so far), mainly so I can intelligently respond to the questionnaire that Google presented when I uninstalled it. They sincerely want to know what kinds of problems they might have created.

    My next step is probably to re-evaluate all the various security programs I have to see if I'm duplicating effort and can get rid of some of them. I'm not even sure that most of them are protecting the Limited acct since they were installed under Admin. I do know that some of the auto updating isn't working, but haven't figured out which ones aren't yet.

    Thanks for your help, that really was a great article.

    Callie
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Callie,
    What all "security" programs do you have running? For example, more than 1 AV program or more than 1 firewall program running at the same time can produce unexpected results. BTW, depending on what you have installed, most security applications do protect ALL of the accounts on a particular machine.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Fortunately, I did hear not to run more than one AV or Firewall (I'm using Norton and Zone Alarm). However, the advice seemed to be that more than one anti-spyware *was* a good idea, not to mention trojans and hosts file protection.

    I have attached a file (don't know how to put the image inside the post) of my Start Menu for the anti-spyware programs.

    I think that's all of them <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

    Callie
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: More on Limited User

    OK, that's good (only 1 AV or firewall running). Everything else looks fine, but apparently there have been some issues with Snoop Free (see here) . Ten anti spyware programs does seem a bit of overkill though. How many of these launch at startup?
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    ALL of them launch on startup. Except that I don't think Snoop Free works on the LUA --- there are no little eyes in the Systray. And I've come to the conclusion I might not need them all --- especially since I get more than one notification every time something gets changed. Trouble is, I can't tell which ones are notifying about *only* something that others also are, or which one I should keep for the broadest protection.

    Worse still, the FUS stopped working. So I went exploring "resources" again. Looking around, I found a VERY long list of tasks and processes. I don't suppose that's too unusual except that there were a lot of duplicate entries. I understand that some services need to be open in two places or twice/whatever. I appreciate your tracking down pertinent articles --- no matter what I google I don't always come up with anything I can use.

    I've attached the file(s) with the current tasks/processes in case you can make any sense of them. It was too long to take a screenshot, and the Notepad file didn't line up the columns, sorry. Don't feel bad if you aren't into all that work <G>

    Callie
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Looks like I can only attach one file at a time. This is the running tasks.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  11. #11
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    The Startup list is >100k so I can't upload it. <img src=/S/yikes.gif border=0 alt=yikes width=15 height=15>
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  12. #12
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    I forgot to describe what happens when I try to Switch Users: The screen comes up, lets me type the password, then blinks and comes back on. Which is what it was doing before, and is doing again. I'm wondering if I've had the computer on too long and/or it needs to have Temp files or cache emptied....

    I'm also going to logon as Admin and see about cleaning some more.

    Callie
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

  13. #13
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: More on Limited User

    If you can format both of your earlier 2 attachments into columns (with the proper column headings), I'll take a look. You may have to save these as Word docs after they are formatted and then attach them to a new post.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  14. #14
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Remember that when you try to "Switch user" ALL files including temp files and memory files need to be copied to the hard disk. Once this is done then the new user account is started. Also these files are NOT deleted when one switches back to the first account.

    Here is a snag, if the second account was opened before, the old copy of the files must be checked to be updated which can take a very long time. Also note that if the C drive does not have much "Free space", switch user will fail. Some protection programs will not continue to operate when users are switched.

    There are so many problems with "Switch user" and "Limited accounts" I will not use either of them. These two itims are the worst things I have seen MS ever do.

    <big>It is a lot easier and problem free to logout as one user and then log in as another.</big>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  15. #15
    Star Lounger
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    Re: More on Limited User

    Thanks for being willing to take a look at those files. I'll get them formatted into readability when I get a chance. BTW, the "startup" list that's 179K is also >4000 entries!!! That can't be right, can it? I used StartupMonitor to take a look at it. Do you suppose it's looking at processes that start and then close or something??

    Thanks again for your help.

    Callie
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    ---- Arthur C. Clarke

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