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Multiple users use the same Windows XP PC. They have no admin rights, but after logging in they all need to use the same application that needs to be started with admin rights.

How would I do this?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

A couple of possibilities:

  • Look into using RunAs with the /savecred switch. Be aware that this is a huge security hole though since if the user finds out that the credentials have been saved, they will be able to launch anything under the Administrator account using RunAs

  • Launch the program via a VBScript that has the Administrator credentials in it. Use screnc.exe to encrypt the .vbs into a .vbe. It's easily decrypted though, plus Microsoft seem to have taken screnc.exe off their downloads area.

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I've just realised that I've given you two options that you'd probably never want to use :/ – Chris McKeown Oct 5 '12 at 8:10

It's very rarely the case that the application actually needs to be run with admin privileges, but if that's actually the case here, consider running it under the SYSTEM account.

Otherwise, my preferred solution, after saving the system configs/doing a backup and warning/threatening the users is to grant user-level accounts the required permissions (usually write or modify) to the registry and/or file locations the program is trying to access. If support for this products doesn't know what those locations are, you can find out with Process Monitor.

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+1 for this, grant the required permissions and no more. Spot on. – Chris McKeown Oct 5 '12 at 18:40

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