What programs run under a restricted account?

Question

I like to normally log on using a restricted User account, and use the password-protected Administrator account only when needed for program installation or system maintenance. I think this provides one more layer of security against malware and other threats. However, I have noticed 4-5 programs (including Outlook Web Access from my wife's work email, and MS Visio 2000), which will not run normally unless run under an account with Administrator privilges.

Are there any general principles for working around this? One option has been to use the "run as" option when starting those programs, and run them under the Administrator ID. However, that's a hassle, and doesn't work with all of them (for example, running a session of IE as Administrator doesn't work for that Outlook Web Access I mentioned). I'm also a believer in occasionally wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the OS and software - I do this every year or so, and maintain good data backups and documentation on all the software on the computer, to make the task less onerous, but it's still time consuming. Any chance that this wipe-and-reinstall would fix the behavior described above? The third option I've tried is to try to determine whether the program needs write access to certain directories which is denied under the user account, and granting that access selectively. Other ideas?

Thanks. You have a great website, show, and business.

Gary

Answer

This question was answered on March 20, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

There are certain programs which will simply not run correctly under Restricted Accounts One way to attempt to fix this is by changing the permissions for the specific program and user.

Click Start.

Click Run.

Type cmd and hit Enter.

At the command prompt type:

cacls "Program Files\<program name>" /e /t /p <username>:f

Change the Program Files\<program name> section to the full path to the program in question and <username> to the user you wish to grant access to This will give the user full control over the specified program without granting any other access.

This will not work for all programs however, in which case you will have to use the Runas command.

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Author

Posted by daryl of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 20, 2006