Explain installations and Administrator rights

Posted on 2004-11-28
Last Modified: 2008-03-06
 Can someone explain to me how to do the following hypothetical installations:

 I have an XP computer my family.  This computer has one Administrator (me) and three other users.  I have bought a new game with an installation package.

 Scenario #1:
   * I want to install this game one time to my computer such that all users in my family have the icon on their desktop and can play this game when they log into their account.

 Scenario #2:
   * I want to install this game one time to my computer but have only the Administrator see the game and play the game only during his login.

 Scenario #3:
   * I want a normal user to be able to install this game logged into his account but allow all users, including the Administrator to be able to use and play the game. (Is this possible?)

Thanks in advance.

Question by:EasyAim

    Accepted Solution

    There is no easy answer to this question.  It really depends on whether the application you are installing is designed for windows XP or not.  As a general rule, limited users cannot install applications, hence, they are limited.  So for scenario 3, the user generally shouldn't be able to install any applications.  However, this really depends on the application writer. as they can make the installer so that any user can install it.

    For the scenarios involving installing for only the current user/installing for all users, this again depends on the application writer.  To comply with the Windows XP application specification, applications should either default to install for all users, or should have an option to install for all users.  Again, this is not a guarantee, and it depends on the application developer sets up the install.  You can check to see if icons get installed for all users by going to (assuming you use C drive) c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop if you want it installed on the desktop, or C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu and then look in the appropriate folder there (for instance, in the Programs\Adobe folder if it is an Adobe Application) or you can simply login as a limited user and see if you have the icon where it is supposed to be.  If the icon for your program is there, then it was installed for all users, and if not, it wasn't.

    Unfortunately, there can be some other snags.  Some older applications will simply not run for limited users.  This may be because the application has files in places that limited users aren't allowed to access, or there may be some other reason.  It all really depends on how the software developer implemented their installer.  If you get an option to install for only the current user or for all users, then you are able to change these things at install time.  If you don't get this option, then the program installs however the developer set it to by default.  Unfortunately, your answers can only be found through trial and error, but you can make changes manually by copying/deleting the icons in the All Users and Current User directories.

    Author Comment

      Thanks for the reply.

       Not to digress but here's another slant to this same question:

       Is there any method of making an application "super global"?   That is, write a Visual Basic application that when the administrator starts it, and a another user changes to their login ID, that application is still running but under their user ID.
     The idea is that I have a database of scheduled events for my family.  I have a Visual Basic application that alerts the users when an alarm goes off.
      With the new multiple users environment, I can't figure out how to get a single application to run and still be "seen" by any and all the users.


       * Log in as "Administrator".
       * Open a 'Notepad' session.  Let this 'Notepad' session represent the home-built schedule alarm written Visual Basic.
       * Select 'Start' / 'Log off' / 'Switch User' /
       * Login as "Guest" (or some other user)
       * The 'Notepad' session should still be up and running (if set to run as our hypothetical "super global application").

      Is this clear as mud?

    Expert Comment

    If you have fast user switching enabled and you switch to another user, the applications you have running should still be running.  I really don't think they would be viewable by the other users, but they are still running.  This is why when you are on the login screen and you hover the mouse over a particular user it will tell you how many programs are running.  The program is still running, even if the only person who can get back into the program is the user who started it.  I'm not really sure how you would make an application "super global."
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Hi EasyAim :-),
    Since we haven't heard from you for a couple of days could you please give us an update on the status of this question?
    See: Thank you, turn123's friendly update request script.
    Offtopic comments about this script to please :-).

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