I'm looking after a couple of XP Home machines for my employer, and the first change I made was to provide Limited User accounts for day-to-day usage. Inevitably, there are some applications that for one reason or another need Administrator privileges to run properly, and then there are also cases where a service needs to be stopped/restarted in my absence, or some other such task.
The task Scheduler solves some of these problems, but is no use for (a) running commands on-demand and (b) certain apps that have a GUI component (e.g. systray applet) that fails to appear on the Limited User's desktop when run from the scheduler (not a problem when invoked via runas.exe).
The "best" solution I've so far seen is using encoded .vbe scripts with the Admin password embedded in them, but even this is pretty unsecure and slightly unreliable (relying on timeouts to supply the password to runas.exe at the right moment, which can be hard to predict on old and tired machines).
Is there any other software or hack (for want of a better word) available that allows the Limited User, perhaps through an intermediary password-controlled service, to perform some commands as an Admin, but only those that I specify?
Price will be a major factor in any software recommendations, as the shop have little to no desire to spend on this; freeware preferred!