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Work arounds for BB Desktop Software 6 requiring admin privileges?

Posted on 2010-11-19
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We're trying to get the latest version of the Blackberry Desktop Software (v6.0.0.43 bundle 47) to launch on a Windows XP workstation without requiring administrator privileges.  The software will launch correctly only when the user account has admin privileges.  If a non admin account attempts to launch the software, it will flash the BB Desktop manager splash screen and then just disappear.  When viewed using Task Manager, the RIM.DesktopManager.exe process launches during that time, but then just disappears.  

The problem is not specific to either one user account or a a specific machine.  It happens on all of our machines that are using this version of the software and are members of our domain.  Our domain has numerous group policies in place.  So potentially the problem could be related to a group policy.

I'm looking for either a work around that will allow the BB Desktop software to launch or some additional troubleshooting tips.

Thanks
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Question by:tmartin_noaa
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Expert Comment

by:splait
ID: 34177736
Did earlier versions of Desktop Manager work in the same environment?  Have you contacted RIM?

You may have to go to a different version of the software.
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34177763
Thanks for the reply.  Here's the answers.

For the most part yes.  Earlier versions of the the Desktop Manager (4.7) launched fine in the same domain environment.  Although we were starting to encounter some issues with the BB software not connecting to devices after the initial synch happened.  Hence our attempt to move the most recent version.  

Contacts with RIM have been restricted to their website and KB.  

There doesn't seem to be any more recent versions of the software.   I guess we could roll back.  But it would be better to tackle this problem rather than roll back, tackle the connection problem and then at some point move forward and have to tackle this problem as well.  
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by:splait
ID: 34177803
Yeah, and your cellular provider is probably no help in a server environment.

My suggestion, then, is to post this issue on some of the RIM discussion groups.  If others are experiencing it, you'll know quickly.  There's also a chance that someone on this site has seen this or has an idea how to fixit, so keep your eyes here, too.

I hope you resolve this issue quickly.  I'm sorry I have no useful suggestions.

Except this one - you might want to consider raising the point value of this question.  You are most likely experiencing a problem that only a few people have, so the problem may be harder to solve than 125 points would indicate.

Oh, yeah.  You might want to add Windows Server (or something like that) as one of your zones so that you get to a bigger audience and one more likely to have seen this, since it isn't really a BB problem (although it IS a RIM problem).
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34177845
Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll keep trolling for some answers on various forums and see what turns up.   If no one else has responded by Monday, I'll select your answer as the solution.  

Regarding the points- I'm new to this forum.  Is there a standard point scale or some guidance?
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by:splait
ID: 34177872
Not really.  It's a free-for-all.  I try to set up point values based on how difficult the question is and how important the answer is to me or my client.  Since you are a Premium Member, you don't have a limit to points, and unless there are lots of people experiencing this problem, the number of people who can help you is limited, so you are asking for special expertise.

Handle it however you think is right.
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34177992
Well, its look v6 of the Blackberry Desktop Software is a bonafide bomb.  Problems started back in August and haven't stopped yet according to the BB Support forums.  

http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-Desktop-Software/Desktop-Manager-6-0-Crashing/td-p/565658/page/24

I'll keep sifting for an anwer.  
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by:splait
ID: 34178448
That's what I was afraid of.  When you find an answer, please come back and post it here.
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by:johnb6767
ID: 34178715
Does it help if it is installed as a user, Temporarily elevated to an Admin? Then removed and launched?

Might be  asimple thing to clear up really... Id have to wait until I got back to work to install the BDM v6 to test and try and pinpoint though......

Process Monitor
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/processmonitor.mspx

Save this to the root of C as an Admin, and login the problem user. Do a RunAs with your Admin Credentials to launch it, and then set the the filter at the top to Include "Result" is "Access Denied" then "Include", and then try and recreate the errors by launching the app. Then go look at the logging, and it will tell you where the permissions are restrictive. Once you open those up, keep retrying until you get the desired results....

Keep track of your changes, as they can be scripted to deploy to the other systems......
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34181543
Hi johnb6767-

I ran through some variations on that testing tree.  The problem disappears when the user is temporarily added to the local Admin group.  But as soon as they are returned to either the users or powerusers group, the problem returns.  

If you try and use the "Run as" while logged in as a regular user, you actually get a "file cannot be accessed.  Check permissions for the directory" type of error message.  The BB Software splash screen never even appears.  

I'll use the process manager tool when I get back to the office on Monday.  Thanks for the help and I'll post some results (probably late on Monday).

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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34181550
Oh and I should add

We've changed the permissions on the \Program Files\RIM and Program Files\Common\RIM directories to allow all users "full control".  It didn't make any difference.
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by:johnb6767
ID: 34181646
"If you try and use the "Run as" while logged in as a regular user, you actually get a "file cannot be accessed.  Check permissions for the directory" type of error message."

Thats normal doing a runas, especially if you are doing it from a user's desktop, as it cannot access parts of the profile possibly.....

And it might be a reg key in HKLM. If you would like to set the filter for desktopmanager.exe, and save a logfile, ill see if I can help with it......
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34192024
Hmm....

So here's the results using the Process Monitor utility.  

Process monitor is running using a domain account with admin priviliges.  This is the same admin level account used to install BB Software 6.0.43   The filter has been set to Results is Access Denied include.  

When the BB Desktop 6.0 software is launched using the same domain account with admin privileges, the pop up window immediately says "Windows cannot access the specific device, path or file.  You may not have the appropriate permisssions to access the item."   The Process Monitor log doesn't change at all.  Nothing appears at the same time the BB software was launched.  

I then reset the filter and set it for "process name is RIM.Desktop.exe"  and then tried the "run as" on the BB software.  The attached file contains the results.  There doesn't seem to be any obvious "access denied" or buffer overflows involved.   RIM.Desktop.exe.txt.  

We'll give this a few more tries before I simply direct the boss back to the RIM forum page with the explanation that something is buggy with th software.  Its a weak excuse, but time is a rare commodity and could be spent more wisely.  
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by:johnb6767
ID: 34193762
"When the BB Desktop 6.0 software is launched using the same domain account with admin privileges, the pop up window immediately says "Windows cannot access the specific device, path or file."

Ok, I thought we were talking about a permisisons problem with a limited user.....

Still fails on a local Admin? Might need to change the filter to Not Found, or Name Not Found..... Or get the whole thing....

Ill upgrade one tomorrow and see how it plays as a local limited domain account....
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34198559
Quick clarification- The pop up window appears when the BB Software 6.0 is launched using the "run as" with a domain account that has been temporarily added to the local admins group.  

We are still primarily talking about a permissions problem with a limited user.  But we are also slipping into why the Software won't run using a "run as" and a local admin account.  

There are plenty of "name not found" messages in the Process monitor log attached in the above msg.  
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by:johnb6767
ID: 34202570
OK, got confused there for a brief moment......

Thew RunAs is flaky at best, depending on where you are launching it from. A desktop shortcut perhaps, will usually error on alot of apps, depending on how the profile's permissions are setup. What about going straight to %programfiles%\Rim....?
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34207410
Hi john6767-

I get the same results when I launch the Rim.desktop.exe file using "run as" from the Program files directory.  

I spoke with our domain admin again yesterday.  He explained another piece to this puzzle.  We're using a product called Beyond Trust to elevate privileges for selected applications that require admin privileges to run.  Beyond Trust works by temporarily adding the local admin token to the regular account as it launches the process.  We verified that the Rim.Desktop.exe file is triggering that software and should be running using the regular domain account that temporarily has the local admin SID/token associated with it.  So the software should be launched with an account that has admin privileges.  But its still crashing/disappearing without a trace.  

There are other machines in our domain that are operating under the same policies and Beyond Trust rules.  They are not experiencing this problem.  That makes him think the problem is something specific to the machines instead of the domain.  (Standard case of too many cooks in the kitchen when the turkey is burned.)  

At this point- I'm leaning towards a buggy application.  Hopefully RIM will release the next version shortly.  Although I'm sure they will take more time with the beta testing with this version.  
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Accepted Solution

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johnb6767 earned 250 total points
ID: 34207420
OK.... I installed Blackberry Desktop Software v 6.0.0.43, from our stash, as an Admin, logged off, and back on as a Limited User account (never logged onto this machine before)....

App came up fine.
Connected the device, device itself installed fine....
Removed some games I dont play anymore....

All without errors....

I would look at testing another user account, and another machine perhaps.....

Also, could be you have a tighter security policy applied perhaps, than I have?

Im sorry, I prolly wont be much help since I cannot duplicate the problem.....
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Author Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34232432
I wouldn't be too surprised if it was something in our domain level security policies that is blocking the app from running.  There's a lot of cooks in this kitchen and each have applied their own level of granular security settings.   The fact that it works on some machines, but not others makes me think it is a misapplied filter or security group setting.  

Thanks for the effort johnb6767.  Although its not the "solve it" solution, your efforts are appreciated.  So I went ahead and assigned the solution to you.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:tmartin_noaa
ID: 34232493
The answer helped to narrow the source of the problem, but it didn't really solve the problem.  Given that the problem is probably related  to our domain settings, there isn't much someone outside the domain can do to help resolve it.
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