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Posted on 2011-04-19
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Can some one explain the difference between the administrator account and being an administrator in Windows 7? When would you use/run something as an administrator?
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Question by:chadfran
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by:John Hurst
ID: 35428391
The adminstrator account is disabled in Windows 7 (and should be left disabled for security reasons). The *frist* person who starts a Windows 7 installation is a member of the adminstrators group and is the computer administatrator.

On top of that, UAC (User Account Control) is added security and should be retained. You can use the lowest level, but it will crop up as the first user (administrator) installs software.

It all works very well once you get used to it. ... Thinkpads_User
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LeeTutor earned 1000 total points
ID: 35428398
The relationship of Administrator, User Account Control, and Run as Administrator is the same in Windows 7 as it was in Windows Vista.  Therefore, for a good explanation of it, I will refer you this web page on Vista User Account Control:

http://www.jimmah.com/vista/security/uac.aspx
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Author Comment

by:chadfran
ID: 35429120
K that kind of makes sense, but what does it mean by saying...If the currently logged on user is a member of the Administrators group, the program is given administrator access to the system, but still runs in the context of the currently logged on user.

However, if the currently logged on user is not a member of the Administrators group, the program will run in the context of the administrator account that was used to authenticate with the UAC dialog.

I made myself apart of the admin group. So from what I understand all programs will run as a standard user unless I right click and say run as an administrator even though I'm apart of the admin group. But I've installed a lot of programs without running as an admin and they work/run fine? So my question is unless I run into a program that needs run as admin I guess I shouldn't use it; correct?
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Author Comment

by:chadfran
ID: 35429131
and what is the point of the admin group now...
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 35429164
User Account Control changes things a bit.

Well behaved programs generally do not need to run as administrator to run. Some technical programs do, but then UAC will pop up and ask permission to run. If the current user is a member of the administrators group, then it will ask for YES/NO permission. If the current user is not a member of the admin group, it will ask for the administrator's userid and password.

>>> So my question is unless I run into a program that needs run as admin I guess I shouldn't use it; correct?

By and large, yes. Those kind of programs are problems for regular users. However, if it is your own computer, there is no harm done. I run such programs, but they are not really user programs.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35429173
>>> and what is the point of the admin group now...

In addition to running most any program, the administrator can see the entire file system (UAC will still pop up). But regular users cannot see the entire file system.

Are you coming from XP? Windows 7 is vastly different.  ... Thinkpads_User
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 35429187
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by:John Hurst
ID: 35429207
One of the things that works better in Windows 7 than in XP, is that an adminstrator can normally install a program simply by running as adminstrator. That did not always work in XP and does work better in Windows 7.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:chadfran
ID: 35429222
Can you tell ;) We are moving to Win7/ Server8 and I'm going to have  to become an expert fast. So far I haven't found too much different except the where the #ell is this or that application. You cleared up for me the admin piece. I was thinking that It was an admin user and the run as admin was a "super" admin user.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 35429256
>>> I was thinking that It was an admin user and the run as admin was a "super" admin user.
Not really. The "administrator" account is disabled for security reasons as noted above. The "first" user is the administrator - not "super" admin. Super admin is not a concept in Windows 7 that I know of.

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35429271
Thank you and good luck with Windows 7. It is a nice system to use. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:chadfran
ID: 35429276
I know now, but that is what I was thinking before I asked the question. Similar to Unix world. Thanks for clearing things up.
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