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How to run as adminstraror without UAC prompt

Posted on 2013-11-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
One of my users with a Win 7 machine has a program that he needs to use.  Unfortunately it needs to be run as adminstrator.  I changed the compatability settings to run the program as the administrator and provided the administrator credentials.  Whenever he tries to run the program he's prompted for the adminstrator credentials which i then need to type in.  Very annoying.  His coworker, who is on an XP box, does not have this issue.

What am I missing?  Thanks!
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Question by:jmerulla
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39659262
Your missing nothing. That's how Windows 7 works and you shouldn't change this. Create an administrative account for your user and give him the password for that account.

You could of course turn off UAC, but as I mentioned, you shouldn't turn that off, as otherwise you loose all the security features of Windows 7.
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by:gurutc
ID: 39659274
It's true you lose the security features of Win7, but if you're ok with XP level security then turning off UAC is the answer.

- gurutc
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Author Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39659287
I'd prefer not to give the user local admin rights to his machine for him to use one program.  Turning off UAC could be dangerous in other ways too.
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by:Jason Watkins
ID: 39659388
I think you'll be alright if you just make an admin user account for that user on that computer. The only trouble he/she could get into is if they were to log in as that local admin, which they probably won't do. Don't forget, all of the user's data and settings will be in the regular, non-administrative, profile and not the administrative profile.
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by:gurutc
ID: 39659406
Are you having the issue because the program is installed in C:\Program Files which UAC guards like a pit bull?  Have you tried installing it into D:\Program Files if you have a D: drive?

Also, you can edit the permissions on HKLM\Software\YourApp and give either Everyone or your user's userid Full Control of the YourApp Key.

These two mods address the likely reasons that only allow admins to run the app.

- gurutc
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by:McKnife
ID: 39659439
Hmm, some comments show very little understanding of how UAC works, I must say.
You don't just turn it off and all is good... you will also need to promote the user to administrator which never is a good idea.

What has not been discussed yet is using a shim. Shims are compatibility instructions that, in this case, would tell the program to run with the privileges of the executing user ("runasinvoker") and not try to gain higher privileges through UAC elevation.

But first we need to know what level of access the xp user (for whom it works) has, admin, power user or limited user?
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Author Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39660945
McKnife - the XP user does not have any admin rights to his machine. Just a regular user.
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by:McKnife
ID: 39660999
If that's indeed true, then the shim would be your solution. The compatibility fix to be applied is called "runasinvoker". Those shims can be deployed domain wide using startup scripts.
Full story on shims: http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2011/06/17/demystifying-shims-or-using-the-app-compat-toolkit-to-make-your-old-stuff-work-with-your-new-stuff.aspx
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by:nobus
ID: 39661756
make a shortcut on the desktop for that program
rightclick it, and select properties
now choose the shortcut tab -  and click advanced  knob
check the run as Admin
that should take care of it
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39661802
nobus, the user in question is no administrator.
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by:nobus
ID: 39662290
McKnife  - i know that, and don't understand why you say this?
anyway - let the asker answer; that's the easiest
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Author Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39662783
nobus, when you check the "run as admin" box in the shortcut and enter the admin credentials the user is still prompted for admin credentials when double-clicking on the shortcut.  that's why i posted this question.
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Author Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39676107
McKnife - I created the shim with the "RunAsInvoker" compatibility fix and still get prompted for admin credentials when I try running the program.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39676117
It seems you haven't installed the shim. Installation is described in the last paragraph of my link.
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Author Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39676151
The shim was created and the shim database was saved.  I got the "installation successful" message when I ran sdbinst.exe with the database that was created.
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by:McKnife
ID: 39676171
Never seen that it does not work. What program is it and what is the path to the exe? Has the user read+execute permissions on that exe? If he hasn't, no wonder.
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Author Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39677476
It's a benefits calculator program called BenXL.  It is stored in a folder also called BenXL on the user's C Drive and accesses a SQL database on a server.  When the user attemopts to run the program it never connects to the server.  But if the program is run as administrator it runs without an issue.  The user has full control of the folder on his computer so it's not an issue of accessing any of the files on his computer.  His coworker is able to access the program without an issue on his XP machine.
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Accepted Solution

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McKnife earned 2000 total points
ID: 39677542
Ok. Please run procmon at the client to monitor file and registry access of "benxl.exe" or whatever it's called. Then filter for the term "access denied" and report that output.
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Author Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39689901
When I ran pcmon as the user it shows that the program is trying to access the SQL server but the ip address that is listed is not the ip address of the server.  When the program is run as administrator it shows that it is trying to access the server via the correct ip address.
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Expert Comment

by:gurutc
ID: 39689927
That looks like a profile issue for that user.

- gurutc
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Author Closing Comment

by:jmerulla
ID: 39708393
We were able to determine the cause of the issue when running procmon.  The program was trying to access files from a temp folder instead of from the folder where the program resides.  That's Windows 7 for you.
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