Tuesday, 21 December 2004
In the wonderful world of computer security, we’d just assume have all you users logged in under an account that doesn’t have administrator rights to the computer. It’s not that we don’t trust you, it’s just that we can’t. There are too many risks associated with running that way, and some people will tell you it’s bad form (or even just plain lazy) to do so while developing software.

Along those lines, this is pretty darn cool: If you have the new MSN Desktop Suite’s DeskBar running for desktop search, you can do much more than just search your computer (as mentioned a few days back). So, for those of use looking for easier ways to run as an unprivileged user but still launch an occasional app as admin, here is a nugget of gold that you can use in the DeskBar:

@su,=runas /user:administrator $w

Once you enter that little line of code into the DeskBar and hit enter, all you’ll have to do going forward is type something like this in your DeskBar field:

su notepad.exe

Do that, and a window will open up prompting you to enter the Administrator account password (note that your @entry configuration line could just as easily specify an account other than Administrator – even domain\username). If you do so successfully, Notepad will open, running in the context of (and with the permissions associated with) the administrator account. Obviously, notepad is not the most likely candidate for this – I can see other programs getting some real miles out of this setup, though.

(Thanks to Brandon Paddock and a link found via someone’s linkblog…)

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