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is it necessary for new users to be local admins?

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Anonymous
April 14, 2005 5:23:23 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage (More info?)

We are upgrading to xp, and we need to know should we limit our users so
that they are not local admins. Will this break any software in it's normal
day-to-day operations (aside from installation issues)?

Thanks.

More about : users local admins

Anonymous
April 14, 2005 5:23:36 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage (More info?)

Chip,
Unfortunately, yes. Many applications behave irregularly (or not at all)
without local administrator priveleges. There are workarounds for this, but
they should be implemented on a case-by-case basis. My best advice would be
to configure a few machines in a lab environment with the software you use
and establish several users with different privelege levels, and see what
your users require. Hope this helps.

Aaron Firouz

"Chip Orange" wrote:

> We are upgrading to xp, and we need to know should we limit our users so
> that they are not local admins. Will this break any software in it's normal
> day-to-day operations (aside from installation issues)?
>
> Thanks.
>
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 11:51:04 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage (More info?)

Chip Orange wrote:
> We are upgrading to xp, and we need to know should we limit our users so
> that they are not local admins.


Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. There's almost never a good reason to
give regular users elevated security permissions.

HOW TO Create and Configure User Accounts in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;279783

HOW TO Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q308418


> Will this break any software in it's normal
> day-to-day operations (aside from installation issues)?
>


WinXP's security paradigm won't "break" any properly designed and
compatible applications. However, some poorly coded applications do
sometimes require the user to have elevated privileges. If security is
of concern to you, such applications should be removed and replaced.

You may experience some problems if the software was designed for
Win9x/Me, or if it was intended for WinNT/2K/XP, but was improperly
designed. Quite simply, the installation routine for this application
doesn't "know" how to handle individual user profiles, or the
application tries to make changes to "off-limits" sections of the
registry or protected Windows system folders. Quite often, you can make
this software available to other users by _copying_ the Start Menu
folder and Desktop folder shortcuts from the user profile from which the
software was installed in the corresponding folders in the user
profile(s) in which you'd like the software to be accessible. If the
application is something that can/should be made available to all
current and future users, copying the shortcuts into the corresponding
locations of the All Users profile will do the trick.

For some obscure reason, game developers in particular seem to not
understand WinXP's file security paradigm, and require even limited
users to have unnecessarily high privileges to protected systems
folders. For example, saved games are often stored in a sub-folder
under the game's folder within C:\Program Files - a place where no
inexperienced or limited user should have write permissions.

NOTE: This may not work if the software requires access to parts
of the hard drive and/or registry that are not normally accessible to
regular users. (This won't occur if the application was properly
written.) If this does prove to be the case, however, you're left with
two options: Either grant the necessary users appropriate higher access
privileges (either as Power Users or local administrators), or replace
the application with one that was properly designed specifically for
WinNT/2K/XP.

Some Programs Do Not Work If You Log On from Limited Account
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q307091

Additionally, here are a couple of tips suggested, in a reply to a
different post, by MS-MVP Kent W. England:

"If your game or application works with admin accounts, but not with
limited accounts, you can fix it to allow limited users to access the
program files folder with "change" capability rather than "read" which
is the default.

C:\>cacls "Program Files\appfolder" /e /t /p users:c

where "appfolder" is the folder where the application is installed.

If you wish to undo these changes, then run

C:\>cacls "Program Files\appfolder" /e /t /p users:r

If you still have a problem with running the program or saving
settings on limited accounts, you may need to change permissions on
the registry keys. Run regedit.exe and go to HKLM\Software\vendor\app,
where "vendor\app" is the key that the software vendor used for your
specific program. Change the permissions on this key to allow Users
full control."


--

Bruce Chambers

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