Thursday, 23 July 2009

Installing program as an ordinary user, or how to give users an ability to install programs.


Recently I came across a task where I had to give users an ability to install and uninstall programs but without giving them administrative rights. Probably you can create some fancy scripts or buy a piece of software which can do this, but I found a simple and free solution :-)

Here are the steps.

1) Create a .bat file which will have only one line:


Call this bat file 1.bat and place it in the root of your C: drive.

2) Issue the following command in the CMD:

runas /user:Domain_name\user_name /savecred c:\1.bat

(where domain_name is the name of your domain, or local name of your PC and user_name is the name of the user with the appropriate rights to run Add and Remove programs)

this command should ask for the password of this user, enter the password
Once you have entered the password, Add Remove programs windows should open on behalf of the specified user. Once it’s done, close all open windows and go to the next step.

3) Now place a shortcut for appwiz.cpl (you can find it in C:\Windows\system32) on the user’s desktop, next time when the user will double click appwiz.cpl it will run on behalf of the user which we specified in step 2, because we used the key / savecred the password has already been saved in the Stored User names and Passwords. Do not worry, the user cannot see the saved password.

After you have done everything, you can just delete the batch file from your drive as it will not be used anymore, it is just used once, to store the password in the system.

Here you go, it’s done. I understand that this is not the most optional method and it has some disadvantages, such as manual entering of the password, but it is simple and it works :-)

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Take care,