Aaron Margosis' Non-Admin, App-Compat and Sysinternals WebLog

The Non-Admin blog - running with least privilege on the desktop... and then dealing with the application compatibility fallout... and using Sysinternals and other utilities to figure things out

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  • Blog Post: Using NTFS Junctions to Fix Application Compatibility Issues on 64-bit Editions of Windows

    Executive Summary This paper describes a simple way to mitigate some types of application compatibility problems with legacy applications installed on 64-bit editions of Windows Vista and newer, including Windows 7 and Windows 8. The technique relies on creating an NTFS junction or symbolic link,...
  • Blog Post: FAQ: Where Do I Save Files, and How Exactly Do I Do That?

    The correct ways to identify folder paths to store files depends on the programming technology you use. This blog post shows how to do it in C++, C# and VB. NET, PowerShell, Windows Script Host (VBScript and JScript), and as a last resort, environment variables. One of the more common programming...
  • Blog Post: PrivBar Update

    PrivBar is a toolbar I first published over seven years ago (!) for Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer. I updated it three years ago to add support for x64. Today I am updating it to offer better support for Vista and Windows 7 and the corresponding Server versions. Specifically, instead of showing...
  • Blog Post: The Case of the Mysterious Law Manager Startup Error

    Getting Law Manager v2.4 to run on Windows 7 Overview Several of my customers run old versions (circa 2003) of a legal case management application called Law Manager , since acquired by Bridgeway. These customers reported that their old versions of Law Manager “don’t work” on Windows 7 and that the vendor...
  • Blog Post: LUA Buglight 2.1.1 with support for Win7/2008R2 SP1

    LUA Buglight 2.1.1 is was attached to this blog post and replaces v2.1. It adds support for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. It also fixes a localization bug. Now that I've (pretty much) finished work on the Windows Sysinternals Administrators Reference , maybe I can find time to write...
  • Blog Post: LUA Buglight 2.1 released

    LUA Buglight 2.1, identifies admin-permissions issues ("LUA bugs") in desktop applications. New version supports Windows 7 (x86 and x64), Vista (x86 and x64), XP (x86 only) and corresponding Server OSes. The download and more information is on this page: http://blogs.msdn.com/aaron_margosis/pages...
  • Blog Post: LUA Buglight

    LUA Buglight 2.1 is here. LUA Buglight identifies admin-permissions issues ("LUA bugs") in desktop applications. I've made a lot of changes to LUA Buglight since the last "2.0 Preview" that I posted, so the version number has been bumped up: Support for Windows 7, Vista and XP, and corresponding...
  • Blog Post: Live, on the internet...

    Ahoy , all -- Later this week I'll be appearing at a virtual roundtable hosted by Mark Russinovich , streaming live over the web. The topic is Windows 7 application compatibility. Among other things, I'll be demoing the latest (still-unreleased) updates to LUA Buglight (latest released version here ...
  • Blog Post: FAQ: How do I start a program as the desktop user from an elevated app?

    Common Vista/Win7 scenario: the app you’ve written runs with elevated permissions, but then needs to start another program as the non-elevated desktop user. For example, you want to display web content. Now, you could just launch the web browser from your app, and let the web browser run as admin. What...
  • Blog Post: The Return of PrivBar (x86 and x64)

    I recently switched internet service providers, not realizing when I did that PrivBar and MakeMeAdmin would suddenly disappear from the internet when they un-provisioned my space on their servers. Oops. To try to compensate you for the inconvenience, PrivBar is now available once again, now in x86...
  • Blog Post: LUA Buglight 2.0 - preview

    Attached to this blog post is a PREVIEW VERSION of LUA Buglight 2.0. LUA Buglight is a utility that helps identify "LUA bugs" in desktop applications -- the bugs that appear when the application is run as a standard user instead of as an administrator. Some of the improvements in LUA Buglight 2.0...
  • Blog Post: How to cleanly stop Explorer.exe on Windows Vista

    This is the first time I have blogged here about something other than running with least privilege. It's about a neat trick, though, that can be useful for some people. If you need to shut down the main Explorer process, you could just kill it from Task Manager or Process Explorer . But undesirable...
  • Blog Post: Scripting Elevation on Vista

    [Added 2007-07-02, 16:41 Eastern Time: I was thoroughly and inexcusably remiss in failing to include a reference to Michael Murgolo's excellent TechNet Magazine article, Script Elevation PowerToys for Windows Vista . I'm rectifying that now.] As I mentioned recently , although the RunAs.exe console...
  • Blog Post: FAQ: Why can’t I bypass the UAC prompt?

    The frequently asked question, "Why can't I bypass the UAC prompt?" is often accompanied by statements like one or more of the following: "We want our application to run elevated automatically without prompting the user." "I don't get why I can't authorize an application ONCE and be done with...
  • Blog Post: And so this is Vista…

    What becomes of all my earlier non-admin tips, tricks and recommendations vis-à-vis RunAs , MakeMeAdmin , PrivBar and their interactions with IE and Explorer ? The short answer is that Vista changes just about everything with respect to running with least privilege. Windows Vista makes running as...
  • Blog Post: Follow-up on "Setting color for *all* CMD shells based on admin/elevation status"

    [Updated, 2007-06-27] This is the (overdue) follow-up to my earlier blog post about setting the color and title of all CMD windows based on the admin/elevation status of that window. First of all, as some commenters noted -- and as I had discovered as well -- having the COLOR command run in the...
  • Blog Post: Setting color for *all* CMD shells based on admin/elevation status

    In my RunAs... and MakeMeAdmin posts, I recommend making your admin command shells visually different to set them apart from non-admin ones. You can change the default console window color on a per-account basis, but that doesn't help when the same account may be used in both admin and non-admin contexts...
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