I wish that .CPLs and .MSCs were smarter about normal users.  I want to be a normal user, open a Control Panel applet, and have it prompt me for credentials if needed.  Same thing for the administrative tools.

Here's what I do instead.

I create a set of shortcuts in a folder called “Control Panel”:

runas.exe /user:Administrator "control access.cpl"

I even set the icon by pointing it back at the .CPL file.

I do something similar with a folder called “Administrative Tools”:

runas.exe /profile /user:Administrator "mmc %windir%\System32\compmgmt.msc"

Both folders go into the “Admin Tools“ folder, along with

CMD w/ network

runas.exe /env /user:Administrator "runas.exe /user:%USERDOMAIN%\%USERNAME% /env /netonly \"cmd\""

 

There’s a bug in Windows XP where certain controls running in this mode just won’t paint.  It seems to be fixed in Windows Server 2003.  Don’t know about Windows XP SP2.

 

CMD

runas.exe /env /user:Administrator "cmd"

 

Explorer w/ network. Enable “Launch folder windows in a separate process”, as both yourself & Administrator.

 

runas.exe /env /user:Administrator "runas.exe /user:%USERDOMAIN%\%USERNAME% /env /netonly \"explorer\""

 

Task manager

 

runas.exe /user:Administrator taskmgr.exe

 

Regedit

 

runas.exe /user:Administrator regedit.exe –m

 

The Admin Tools folder then becomes a toolbar on my taskbar.  With all this in place, I can get by as a normal user.