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.



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




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.