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Since we run Windows 7-clients in our windows-server domain I have a specific use case that has become more inconvenient:

On the client-site, being logged-on as an user with restricted rights and having the user account control (UAC) activated on the highest level, you can run an application with administrative privileges by right-clicking onto it and choosing “Run as administrator”.

After that, a popup window is shown and asks for the username and password.

As a domain member you now have to enter your full hostname with a backslash following and the user name with administrative privileges (e.g. Administrator) in order to authenticate as local administrator.
On XP-machines you simply had to type in “Administrator” for the username.

That makes administration more inconvenient if you run various Windows-7 clients in a company, because you always have to lookup the hostname for the machine on which you want to run something with administrative privileges.

Is there a registry setting or a good workaround that lets you authenticate as administrator without having to enter the hostname for the machine, but not using tools like "RunAsSPC" or "Steel RunAs"?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

When you want to authenticate to the local computer, you can use a dot instead of the hostname. This doesn't make the issue go away entirely, but at least it prevents you from having to look up hostnames since . works everywhere.

Username: .\Administrator
Password: *******

In certain contexts, localhost will work instead. I haven't yet found a situation where either . or localhost doesn't work, but I'm sure there is one somewhere.

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How about creating a domain account and/or group that has administrative access to the client PC's and login as that account. Or depending on your access you can always login as a domain admin, who will have admin rights on client PC's. That also means that you don't have to manage local accounts on each PC.

Or if the point is to give your users admin access on their own PC's you could just add their domain account as an administrator to the client PC.

I guess it depends on exactly what your usage scenario is.

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almost a good solution, but I need to keep the user accounts with restricted rights (to prevent virus attacks) and can NOT use a shared domain account (which could be in the local group of administrators), because every machine's administrator password shall be different from the other's. –  Master of Celebration Dec 6 '10 at 14:12

If the logon account is already an administrator, you can set UAC through Local Policy changes to "Prompt for consent" or "Prompt for consent on the secure desktop".

For the Home version of Windows, there is a registry hack that sets this in :
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
Double-click ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin and set its value to:
2 - Prompt for consent on the secure desktop
4 - Prompt for consent

The much-simpler Consent dialog, where one only has to click Continue, looks like:

image

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yes, I knew about that. But as I explained in my briefing, the user's account has restricted rights only –  Master of Celebration Dec 6 '10 at 14:06
1  
Then in the case of a totally restricted user, the only solution I see is to write a script that does it for you: Picks up the machine name, asks for account & password and does the RunAs. You can add this script as a shell-extension, to be available in the right-click menu. –  harrymc Dec 6 '10 at 14:52
    
well, I'd rather prefer "Stephen Jennings" solution :-) –  Master of Celebration Jan 3 '13 at 14:00
    
Me too, even though it was posted just 2 years ago. –  harrymc Jan 3 '13 at 14:47

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