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I've configured a Windows-7 Professional machine with a particular data acquisiation program for a experiment, that will be carried out by a different group at a remote location.

The DAQ equipment communicates with the computer over ethernet. I've built both computer and DAQ equipment into a single case; I also did a HW modification on the NIC connecting the DAQ stuff to the computer, so that the connection is fully contained in that system. It is this NIC, that must have under no circumstances its settings changed, otherwise the whole system will cease to work.

However, since the whole thing is going to be placed in an area of high ionizing radiation levels during the experiment, it must be remote controlled, for which the other, the available network port is to be used. And since I don't know the network settings at the facility the experiment is going to happen I cannot preconfigure it.

Which means, I want to protect the "mission critical" NIC from having its settings altered, while the regular NIC should be user configurable.

How can I do this with Windows-7 Professional?

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1 Answer 1

This is an interesting scenarios. The OS's security requires admin privs to change the NIC settings.

Preventing an admin from changing settings is a lost cause.

Have you thought about creating a separate user account to run your monitoring software? You can then use the UAC prompt to change the NIC.

Or have the Admin's password reset after a certain time period, which would allow someone to change the NIC initially, but not after the time period is up.

Or even create a separate Admin account and use Task scheduler to disable the account after a certain amount of time.

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The DAQ software is already to be executed by a unprivileged user. ATM changing NIC settings is only possible with a admin password. Doing this with a timing is a bad idea, because: A) the system will be there only for a few days (the measurements) and B) if the network there is as b0rked as the network at the other research facility I built this for, you will have to make changes to the network on a Day-to-Day base. Seriously, even something simple like PEG-DHCP would be a huge advantage there. –  datenwolf Mar 8 '12 at 21:38
    
If this whole thing was running unter Linux it was more or less trivial for me to implement this: Static configuration for the measurement NIC and the other NIC under the control of NetworkManager, available for configuration by user. But unfortunately the library to talk to the DAQ system is for Windows only. –  datenwolf Mar 8 '12 at 21:39
    
@datenwolf in windows a static address can be set for one adapter. it is not systemwide, so the ability to connect via DHCP or DHCP client on a second adapter would not get in the way of that. –  Psycogeek Mar 8 '12 at 23:55
    
@Psycogeek: Yes, I know this. You gave me a correct answer to the wrong question. The non-DAQ NIC may be required to be configured by the user, because there may be no DHCP on site or they're using en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peg_DHCP So my problem is: One adapter must be user configurable, while the other must be bolted down. –  datenwolf Mar 9 '12 at 1:58

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