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Sometimes I need to make a config change on another user's PC. The user doesn't have admin rights so I try to start control panel using the runas command. I can start other stuff with the command but if I try to start control panel nothing happens. It doesn't even give me an error message.

Alternatively I start another command prompt as admin (using the runas command again) and from that try to start control panel. Still no joy.

Is control panel designed not to be startable from a non-admin profile as an admin user?

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You can give a try to the command sfc /scannow in ruas box. – avirk Jun 7 '12 at 8:43
@avirk: What is the SFC scan supposed to achieve? – grawity Jun 7 '12 at 9:26
@grawity, If I'm not wrong then this command will immediately initiate the Windows File Protection service to scan all protected files and verify their integrity, replacing any files with which it finds a problem. – avirk Jun 7 '12 at 9:28

Starting with Windows 95, Control Panel is not a separate program but a special Windows Explorer namespace, and the control.exe program just opens the Control Panel namespace in Explorer.

By default, Windows Explorer only runs one instance of itself per desktop – when attempting to run it via runas, the new process will only ask the first instance to open a new window.

You should be able to start explorer /separate, however, and navigate to the Control Panel from there.

Alternatively, many applets can be launched directly, e.g. mmc compmgmt.msc, sysdm.cpl or desk.cpl. Even in a normal user's Control Panel, you can Shift + right click an applet and use "Run As..." in the context menu. (This won't work Fonts or Printers; they are virtual folders like Control Panel itself.)

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Printers is the one I wanted to start. I will try the explorer /separarte command and then start printers from there. – MrVimes Jun 7 '12 at 8:06
For others' reference, dir %SystemRoot%\System32\*.cpl will show a list of available applets. Won't work for Printers, as noted in the answer. – Bob Jun 7 '12 at 8:11
Not to forget *.mmc -- er, yeah, *.msc -- in the same directory (most of which are normally listed as Administrative Tools) – grawity Jun 7 '12 at 8:15
@grawity *.msc... which actually reveals the printmanagement.msc, which can be run as admin. – Bob Jun 7 '12 at 8:16
@Bob It doesn't seem to be part of base XP Pro SP3 installation, however. – grawity Jun 7 '12 at 8:17

Try this:

runas /user:DOMAIN\USERNAME "explorer.exe /N,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\::{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
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Simply hold down the shift key and right-click the icon in the control panel that you want to run as admin and you'll get a run as option in the menu.

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In XP? Are you sure? That was never available to me, even with Service Pack 3... – Canadian Luke Jun 20 '14 at 14:56

You can do any config from Command Prompt.

But try to run mmc from Command Prompt. It has all the things you need.

Just add what you need.

Or you can run mmc in you pc, and then in file menu select the host you want.

Good Luck

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