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I am trying to grant a user the ability to modify their network settings on the home version of Windows 10, without granting them Administrator access.

I am trying to do this without embedding the administrator credentials in anyway, on the user's account.

I have tried the following:

Of course, MMC tells me that I cannot access Local Users and Permissions snapin, as it is the Home version of Win 10

Via CMD:

net localgroup "Network Configuration Operators" /add user

System error 1376 has occurred.

The Specified local group does not exist.

The above is leading me to believe that the Network Configuration Operators group does not even exist as a group in the Home version of Win 10.

Also, Windows will not let me change the permissions on many of the files in the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers folder, and doing this actually messed up a bunch of drivers, which lead to me having to rebuild the box...

I know that I can create a user group via the net localgroup command, but I cannot seem to find any documentation on what specific permissions I need to assign to that user group.

Is there any way to do what I am trying to do?

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  • I doubt that setting all file permissions will eventually lead to a situation where you don't need administrator access anymore. But I haven't tested this so I'm not sure. Seems weird if this were possible though... Many systems depend on each other and its possible that by doing this, you grand permission to other sections too. (assuming this is possible)
    – LPChip
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 22:24

1 Answer 1

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My friend, your day has come: https://lists.zx2c4.com/pipermail/wireguard/2020-November/006094.html

I tested this on a Windows 10 Home machine yesterday, and it works (seemingly) great. I needed to get the user on the "Network Configuration Operators" group to get WireGuard working on that machine. Once completed, WireGuard connected, the (limited) user could control it, and they were able to get into our infrastructure from out and about.

BE ADVISED: In the link above, the attachment is part of their open-source mailing list software (or this hero's email client did it), so "the .reg file" I refer to is simply called attachment.bin at that link. Download that, and rename it nco.reg.

Essentially, it seems to make use of SysInternals' psexec.exe to run regedit as the Windows "SYSTEM" user, which, by importing the .reg file from above, allows you to create the "Network Configuration Operators" group on Windows 10 Home (File > Import > nco.reg). I didn't just install some random .reg file on the internet willy nilly - I did inspect it personally with a text editor, and I threw it up against VirusTotal (here).

That group does not exist on Windows 10 Home to begin with - your instincts are correct (try a running net localgroup on an administrative command prompt - you won't see it in the list of groups on the system).

FAIR WARNING: The user I performed this fix on seemed to be experiencing some problems on her laptop this morning (links not loading on and off the VPN, "out of memory" errors and such) - I have no idea if it's related, but I don't think it is. That laptop has just been a bum in the past, and we need to replace it.

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  • Follow Up: The issues I were encountering with that user that morning had nothing to do with the WireGuard setup. I have used the above setup numerous times on numerous computers and they have all worked, broadly, just fine.
    – tromlet
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 20:19

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