Under windows .msi installer, if you specify a custom action to be run at an application's installation time, it will get run under the "SYSTEM" user. Can I trick it by passing a command line parameter to the custom action (.exe file) and make it run under the currently logged on user?


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Execute a program under a different user account.

      RUNAS [/profile] [/env] [/netonly] /user:user Program

   /profile   Option to load the user's profile (registry)
   /env       Use current environment instead of user's.
   /netonly   Use the credentials specified only for remote connections.
   /user      Username in form USER@DOMAIN or DOMAIN\USER
              (USER@DOMAIN is not compatible with /netonly)
   Program    The command to execute

Enter the password when prompted.

When you start a program with RunAs /netonly, the program will execute on your local computer as the user you are currently logged on as, but any connections to other computers on the network will be made using the user account specified.

Without /netonly everything will run under the user account specified.

  • I believe 'runas' is a shell command. I need the command to be 'myexe.exe' followed by some argument which would make it run under different credentials. Any other hints ? – kellogs Jan 13 '11 at 20:20
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    Any modifier that comes after the command has to be built into the program. An example is iexplore.exe /k This opens Internet Explorer in kiosk mode and is built into the executable. Unless you write a script which executes the shell command with the program if you pass a modifier to the script like myscript.bat that runs myfile.exe normally but myscript.bat /another that runs myfile.exe through the shell command as another user. – Stanley Williams Jan 13 '11 at 20:25
  • You are right. no way around it I guess. Thank you – kellogs Jan 13 '11 at 20:26
  • very silly @kellogs obviously you cannot say there is no way around it. In fact there most definitely is a way around it. I once ran a script that did runas and wrote a password, and there is a program that will run a cmd shell hidden. So it is possible in theory, as a combined solution. The program that runs things hidden is HSTART ntwind.com/software/hstart.html – barlop Feb 11 '13 at 12:14

In the shortcut target space:

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /profile /user:COMPUTERNAME_04\administrator C:\totalcmd\TOTALCMD64.EXE

If you want to open any application other than Administrator, Please do as per below - Hold shift key + Right Click on the application. This will show option "Run As Different User"

  • I think the OP wants to have the program executed as another user (e.g. the administrator, this is done as you propose) and then have the program calling another command/program that is run as the original user. So you answer a question that is not asked. – Tim Oct 15 '13 at 13:56

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