[windows2000] KB: Making Legacy Applications Work without Administrative Access on W2K/XP

  • From: "Jim Kenzig http://thethin.net" <jimkenz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 23:28:08 -0500

Found this great tidbit on Scripthorizon.com

Making Legacy Applications Work without Administrative Access

Question: Some legacy applications that I want to run in Windows 2000/XP do
not run unless the user is either a Power User or an Administrator. Is there
a way around this?
Solution: Actually...there is! The reason why adding a user to the Power
Users local group makes some legacy applications (such as those written for
NT 4.0) work is that the privileges of the Power Users local group are
roughly equivalent to those of the Users local group in Windows NT 4.0. Most
of the time, the error results from the application not having the
appropriate access to write to certain registry keys or directories (such as
Program Files).
Microsoft anticipated this and has already made available security templates
that can be applied to Windows 2000/XP so that most of these legacy
applications can run as normal. To run it, follow these steps:

Open up a command prompt
Go to %WINDIR%\security\templates (%WINDIR% is the installation path of
Windows 2000/XP, i.e. C:\WINNT)
Now type the command secedit /configure /cfg compatws.inf /db compatws.sdb
This may take a while as Windows 2000/XP will reconfigure access rights on
the registry and file system
Once done, try running the application as a regular user....it should now
I've tested this method out a couple of stubborn legacy apps (like AutoCAD
Release 14.01) and it worked flawlessly. I believe it's the easiest method
to accomplish this task without giving users additional privileges they do
not need (for example, Power Users can create local accounts and change the
system time).

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