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Portable app opening wrong desktop after switch to standard user...


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#1 AshleyQuick

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:38 PM

For years, I've used an admin account in Windows for everyday use. Based on recommendations, I finally switched to using a Standard account for safety. Consequently, a portable app that I use regularly now prompts me to enter my Admin password and when I open files within the app, it defaults to the admin's desktop and not the desktop for the account I'm on. 

 

Surely admins in businesses face similar issues. What is a solution? It's cumbersome to now drill down to C:\Users\name\desktop\



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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:20 PM

Sadly many software developers assume (quite correctly) that most people do their daily tasks on their PC as administrator. This of course is a massive security risk in total defiance of the whole premise of having standard user accounts.

 

With the few applications that require this to function on my network I either modify a desktop shortcut to run as admin by using this method which requires you to create a new vulnerability, but preferably this method.

 

There is another way using Powershell, but these work in most cases.



#3 TsVk!

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:41 PM

Thinking about this a bit... none of these may work in your situation, it may just be poorly designed software. Might be worth reporting to the developer if you ever want it changed.



#4 Kilroy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:02 AM

When you switched to a standard account did you create a new account to use or change your account from and Administrator to a Standard?

 

I'm guessing that you created a new account and the files you are trying to open are in the Administrator's profile.  If you move the files from the Administrator's profile to the new account it should resolve the issue.



#5 britechguy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:28 AM

Sadly many software developers assume (quite correctly) that most people do their daily tasks on their PC as administrator. This of course is a massive security risk in total defiance of the whole premise of having standard user accounts.

 

Actually, I have to disagree with the "massive security risk" comment, particularly after the introduction of User Account Control.  Anything that requires administrator privilege, even if you're logged in under an administrator account, prompts for elevation (and if you don't allow it, will either stop or run with standard privilege).

 

It would drive me absolutely insane to try to use any PC regularly under a standard account.  There are just too many software installs or uninstalls, settings tweaks that I need to do for testing purposes, etc., to ever consider using a standard account.  If I did the only thing this would do is create the added annoyance of having to log in to an administrator account to do most of this work, and even when logged in under that account one has to use the "Run as administrator" feature or elevate when prompted by UAC.

 

An account with administrator privileges has long ago ceased to be anything like the actual Administrator account under Windows, which has been disabled by default for a very long time now.


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#6 AshleyQuick

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:38 PM

When you switched to a standard account did you create a new account to use or change your account from and Administrator to a Standard?

 

I'm guessing that you created a new account and the files you are trying to open are in the Administrator's profile.  If you move the files from the Administrator's profile to the new account it should resolve the issue.

 

No this Standard account was once an Admin account. Is that an issue?



#7 Kilroy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:32 PM

Well, if that's the case then it may be a rights issue.  The reason for most portable applications is so that you don't need administrative rights.  Also, there might be a config or .ini file that the portable application uses to "remember" where it was working.

 

Might be helpful to know where the files are stored and what the portable application is.

 

britechguy I have to disagree with the Administrative account.  For both home and work I use a standard account.  I have administrative accounts when needed.  The danger these days is that you won't get a UAC popup before malware takes over.  You will only see the UAC if it is trying to place files in a secure place (C:\Program Files\ for instance) or change a system setting that is protected, these are things that malware will avoid.  There are a great many things where you would not see a UAC message and once your computer is infected the malware has the same rights that you have.

 

Once you have a machine configured very rarely will you need to provide administrative credentials if you run with a standard account.  Tom's Hardware had a piece on this.  Here is a quote from the article.

 

 

 

"Removing admin rights would mitigate 96 percent of critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows operating systems, 91 percent of critical vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft Office and 100 percent of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer," 

Edited by Kilroy, 14 June 2017 - 03:36 PM.


#8 AshleyQuick

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:39 PM

It's stored here: C:\Users\dstew\Documents\_apps

 

It's a graphics program (.exe).



#9 britechguy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:42 PM

Kilroy,

 

         We shall have to agree to disagree.

 

         Not that I don't think that the quote from the article you reference is correct, but as close to 100% of critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows would never be exploited, and could never be exploited, were it not for direct user action.

 

         Learning how to safely interact with cyberspace is not rocket science, and those who don't do so get infections of various sorts on a regular basis.

 

        The user is the first and primary line of defense.  That many just don't, can't, or won't recognize this creates a virtually insurmountable problem.

 

         Also, the frequency of needing admin privileges is directly related to exactly what one does on a regular basis on one's machine.  I am endlessly updating software related to what I do for a living and, as I said previously, would lose my mind were I not able to act without anything more than UAC popping up on a regular basis.  The fact that I have not had a malware or virus infection on any of my machines for several decades now and no detections and quarantining means I have to be doing something right.  It's not "just dumb luck."


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#10 bwv848

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 04:56 PM

Ashley, what exactly is the name of the graphics program? :)


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#11 TsVk!

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 05:06 PM

 

Sadly many software developers assume (quite correctly) that most people do their daily tasks on their PC as administrator. This of course is a massive security risk in total defiance of the whole premise of having standard user accounts.

 

Actually, I have to disagree with the "massive security risk" comment, particularly after the introduction of User Account Control.  Anything that requires administrator privilege, even if you're logged in under an administrator account, prompts for elevation (and if you don't allow it, will either stop or run with standard privilege).

 

It would drive me absolutely insane to try to use any PC regularly under a standard account.  There are just too many software installs or uninstalls, settings tweaks that I need to do for testing purposes, etc., to ever consider using a standard account.  If I did the only thing this would do is create the added annoyance of having to log in to an administrator account to do most of this work, and even when logged in under that account one has to use the "Run as administrator" feature or elevate when prompted by UAC.

 

An account with administrator privileges has long ago ceased to be anything like the actual Administrator account under Windows, which has been disabled by default for a very long time now.

 

Maybe "massive" is an overstatement, sure things have progressed.

 

Still, almost 200 users on standard accounts here. 4 years with 0 infections. Sure there is a restricted execution group policy also, but the numbers don't lie. It is a recommended setting unless you are modifying your system constantly.



#12 Kilroy

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 02:33 PM

It's stored here: C:\Users\dstew\Documents\_apps

 

It's a graphics program (.exe).

 

So, the account you are running it with is dstew, correct?  If not, that's why you're getting the Admin prompt.  You should be able to give the account you are using access to C:\Users\dstew\Documents\_apps and get rid of the prompt.  Another way would be to move the _apps folder to C:\






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