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Unable to open an elevated Windows Explorer window

    Question

  • Hello,

    In Windows Vista, it was possible to run an elevated Windows Explorer window. To do so, enable the "Launch folder windows in a separate process" check box, log off, and then log back on. After that, you can right-click the Windows Explorer shortcut and choose "Run as administrator."

    This no longer works in Windows 7. It is a legitimate need to occasionally run Windows Explorer elevated; for example, to register or unregister WSC (Windows script component files) or to run Windows scripts elevated.

    Can anyone comment on this limitation and whether it is a flaw or by design?

    Thanks!

    Bill Stewart
    Monday, February 01, 2010 7:19 PM

Answers

  • I am currently using Explorer++ to work around this limitation. But I would still like to hear an official answer regarding this problem.

    Bill
    • Marked as answer by Bill_Stewart Friday, March 14, 2014 3:34 PM
    Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:12 PM

All replies

  • It appears to work for me (I can right-click Windows Explorer in the Start menu and choose 'Run as Admin'.  It prompts for confirmation, but then when I test it to see if I can, for example, create a folder in the System32 directory, it still prompts for confirmation again.

    I'd be interested in an answer as well.

    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 5:19 AM
  • What happens if you run Explorer from an elevated command prompt? FWIW right clicking on Explorer and using Run as administrator works for me. What can't you do?

    Kerry Brown MS-MVP - Windows Desktop Experience
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 7:01 AM
  • FWIW right clicking on Explorer and using Run as administrator works for me.

    Kerry Brown MS-MVP - Windows Desktop Experience
    I doubt this. The process starts, but not with elevated rights (High IL). It only has medium IL.

    Windows 7 uses a DCOM mechnism to start Explorer (explorer.exe /factory,{GUID}) and this desn't allow you to start the explorer elevated.

    André

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 3:27 PM
  • What happens if you run Explorer from an elevated command prompt? FWIW right clicking on Explorer and using Run as administrator works for me. What can't you do?
    Hi,

    Please carefully re-read my original post :) It works in Vista with "Launch folder windows in a separate process", but it does not work in Windows 7. There are legitimate reasons why I occasionally need to work from an elevated Windows Explorer window. Two examples come to mind: Registering or unregistering a WSC (Windows script component file); executing a Windows script elevated by double-clicking on it (for example, a .vbs or .js file).

    Regards,

    Bill
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 3:40 PM
  • It appears to work for me (I can right-click Windows Explorer in the Start menu and choose 'Run as Admin'.  It prompts for confirmation, but then when I test it to see if I can, for example, create a folder in the System32 directory, it still prompts for confirmation again.
    That's because 'Run as administrator' for Explorer doesn't actually run it as administrator. Install the PrivBar DLL and you'll see what I mean.This appears to be broken in Windows 7.

    Bill
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 3:42 PM
  • I know exactly what you mean, I don't want to run explorer as "Administrator" but as my Domain Admin Account, and in XP I usually opened a command prompt with elevated privileges via a runas script to do just that (among other administrative tasks). However, when doing so in Windows 7, I get an access denied when trying to launch explorer.exe from the elevated command prompt. Not to mention when trying to run explorer.exe diretly using "run as different user". When turning off UAC, launching explorer.exe from a privileged command prompt or using "run as different user" just spawns a new explorer window from my non-priv account despite having the "Run as a separate process" flag set for both users.

    Although I really enjoy Windows 7, this has been a bit frustrating and I'm forced to perform file managment on remote servers using RDP Connetions. The only thing I have found that comes close to the XP LUA functionality is turning off UAC and and launching a 3rd party file management such as A43. However, I believe that is a less than desired solution; Perhaps someone has a good alternative?

    Paul
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:13 PM
  • You're right. I finally had some time to play with this. I've been volunteering for the 2010 Olympics. I can't find any way to get Windows 7 to run an elevated Windows Explorer.

    Kerry Brown MS-MVP - Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 6:38 PM
  • I am currently using Explorer++ to work around this limitation. But I would still like to hear an official answer regarding this problem.

    Bill
    • Marked as answer by Bill_Stewart Friday, March 14, 2014 3:34 PM
    Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:12 PM
  • As I already told you Windows 7 Explorer uses a DCOM based start methode which prevents you from running windows explorer elevated.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Tuesday, March 09, 2010 11:24 PM
  • As I already told you Windows 7 Explorer uses a DCOM based start methode which prevents you from running windows explorer elevated.

    Reference?

    Bill

    Thursday, April 08, 2010 3:42 PM
  • My own research.

    I found a way to disable this limitation. I'm testing it currently. I was able to bypass the mechanism to elevate the Explorer.

    As you can see the explorer is started from the DCOM service. By default it denies every attempt to start exporer elevated.

    But as you can see here it can be done:

    As you can see, there a 2 explorer instances. 1 with normal user rights (medium IL on the right. PID 2748) and 1 explorer with admin rights (high IL on the left side of the picture).

    Maybe I'll poist a Guide how to enable this.

    best regards
    André


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Friday, April 09, 2010 2:03 PM
  • Hi André,

    Could you now tell us more about about did you get this? TIA

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 8:10 AM
  • I would still like to get an explanation from Microsoft regarding this problem and whether there are any plans to fix it.

    Bill

    Friday, May 28, 2010 10:38 PM

  • from Microsoft regarding this problem and whether there are any plans to fix it.

    This is no problem and nothing needs to be fixed. This is by design. The explorer has a component which blocks every request to elevate the Explorer and I simply turned off that feature and now I'm able to elevate the Explorer again.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Saturday, May 29, 2010 2:35 PM
  • This is no problem and nothing needs to be fixed. This is by design. The explorer has a component which blocks every request to elevate the Explorer and I simply turned off that feature and now I'm able to elevate the Explorer again.

    Great! How?

    Bill

    Sunday, June 06, 2010 4:14 AM
  • Since Andre.Ziegler hinted at this, I spent some time investigating it, and it seems like you can make elevated explorer windows work by renaming the following registry entry:

     

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\RunAs

    to

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\_RunAs

     

    BTW: You will likely have to go in as an administrator and take ownership of that registry key before you can modify it, as by default, only TrustedInstaller can modify it.

    This will stop the mechanism that launches explorer.exe from always launching it as the current interactive user.  I know I've been looking for this for a long time in Win7, glad that I finally found out how to do it.

    Sunday, June 20, 2010 9:42 PM
  • Yes, that's it ;)

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Sunday, June 20, 2010 10:08 PM
  • Hi guys, thanks a lot for this tip!

    I was looking for a solution to be able to start Windows Explorer as admin, by time. In my WinXP land usually use LUA approach and (when neccesary) run WExplorer or IExplorer as admin with the context menu option "Run As".

    I'm very happy to have found a chance! But just a question: this tip may cause security issues or instability problems?

    tia. m :)

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 6:13 PM
  • Since Andre.Ziegler hinted at this, I spent some time investigating it, and it seems like you can make elevated explorer windows work by renaming the following registry entry:

     

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\RunAs

    to

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\_RunAs

     

    BTW: You will likely have to go in as an administrator and take ownership of that registry key before you can modify it, as by default, only TrustedInstaller can modify it.

    This will stop the mechanism that launches explorer.exe from always launching it as the current interactive user.  I know I've This been looking for this for a long time in Win7, glad that I finally found out how to do it.

    I tried to rename other 'String Values' with this method and seems to work for other purposes. 

    e.g. to make visible "Open command window here" on folders context menu, i renamed "Extended" S.Value as "_Extended " at

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmd

    Sorry for my OT...med

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:21 PM
  • Since Andre.Ziegler hinted at this, I spent some time investigating it, and it seems like you can make elevated explorer windows work by renaming the following registry entry:

     

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\RunAs

    to

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\_RunAs

     

    BTW: You will likely have to go in as an administrator and take ownership of that registry key before you can modify it, as by default, only TrustedInstaller can modify it.

    This will stop the mechanism that launches explorer.exe from always launching it as the current interactive user.  I know I've been looking for this for a long time in Win7, glad that I finally found out how to do it.

    I followed these instructions but I am still not able to run explorer as admin by right-clicking explorer.exe or cmd.exe and using 'Runas administrator'. They still open as the logged in user. I have also enabled 'Launch folder windows in a separate process' in the folder options for the administrator account (as worked in XP), but that seems to make no difference.

    I have 2 small shortcut/link files that worked perfectly on XP, allowing me to do admin stuff at users' computers while they are logged in. They contain the following commands:

    %windir%\system32\runas.exe /env /user:%computername%\administrator cmd.exe

    and

    %windir%\system32\runas.exe /env /user:%computername%\administrator explorer.exe

    On Windows 7, launching the cmd.exe command works (it's process shows as the admin's username) and I can launch regedit from that command prompt and it shows as running as the admin account.

    However, the explorer.exe command does not. Instead, I get the following error: Server execution failed.

    I have tried it with UAC enabled and disabled, but the result is the same.

    Any ideas?

    tia

    Mel

     

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:09 AM
  • For me it works. I' using this way since April, when I found this way.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:54 PM
  • Just fyi, I am testing using the 'Professional N Upgrade' version of Windows 7 (only installable with pre-existing OS).

    Don't know if that makes any difference or not.
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 2:49 PM
  • I don't think this makes a difference. All Editions use the same Explorer.exe.

    What have you done? Deleted the RunAs key or renamed it?


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 10:03 PM
  • I used Guy.Incognito's Reg hacks above and it is working great for me, thanks!. 

    melf67, I typically just use Shift + Right Click + "Run as Different User" to open an explorer window so I had not noticed the problem you described. However, I do run a similar LUA script called makemeadmin.cmd to open a command prompt as my domain admin account. (I believe credit is due to Aaron Margosis for it)...

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\runas.exe /savecred /user:DOMAINNAME\%username%2 "cmd.exe /k cd c:\ && color 0e && title ***** Admin console ***** && CLS"

    (The "2" at the end of the username equates to our domain admin accounts which is the same as our regular username plus the "2". 

    From there, I just type "explorer" and I do get an explorer window with my "username2" credentials while logged on to the computer as "username". I prefer the Command Prompt Window because I like to drag shortcuts, msc files, etc into it to run them with elevated privs.

    So... looking at your runas script for explorer, I noticed you use the /env variable which is supposed to "use current environment instead of user's". Try dropping the /env script and see what happens, worked for me. I like to use the savecred switch though, I know its a bit of a security hole (and supposedly unsupported on Winodws 7 but it seems to work). However, I type my password a gazzilion times a day and the risk vs benefit seems worthwhile in time saving. 

    By the way, try the makemeadmin script from Aaron Margosis' blog, its a great way to momentarily elevate a user's privs when you need to install software on a customer's machine and within their profile. 

    Friday, July 16, 2010 4:23 AM
  • OK. Wierd.

    It didn't work yesterday, so I gave up, shutdown the computer and went home. Today, it works using any method (shift+right-click on explorer.exe, running explorer.exe from an admin command line, launching an 'admin' runas script, etc).

    I know what you're thinking...but I did reboot yesterday (several times) after changing the registry, and it still wasn't working.

    @Andre: I renamed to _RunAs

    @Paul: I have dropped the /env switch. And many thanks for the link to Aaron Margosis' blog. PrivBar fixes the problem of the 'BackBitmapShell' reg hack not working in Windows 7. Well happy now!!

    Much appreciated.

    Mel

    Friday, July 16, 2010 12:59 PM
  • It seems as though this might also lead us to being able to open a 32 bit explorer.exe on x64 Win7?
    Monday, August 23, 2010 5:50 AM
  • This in combination with http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc300361 also makes it work in Windows Vista.

    I have installed it on both Windows 7 and Windows Vista and it works great!

    Monday, February 21, 2011 10:04 AM
  • Since Andre.Ziegler hinted at this, I spent some time investigating it, and it seems like you can make elevated explorer windows work by renaming the following registry entry:

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\RunAs

    to

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\_RunAs

    BTW: You will likely have to go in as an administrator and take ownership of that registry key before you can modify it, as by default, only TrustedInstaller can modify it.

    This will stop the mechanism that launches explorer.exe from always launching it as the current interactive user.  I know I've been looking for this for a long time in Win7, glad that I finally found out how to do it.

    Be aware! This workaround could not be revoked. 

    After taking the ownership away from TrustedInstaller, there is no way (at least I know of) to bring the ownership back to it. Renaming the key from "_RunAs" to "RunAs" doesn't bring back the default behavior.

    Even worse. EVERY restricted user will be able to run Explorer.exe as administrator without entering any password.

    [Edit] the explorer.exe started this way doesn't have elevated privileges, though. [/Edit]

    I strongly recommend not to use this procedure until there is a way to reliably revoke the default behavior!

    If anybody is aware of how to restore the default, please post it here. Thank you very much in advance.

    Solution:

    http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/159360-trustedinstaller-restore-owner.html

    here it is, how to get back TrustedInstaller as owner of the mentioned key. THE OWNERSHIP itself is the only reason why explorer will or will not start as runas. It has absolutely nothing to do with renaming the "runas"-key to "_runas".

    Friday, March 25, 2011 3:54 PM
  • Sure, simple rename the key back or run the DCOM config MMC Snapin and set the options of the Elevated-Unelevated Explorer Factory

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Want to install RSAT on Windows 7 Sp1? Check my HowTo: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=150221
    Friday, March 25, 2011 8:01 PM
  • I tried the way what you mentioned abouve.now it able to run but it dosent open  the explorer but when i look at the task manager it showes its running . What i need to do exactly now.I am using Win 7 Entrprise

     


    A curve that can set lot of things i.e SMILE
    Wednesday, April 06, 2011 2:59 PM
  • If i explictly call explorer separate then this works


    A curve that can set lot of things i.e SMILE
    Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:48 PM
  • Many thanks to Guy.Incognito and Andre.Ziegler for this. Glad to see it's not impossible. I can finally add "Open as administrator" to the context menu of a folder to open it temporarily as admin.
    Taking registry key ownership and admin permissions is annoying. subinacl FTW.
    Can any one now find how to start the 32-bit Explorer on 64-bit Windows 7 as that has also been disabled by MS compared to Vista.
    Friday, December 23, 2011 9:38 AM
  • Hello,

    Here is a tool that allows running an elevated explorer instance on Windows 7. I've also added a tool that'll run a 32bit Explorer instance on 64bit Windows 7.

    The tool requires .NET Framework 3.5 which is included with Windows 7.

    Feel free to use ILSpy or similar decompiler to see how it works.

    ExplorerLoader.zip

    • Proposed as answer by Comjatt Wednesday, November 14, 2012 11:31 AM
    Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:57 PM
  • Here is the solution for Windows 7. No system modifications are required.

    You just need to use the "Elevated Task Manager".  It has a bonus "run as Admin" feature that the regular Task Manager does not have.

    ,

    Access method 1   Point at a Taskbar blank area -> right-click -> Start Task Manager -> Processes tab -> Show processes for All Users -> UAC elevation prompt, Yes

    Access method 2   Start -> Search box -> type Taskmgr -> Wait for it to be found -> when Taskmgr icon appears, right-click, Run as Administrator -> UAC elevation prompt, Yes.

    ,

    To run an elevated Explorer:

    • Task Manager window, Go to Processes tab. Find Explorer.exe, right-click, and choose End Process Tree. (This elevation trick doesn't work if Explorer.exe is already running.) Also close any other Explorer.exe.
    • Desktop goes blank, task bar disappears! Nevermind.
    • Task manager window, go to File, New Task (Run).., Type "Explorer", check box below that says "Create this task with administrator privileges", Run
    • Oh, the desktop and task bar hasreappeared...

    ,

    You now have an elevated Explorer shell.

    • You will not get any further UAC prompts.
    • There is no notification or different "look" to the desktop that indicates Explorer is running elevated.
    • You have full access to the entire local hard drive regardless of prior UAC restrictions, until you logoff or reboot.
    • Any programs run with this Elevated Explorer are also automatically elevated without UAC prompting.

    ,

    To manually go back to the restricted Explorer, End the Explorer process again in Task Manager, then run Explorer from the Task Manager, but don't select "create task with admin privileges".

    - Dale Mahalko

    • Edited by Dale Mahalko Saturday, September 01, 2012 12:31 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Dale Mahalko Sunday, September 02, 2012 3:12 PM
    Saturday, September 01, 2012 12:27 PM
  • Another easy solution that I found now is posted here:

    http://kb.cadzow.com.au:15384/cadzow/details.aspx?ID=2343

    in essence:

    - Open cmd as administrator

    - kill explorer.exe process (task manager or control-shift-right click on shutdown button in start menu)

    - type explorer in command window

    --> all new explorer instances will run with full administrator rights!

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 11:33 AM
  • Hello mlehmk,

    Very nice tool, first tool that allows the opening of a 32 bit Explorer shell, I think.

    Would you care to explain how you did it ? I wonder if we could integrate 32 bit extensions to it...

    Nice work !

    Konnan


    Understanding XP Mode, the key to success

    Thursday, November 22, 2012 8:48 PM
  • Based on the documentation from msdn i'm not sure that's correct, the RunAs either needs to not be there, or be an invalid value as referenced here:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms680046(v=vs.85).aspx

    Snippet:

    "The user-name is taken from the RunAs value under the class's AppID key. If the user name is "Interactive User", the server is run in the identity of the user currently logged on and is connected to the interactive desktop."

    If you want it as the local user you can use dcomcnfg (after modifying permissions) to select the Identity as "The Launching User" but removing the key/renaming allows for the same result. You can find this in dcomcnfg under:

    Component Services>Computers>My Computer>DCOM Config>Elevated-Unelevated Explorer Factory

    or the registry key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} or HKCR\AppID{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}

    although if you use the SOFTWARE route, you can process this change removely, also referencing the above article, you can allow for explorer to utilize your profile without having to launch from a cmd window if you add the registry value of

    LoadUserSettings = REG_DWORD 1

    I created a small batch script that utilizes subinacl.exe available here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23510

    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /setowner=builtin\administrators
    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /grant=builtin\administrators=F
    reg delete HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /f /v RunAs
    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /v LoadUserSettings /t REG_DWORD /d 1
    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /grant=builtin\administrators=R
    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /setowner="NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller"

    you can remove the loadusersettings line if you don't want the profile to load and each HKLM supports networked computers via \\computername\ in case you needed to deploy it to multiple machines

    hope this helps

    Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:24 PM
  • Hello mlehmk,

    Very nice tool, first tool that allows the opening of a 32 bit Explorer shell, I think.

    Would you care to explain how you did it ? I wonder if we could integrate 32 bit extensions to it...

    I just wanted to add that I answered myself. 32 bit extensions work wonderfully with Explorer32.exe so it's a really nice workaround to start a 32 bit explorer shell to use the old 32 bit extensions that I need.

    If anyone knows if it's possible to do this trick with a simple registry hack, I would like to know. On the other hand, using Explorer32.exe is really simple.

    Thank you very much !


    Understanding XP Mode, the key to success

    Monday, January 14, 2013 7:06 PM
  • I created a small batch script that utilizes subinacl.exe available here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23510

    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /setowner=builtin\administrators
    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /grant=builtin\administrators=F
    reg delete HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /f /v RunAs
    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /v LoadUserSettings /t REG_DWORD /d 1
    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /grant=builtin\administrators=R
    subinacl /keyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} /setowner="NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller"

    Thanks!

    Lg
    Marcello

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:04 PM
  • Now we just need to solve one final bit of the puzzle. Even if Explorer opens as admin once the DCOM restriction is removed, when the window is closed, the process doesn't exit. It continues to stay in memory as Task Manager would show. There needs to be a way to terminate the resident Explorer.exe when the window is closed.
    • Edited by xpclient Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:13 PM
    Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:13 PM
  • Yes, this is a side effect I've seen, too when I discovered this way to run Explorer as admin 3 years ago.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Friday, February 22, 2013 6:30 AM
  • On Windows 7, the separate processes are specially launched, so you can't even open Explorer as another user.

    The way to go as admin on 7 is by disabling separation of processes, then kill all instances, then start one as admin. Note that on Windows 8 it causes too much trouble (I didn't manage to do it, I need the Metro Apps and I can't find a way -- actually there is one in Win8, I'll roll on it later -- to get the medium IL back without logging off and back on). On Win7 there is no problem, on Windows 8 the task manager doesn't KILL Explorer, but it *RESTARTS* it! And it restarts beautifully, under the normal privileges of the interactive user!

    Thursday, August 07, 2014 7:47 PM