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user with admin rights vs. separate admin and user accounts
Thread poster: Heike Behl, Ph.D.

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:18
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Sep 24, 2006

I'm in the process of setting up a new laptop (Windows Media Center Edition).
Microsoft and others recommend to set up separate admin and user accounts so that no key loggers and similar malware can be installed on your computer during normal use.

However, I'm only starting with this process and it's already driving me crazy:

As User, I apparently don't have the rights to adjust the power properties, but they are not automatically set to the administrator's settings. Does anybody know how I can change settings like these? (I hate it when the system hibernates while plugged in!)

I use CA Internet Security. The virus protection works for both sides, but the anti-spam option for Outlook doesn't seem to be working for the User and - of course - I don't have the right to access the settings. Is there a particular installation order that needs to be observed for certain programs?

I also had some initial problems to get a program to work I installed as Admin. I started the program as User, but the program opened another exe that was only visible on the Admin side. I don't even know how I managed to make it available on the User side as well...

I would be grateful for any general tips regarding this type of setup. I'm also interested in your experiences and opinions - particularly also in regard to the use of Trados, Dragon Naturally Speaking and other tools of the trade.

Heike

[Edited at 2006-09-24 18:02]


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:18
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Do you run XP home or XP pro ? Sep 24, 2006

I think Microsoft advice is good for XP Pro, where the admin can normally access to every user account and makes changes if necessary, authorize some actions etc, where the basic user cannot do it himself.

If you have only XP Home it will be difficult because there is no "admin" in the sense of a superuser who can set parameters for every account. The only way is to give yourself admin rights, set the parameters you want and then go back for a user account.

But this doesn't prevent you from trouble with some software like burning CDs software which demand admin rigths to process.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:18
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
OS = Windows Media Center Edition Sep 24, 2006

as I stated above...
which AFAIK is built on the XP Pro system.


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Alan Campbell  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Russian to English
+ ...
No option but to run as Admin Sep 25, 2006

In my experience, running Windows XP Pro as a standard user is too much of a pain in the rear. It was badly designed in this respect and I have heard that Vista has addressed a lot of these issues.

I've tried running as a user several times, as I know that it is more secure, but I usually revert back to an admin account within a day or so. As long as you have up-to-date AV software, a firewall, and cultivate good habits (not opening unsolicited attachments, etc.) you should be about as safe as you can be.

By the way, if you are at all interested in security, I heartily recommend that you subscribe to Steve Gibson's podcast, Security Now. Steve has a way of explaining things that make them comprehensible and he covers a lot of topics. Find it at www.grc.com.

Alan


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I tried it, but gave up Sep 26, 2006

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:
As User, I apparently don't have the rights to adjust the power properties, but they are not automatically set to the administrator's settings.


Exactly. As a user, you have no privileges that you would usually have as an administrator. Then if you want to change something (eg install a macro in MS Word or something equally mundane) you have to log out, log in as admin, then figure out how to set the user settings for your user to allow it to install that macro, then log out again, log back in using the user account, and then hope and pray that you got it right (otherwise you have to go through the entire process all over again trying to figure out where you've gone wrong).

I give all my "users" administrator rights, and I practice safe computing. I make regular backups of critical data, I use a firewall, I don't use any Microsoft products unless there is no alternative, etc.


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