Questions

Windows Explorer will not run as a different user?

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Windows Explorer will not run as a different user?

Summores
I have both an admin account and user account on a domain. This is a freshly imaged computer, from an old image that all the other IT users are using. We are running Windows XP 32bit, sp3, all Microsoft updates.

When signed into my user account I cannot use the cmd prompt to run explorer.exe as admin. The same is still happening in the and vice versa. When signed into my admin account I cannot run explorer.exe as user. I don't really see a reason in the latter, but I just tried it to test it out.

Any ideas why I cannot run explorer.exe as admin? I'm not trying to run the explorer GUI, but more so Windows Explorer to navigate through system files.

I have also tried running Internet Explorer as admin and am getting an error of :

C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe

The directory name is invalid.

Other programs in the windows directory is still runnable as admin. Notepad, calculator, I can even run the cmd as admin. Looks to be an explorer issue as far as I can tell.

I have also tried my credentials from another computer and still run into the same issue. So it may not be a local issue, possibly within the permissions of my admin or user accounts?

Any assistance would be helpful, thanks!
  • +
    0 Votes
    bytor54

    Couldn't get it to let me post a reply, but the solution posted by mobaugh saved the day. I don't see why this is required, but it works perfectly!

    At the windows "Run" dialog, I type exactly as shown below (including the quotes).

    runas /user:Admin "explorer /separate"

    Thanks for the solution!!!

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    0 Votes
    robo_dev

    does it give an error, or just do nothing?

    Of course, that sounds very much like a malware issue, but if you just re-imaged it....

    I would clear out any BHO items in IE. Browser objects can and do control the behavior of Windows Explorer (although technically they are not supposed to).

    Do you use any explorer (shell) extensions? Some oddball utility programs like WinZip and Adobe Acrobat add shell extensions to Windows Explorer itself.

    If you have any extra choices when you right-click on an object, then you have some shell extensions.

    I would try removing/reinstalling any apps that add shell extensions.

    http://www.mydigitallife.info/2006/09/26/disable-or-remove-shell-extensions-and-slow-right-click-context-menu-shortcut-menu-handlers-or-items-with-shellexview/

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    0 Votes
    Summores

    shell extension I have is our anti virus software. Outside of that, it's still not working. Now I was able to get IE to run as admin by changing the start in directory to %windir%, but even if I type in c: in the IE browser it will open up windows explorer, but not as the admin. All I'm really trying to accomplish is running Windows Explorer as admin.

    What permissions within a user/admin profile might block this from opening? Since it's happening across the network for me, I don't believe it's my system. Possible when they create my profile, they overlooked something.

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    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    and therefore cannot be run as another user

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    0 Votes
    Summores

    shell and GUI. I'm not trying to run the shell, I'm trying to run explorer as a window to use as an admin. Running a window as admin will allow me to access folders that we have secured from normal users, set security options for other folders, run programs as admin without having to always "right click>run as", basically allows me to do a lot of my work without having to have the user sign out of his session.

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    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    I may not be clear on how you want to trigger the action, but this may help.

    Create a shortcut.
    When asked for the location use
    explorer %1
    name it as you like, deny local users security permissions.
    Then do a Runas when you need it.

    The %1 simply opens a new window.

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    0 Votes
    Summores

    After I type in my credentials nothing comes up. No errors, no blank windows, nothing. The same happens when I right click>run as from the start menu>all programs>accessories>windows explorer.

    Additional info:

    When running the cmd prompt as a user, I just type in explorer and a blank explorer pops up. If I run cmd as an admin, no pop ups or errors.

    If I run cmd as a user using the command:Runas /user:domain\adminaccount explorer. An addtional lines comes up prompting for password. Then a line of "Attempting to start explorer as user "domain\adminaccount"... Then nothing. Of course domain and adminaccount was replaced with correct credentials.

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    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    if you open task manager and then open 500000 explorer windows there will still only be one Explorer.exe running

    you can however use:
    Run As:
    > Administrator
    with Internet Explorer to browse local Disks and network drives

    just be sure to set the default homepage as about:blank first
    then you can type C:\ in the address bar
    and access files that normal users are restricted from

    after all windows is internet explorer especially in win2K / XP

    Edit: Pic, additional info about IE,
    - more IE info

    http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/IEBrowse.png?t=1294348707


    if you use the path
    C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe
    from the command prompt you must enclose it in quotes
    C:\"Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe"

    as the command prompt still chokes on spaces

    IE7 and IE8 are for vista / Win7 and the XP "versions" are backports to XP which are not fully compatible with XP
    only IE6 works in this fashion
    as IE7 and IE8 take another step away from total OS integration

    I don't recommend anyone install IE7 or IE8 on XP but rather use another browser to surf and keep IE6 for XP

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    0 Votes
    Summores

    as a normal user, as soon as I type in c:\ and hit enter it opens up windows explorer in a new windows as expected. When ran through my admin account, no action is taken and I sit still at a blank screen.

    I am on IE8 though as you mentioned it may not work properly. All workstations here at the office are on IE8, and I don't think we're going to downgrade 500+ computers just so I can get my admin privileges. I think I might have to disable/delete my admin account and start a new one from scratch and see if that works.

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    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    and it goes the other way also

    if you enter a URL in the address bar of Windows Explorer on a system with IE6 it will not open IE rather it will navigate to the web

    one of the complaints of IT to MS was that this was a security hole allowing users to bypass security restrictions placed by IT admins
    thus with IE7 & up entering a URL in windows explorer will open the default browser

    and entering a local drive letter and path in the IE address bar will open Windows Exploder

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    0 Votes
    dogknees

    Although you see several windows, generally there is only one explorer process running. This is why when Explorer crashes, the Start bar disappears.

    By starting Explorer(for browsing files), you don't get a new process, just another window. One Process = One Account.

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    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Then, append to the target, the folder you want.

    When you want to run it, right click, choose Run As, select your admin user and type your password. Your admin account needs a password for this to work or it will not be accessible.

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    In folder options.

    I'm wondering if this setting is required so that explorer (file manager) can open a new instance (optionally as another user), since you cannot re-open the entire shell as a new user this way.

    [Posted here as it seems a good a place as any.]

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    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    it is.

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    0 Votes
    Summores

    I'm still leaning towards a permissions issue. Only reason is because I'm running into the same problem on my computer and any other computer in the office.

    Anyone know of any policies that would not allow windows explorer to not come up?

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    0 Votes

    hmm

    NexS

    If you right click on iexplore.exe can you runas from there?

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    0 Votes
    Summores

    and run internet explorer as admin. But as soon as I type in c: in the address bar, it tries to open up windows explorer and it hangs up and won't execute.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    If you are accessing the workstations remotely, maybe authentication is taking too long, or there is a latency problem which only occurs when trying to display the drive contents.

    +
    0 Votes
    NexS

    It's a problem with iexplore.

    Have you uninstalled and reinstalled it?
    Have you tried another browser (ie: Mozilla firefox)?

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Are you sitting at the workstation and doing Runas as a local admin, or a domain admin?

    If you think it is a permissions problem, I'd have a look through Group Policy (Local and Domain) to see what is in place which might prevent this. Or run RSOP and look that way.

    Maybe look under User Rights Assignment (Computer config, Win, local).

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    0 Votes
    Summores

    I'll check out the group policies again tomorrow morning and double check everything.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Or at the workstation itself?

    Dunno, maybe this info might be of use to domain admin types answering your question.

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    culprit. Not a permissions issues, but more so my idiocy. I changed the setting to "Launch folder windows in separate process", but I did it under the user account. After making the change while physically signed into the admin account it fixed the problem.

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Fantastic!

    Hopefully, you can now proceed with whatever it is you had originally intended. :)

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    Thanks all!

    +
    2 Votes
    mobaugh

    Have you tried the following: runas /u:domain\username "explorer /separate"
    That works well with XP SP3 (not so much with Windows 7).

    +
    0 Votes
    kc.huan

    u're the best! Thank you

    +
    0 Votes
    bytor54

    Couldn't get it to let me post a reply, but the solution posted by mobaugh saved the day. I don't see why this is required, but it works perfectly!

    At the windows "Run" dialog, I type exactly as shown below (including the quotes).

    runas /user:Admin "explorer /separate"

    Thanks for the solution!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    and therefore cannot be run as another user

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Then, append to the target, the folder you want.

    When you want to run it, right click, choose Run As, select your admin user and type your password. Your admin account needs a password for this to work or it will not be accessible.

    +
    2 Votes
    mobaugh

    Have you tried the following: runas /u:domain\username "explorer /separate"
    That works well with XP SP3 (not so much with Windows 7).

  • +
    0 Votes
    bytor54

    Couldn't get it to let me post a reply, but the solution posted by mobaugh saved the day. I don't see why this is required, but it works perfectly!

    At the windows "Run" dialog, I type exactly as shown below (including the quotes).

    runas /user:Admin "explorer /separate"

    Thanks for the solution!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    robo_dev

    does it give an error, or just do nothing?

    Of course, that sounds very much like a malware issue, but if you just re-imaged it....

    I would clear out any BHO items in IE. Browser objects can and do control the behavior of Windows Explorer (although technically they are not supposed to).

    Do you use any explorer (shell) extensions? Some oddball utility programs like WinZip and Adobe Acrobat add shell extensions to Windows Explorer itself.

    If you have any extra choices when you right-click on an object, then you have some shell extensions.

    I would try removing/reinstalling any apps that add shell extensions.

    http://www.mydigitallife.info/2006/09/26/disable-or-remove-shell-extensions-and-slow-right-click-context-menu-shortcut-menu-handlers-or-items-with-shellexview/

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    shell extension I have is our anti virus software. Outside of that, it's still not working. Now I was able to get IE to run as admin by changing the start in directory to %windir%, but even if I type in c: in the IE browser it will open up windows explorer, but not as the admin. All I'm really trying to accomplish is running Windows Explorer as admin.

    What permissions within a user/admin profile might block this from opening? Since it's happening across the network for me, I don't believe it's my system. Possible when they create my profile, they overlooked something.

    +
    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    and therefore cannot be run as another user

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    shell and GUI. I'm not trying to run the shell, I'm trying to run explorer as a window to use as an admin. Running a window as admin will allow me to access folders that we have secured from normal users, set security options for other folders, run programs as admin without having to always "right click>run as", basically allows me to do a lot of my work without having to have the user sign out of his session.

    +
    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    I may not be clear on how you want to trigger the action, but this may help.

    Create a shortcut.
    When asked for the location use
    explorer %1
    name it as you like, deny local users security permissions.
    Then do a Runas when you need it.

    The %1 simply opens a new window.

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    After I type in my credentials nothing comes up. No errors, no blank windows, nothing. The same happens when I right click>run as from the start menu>all programs>accessories>windows explorer.

    Additional info:

    When running the cmd prompt as a user, I just type in explorer and a blank explorer pops up. If I run cmd as an admin, no pop ups or errors.

    If I run cmd as a user using the command:Runas /user:domain\adminaccount explorer. An addtional lines comes up prompting for password. Then a line of "Attempting to start explorer as user "domain\adminaccount"... Then nothing. Of course domain and adminaccount was replaced with correct credentials.

    +
    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    if you open task manager and then open 500000 explorer windows there will still only be one Explorer.exe running

    you can however use:
    Run As:
    > Administrator
    with Internet Explorer to browse local Disks and network drives

    just be sure to set the default homepage as about:blank first
    then you can type C:\ in the address bar
    and access files that normal users are restricted from

    after all windows is internet explorer especially in win2K / XP

    Edit: Pic, additional info about IE,
    - more IE info

    http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/IEBrowse.png?t=1294348707


    if you use the path
    C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe
    from the command prompt you must enclose it in quotes
    C:\"Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe"

    as the command prompt still chokes on spaces

    IE7 and IE8 are for vista / Win7 and the XP "versions" are backports to XP which are not fully compatible with XP
    only IE6 works in this fashion
    as IE7 and IE8 take another step away from total OS integration

    I don't recommend anyone install IE7 or IE8 on XP but rather use another browser to surf and keep IE6 for XP

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    as a normal user, as soon as I type in c:\ and hit enter it opens up windows explorer in a new windows as expected. When ran through my admin account, no action is taken and I sit still at a blank screen.

    I am on IE8 though as you mentioned it may not work properly. All workstations here at the office are on IE8, and I don't think we're going to downgrade 500+ computers just so I can get my admin privileges. I think I might have to disable/delete my admin account and start a new one from scratch and see if that works.

    +
    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    and it goes the other way also

    if you enter a URL in the address bar of Windows Explorer on a system with IE6 it will not open IE rather it will navigate to the web

    one of the complaints of IT to MS was that this was a security hole allowing users to bypass security restrictions placed by IT admins
    thus with IE7 & up entering a URL in windows explorer will open the default browser

    and entering a local drive letter and path in the IE address bar will open Windows Exploder

    +
    0 Votes
    dogknees

    Although you see several windows, generally there is only one explorer process running. This is why when Explorer crashes, the Start bar disappears.

    By starting Explorer(for browsing files), you don't get a new process, just another window. One Process = One Account.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Then, append to the target, the folder you want.

    When you want to run it, right click, choose Run As, select your admin user and type your password. Your admin account needs a password for this to work or it will not be accessible.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    In folder options.

    I'm wondering if this setting is required so that explorer (file manager) can open a new instance (optionally as another user), since you cannot re-open the entire shell as a new user this way.

    [Posted here as it seems a good a place as any.]

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    it is.

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    I'm still leaning towards a permissions issue. Only reason is because I'm running into the same problem on my computer and any other computer in the office.

    Anyone know of any policies that would not allow windows explorer to not come up?

    +
    0 Votes

    hmm

    NexS

    If you right click on iexplore.exe can you runas from there?

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    and run internet explorer as admin. But as soon as I type in c: in the address bar, it tries to open up windows explorer and it hangs up and won't execute.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    If you are accessing the workstations remotely, maybe authentication is taking too long, or there is a latency problem which only occurs when trying to display the drive contents.

    +
    0 Votes
    NexS

    It's a problem with iexplore.

    Have you uninstalled and reinstalled it?
    Have you tried another browser (ie: Mozilla firefox)?

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Are you sitting at the workstation and doing Runas as a local admin, or a domain admin?

    If you think it is a permissions problem, I'd have a look through Group Policy (Local and Domain) to see what is in place which might prevent this. Or run RSOP and look that way.

    Maybe look under User Rights Assignment (Computer config, Win, local).

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    I'll check out the group policies again tomorrow morning and double check everything.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Or at the workstation itself?

    Dunno, maybe this info might be of use to domain admin types answering your question.

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    culprit. Not a permissions issues, but more so my idiocy. I changed the setting to "Launch folder windows in separate process", but I did it under the user account. After making the change while physically signed into the admin account it fixed the problem.

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Fantastic!

    Hopefully, you can now proceed with whatever it is you had originally intended. :)

    +
    0 Votes
    Summores

    Thanks all!

    +
    2 Votes
    mobaugh

    Have you tried the following: runas /u:domain\username "explorer /separate"
    That works well with XP SP3 (not so much with Windows 7).

    +
    0 Votes
    kc.huan

    u're the best! Thank you

    +
    0 Votes
    bytor54

    Couldn't get it to let me post a reply, but the solution posted by mobaugh saved the day. I don't see why this is required, but it works perfectly!

    At the windows "Run" dialog, I type exactly as shown below (including the quotes).

    runas /user:Admin "explorer /separate"

    Thanks for the solution!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    and therefore cannot be run as another user

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Then, append to the target, the folder you want.

    When you want to run it, right click, choose Run As, select your admin user and type your password. Your admin account needs a password for this to work or it will not be accessible.

    +
    2 Votes
    mobaugh

    Have you tried the following: runas /u:domain\username "explorer /separate"
    That works well with XP SP3 (not so much with Windows 7).