Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vista needlessly runs some programs as administrator

Vista runs some programs as administrator even though no configuration option tells it to. There is no way to stop these programs from running as administrator through the user interface. This happens when Vista finds certain strings in the file properties which are commonly found in programs which need to be run as administrator, such as programs which install or update software. installers. For example DynDNS updater has this problem. Several property fields are set to "DynDNS Updater" and "Updater" is one of the strings Vista checks for.

This is simple to fix with a hex editor. FileDescription, InternalName and ProductName need to be altered. There is no need to change Comments or LegalTrademarks. These are located near the end of the file. The strings are in Unicode UTF-16 and so each character takes two bytes. They look like ASCII except that there is a zero byte after every character.

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