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Making programs available for all users

By jimflint1 ยท 13 replies
Apr 11, 2007
  1. In XP, how do I make all programs available to all five user names on my pc? Right now, most of them only work under my name, and I have the admin account, so that makes sense. I don't really want to make all five of my family members administrators, so how can I make the programs that I use under my name available on the other accounts?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Reset your parameters in my computer, and in Administrative tools, Computer management.
    You may have to remove the software in Add or remove programs, then reinstall it, after you reset administrator privileges.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    What do you mean by "available"? If you want the Start Menu and desktop shortcuts to appear for everyone, then just copy them to the relevant locations under \Documents and Settings\All Users

    Mind you, some programs require admin privileges to run and there is no way around that.
  4. jimflint1

    jimflint1 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 212

    Well, here's an example. In my account I have WordPerfect 11 (I know, I'm one of the dinosaurs that still clings to WP). It works just fine in mine, but if I log onto one of the other accounts (they are all in my other family members names), then click on WordPerfect, I get the message cannot initialize. Just wondering how to fix that specific one, but also if there's an easy way to just make all the programs available to the rest of my family that are available in my account. I'll try what you suggested above and see how that goes. If I copied and pasted it under "all users" to "desktop" for example, would it then appear under all the other user names as a desktop icon?
  5. jimflint1

    jimflint1 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 212

    Actually, I tried just that and it didn't create a desktop icon, so I went to the program list under START--ALL Programs, found WordPerfect and clicked on it and got the same "Cannot Initialize" message. So it may be one that requires admin privileges? or, hmmm---I may still be doing something wrong.
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I don't think it requires admin rights.. You may want to reinstall the thing and see if there is an option to install for all users.
  7. CraigMc

    CraigMc TS Rookie Posts: 29

    There is another possible option, but it would mean deleting and recreating the other user profiles, as this could be an application data issue.

    To test this:

    1. Create a new Administrative account, restart the PC and log into that account. In My Computer | Tools | Folder Options | View Tab select "Show hidden files and folders"

    2. Right Click My Computer and select Properties, on the Advanced Tab, click the Settings button under "User Profiles".

    3. Highlight your own user account and click copy, then browse out to c:\documents and settings and highlight "Default User" then click OK, then OK again to confirm overwriting the default profile.

    4. Now create another new user without administrative privililges, logout and login as this new user and try loading Word Perfect.

    If this now works then simply delete the profiles for your other users and have them log back in again. (You can delete the users profiles from the same tab in My Computer Properties as used to copy your profile above, or simply delete their folders under c:\documents and settings. Or rename the profile folders to add .BAK to the end so that you have a backup copy incase things go wrong later, then you can restore there profiles by deleting the new ones and removing the .BAK from the old ones)

    Note: If you have documents / settings etc in your user profile that you do not want copying to all the renewed user accounts then you would be better setting up the newly created Admin account the way you want everyone to be able to use things and use that one to copy to the default user. That way they get a relatively "clean" profile with no customisations, and your documents remain yours only :)

    If you need clarification on any of the above points just let me know :)
  8. sliderule101

    sliderule101 TS Rookie

    If your talking about giving them access to a folder on the drive or drives simply create a share for the folder and set the permissions and security as needed. In this way you control who and how they interact with the information in the folder. You can set read/write/execute permissions for the folder or separate files.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,853   +901

    Limited Login Users will have problems when the original program was installed in
    \Program Files, eg Quicken

    Some programs write data to locations within the installed directory, and as
    \Program Files is r/o to all limited login accounts, you get protection errors.

    You can install multiple copies in the Users Profile area (sometimes) to avoid
    this issue, but it's not recommended, eg
    \Docs & Settings\user-login\Start Menu\Programs

    A better choice is to install such programs into
    \Docs & Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs
  10. CraigMc

    CraigMc TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Install them into the actual Start Menu Programs Folder? Are you sure that is wise?

    Jimflint1 have you had any luck with this issue?
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,853   +901

    done it many times -- give it a try, as you can always uninstall and go elsewhere :)

    The individual users will (should) have their data in
    \Docs & Settings\user-login\Application Data OR the alternative Local Settings
  12. jimflint1

    jimflint1 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 212

    You know, after giving it some thought, I thought, what the heck, I'll just make them all administrators--heck, it's my wife and grown up kids (19 and 22 years old) who use my computer. I'd heard that having multiple administrator accounts made you more vulnerable to security problems, do any of you know if this is true? I mean other than the people using your comp will be able to change settings etc., is there any more danger from hackers than there would be with only one admin account?

    Anyway, I want to thank all of you who took the time to answer my original question. This may come in handy some day should I again decide to limit use on my pc.
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,853   +901

    The issue is totally bound to password cracking. If ANY password gets cracked,
    then you+your system is/or soon will be ground hamburger. With multiple accounts,
    the hacker gets multiple chances to find a trival password; eg
    any dictionary work
    a name of a family member
    your street address

    just make sure, all passwords contain
    UpperNlowerCase + one or more digits + one or more special characters (#$%^&*+=-)

  14. jimflint1

    jimflint1 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 212

    Thanks--that's good to know. That brings up another point--by what method do s obtain this info? Some kind of data miner or something? And other than difficult passwords, what other steps can I take to make things more secure?
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