Monday, June 15, 2009

How to run Windows XP as SYSTEM User?

Every user account on a Windows XP machine is part of a local user group on that computer. A user group is a set of users who have a certain amount of control over the Windows XP computer. The four primary user groups are Administrators, Power Users, Users, and Guests. Let’s review the responsibility level for each group:

1. Guests

The Guests group grants limited access to occasional or one-time users. Once a Guest logs out, all files created by the guest is deleted.

Guests Can:
  • Log in and out
  • Run installed applications
  • Navigate through the file system
  • Shut down the system
Guests Cannot:
  • Do anything else.
2. Users

Users can perform common tasks, but have little power to affect the computer outside of their own account. The Users group is the most secure environment in which to run programs, since a User cannot affect the operating system or program files.

Users Can:
  • Create, modify, and delete their own data files
  • Run system-wide or personally installed applications
  • Change their personal settings
  • Install programs for their own use only
  • Access the network
  • Print to local or networked printers
  • Do anything a Guest can
Users Cannot:
  • Modify system-wide settings, operating system files, or program files
  • Affect other users' data or desktop settings
  • Install applications that can be run by other users
  • Add printers
  • Configure the system for file sharing
3. Power Users

The Power User class can perform any task except for those reserved for Administrators. They are allowed to carry out functions that will not directly affect the operating system or risk security. All domain accounts are part of the Power Users group on public Windows XP computers.

Power Users Can:
  • Create local user accounts
  • Modify user accounts which they have created
  • Change user permissions on users, power users, and guests
  • Install and run applications that do not affect the operating system
  • Customize settings and resources on the Control Panel, such as Printers, Date/Time, and Power Options
  • Do anything a User can
Power Users Cannot:
  • Access other users' data without permission
  • Delete or modify user accounts they did not create
4. Administrators

Members of the Administrator group have total control over the computer and everything on it. The user named Administrator is the default account within this group. The domain account of each faculty or staff member with a Windows XP computer is part of the Administrator group on his or her computer.

Administrators Can:
  • Create, modify, and access local user accounts
  • Install new hardware and software
  • Upgrade the operating system
  • Back up the system and files
  • Claim ownership of files that have become damaged
  • Do anything a Power User can
If you think Administrator has the largest privileges onto the computer, then you are wrong. There is a user who is named SYSTEM. SYSTEM has full control of the operating system and it’s Kernel. If you open windows task manager (press Ctrl + Alt + Del) you will see that System User controls several processes, which cannot be overpowered or closed by operator with Administrator privileges.

In this tutorial we will present a way to trick Windows into running our computer as System User. So we will get higher privileges over computer.

1. Open Command Prompt. Go to Start, and then choose Run. In Run option type cmd and click OK. After this, Command Prompt will open. You can get to the same option through the Windows Menu: Start->All Programs ->Accessories->Command Prompt.

2. In Command Prompt write at 13:55 /interactive “cmd.exe” and press enter, the time is usually a minute or two ahead of your present time in the 24 hours format.

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After a minute or two will appear new Command Prompt Window wit different title bar. It has changed from cmd.exe to svchost.exe.

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3. End current explorer.exe process. Open Task Manager, select explorer.exe and click End Process.

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4. In new Command Prompt with title svchost.exe write cd.. and press enter, then write explorer.exe and press enter.
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After this you will become SYSTEM user. 

Here there is a video tutorial showing you a similar approach to reach this goal:


software development India said...

Many thanks for such a wonderful information, i was just searching for this information and got in to your blog. thank you again

Michael Pekker (AKA Nesher) said...

I already used it at work, and I am happy, you found it useful as well.

Anonymous said...

I vaguely remember there was a freeware utility that could do the same (launch anything as SYSTEM) but I forgot it's name.

Anonymous said...

The freeware utility is psexec.exe from sysinternals.

But I would like to know how to write code that will elevate to SYSTEM user. A lot of installation executables seem to do that to install themselves properly. Or how does psexec.exe do it?

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