Displaying User Privileges

It can be helpful sometimes when you are troubleshooting issues on client computers to display a list of all privileges the user has. This is especially useful if you are using Group Policy to assign user rights to targeted users on your network by configuring policy settings found under computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/User Rights Assignment.

On Windows Server 2003, it’s easy to display the privileges of the logged on user. Just open a command prompt and type whoami /all and you get the SID of the user account, a list of all groups the user belongs to, and a list of privileges showing which are enabled/disabled. Or to get only a list of privileges for the user, type whoami /priv at a command prompt. You can also do this on Windows Vista, but unfortunately the whoami command isn’t present in Windows XP. How can you display a list of privileges for the user on XP?

Simple—go to the Microsoft Download Center and download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=49ae8576-9bb9-4126-9761-ba8011fabf38&displaylang=en. These tools are intended for advanced users and for troubleshooting purposes, and when you install them on an XP machine, one of the things you get is the whoami command. And if you need more information about what each privilege means, see http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/uratopnode.mspx?mfr=true in the XP product documentation.


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is THE book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. For more information see www.mtit.com.

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