Managing devices on XP desktops

Managing devices on XP desktops requires admin-level credentials, but what if your users don’t have such credentials and yet you want to let them manage their own devices? Here’s what you can do for them:

  • Start –> Run –> %windir%\system32 –> OK
  • Right-click on devmgmt and select Send To –> Desktop (Create Shortcut)
  • Right-click on the new shortcut and select Properties.
  • On the Shortcut tab click Advanced.
  • Select the checkbox “Run with different credentials” and click OK.

Now when the user needs to manage devices on their machine, they can double-click the shortcut, enter the local Administrator password, and open the Device Manager console. Of course, the downside of this approach is that if the user knows the password for the Administrator account then they can log on using that password, so this approach requires a certain degree of trust i.e. the user must be told never to log on as Administrator and understand the consequences of doing so. But its a fact of life that there is a tradeoff between security and usability as far as computers go.

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