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Windows 7: Autorun unnattended startup programs at autologon for a standard user

27 Mar 2014   #1
Electroguard

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 
Autorun unnattended startup programs at autologon for a standard user

Hi,
Does anyone know how to autorun unnattended startup programs at autologon for a standard user (not administrator).

The reason is for a Win7 Pro 32bit pc to be left on unattended with shared network resources even after reboots following downloads and installs of automatic windows updates.

To put things into context, our dwelling is situated behind a large hanger (workshop) which blocks sight and sound of the property entrance, so in order to be aware of callers I have a hanger-based 'server' wired up to home automation sensors and cctv which remotely speaks notifications in our dwelling (and elsewhere) enabling us to be quickly alerted and able to view the gate cctv cam in web browser to see when we have need to go out to the gates. My old XP version has happilly sat there for years doing its unnattended hosting job while downloading available windows updates in the background then rebooting during the early hours when necessary then auto-starting it's server apps (NetworkActive web server, VisionGS cam streaming video server, Homeseer automation server, Cumulus weather station server) back online again before the postman comes. But I can't seem to convince Win7 to do the same (not without compromising security anyway - which was the whole point of having to upgrade to Win7 in the first place), and without this functionality we would be oblivious of callers.

The ideal would be to autorun the apps with elevated privilege at machine startup without needing to be logged on, but I have not been able to manage to do this, and suspect a desktop needs to be loaded for them to be able to run (even things like Comodo Internet Security don't appear to load until after a user has logged on and gets a desktop).

So it looks like I will have to autorun the apps from Startup folder after auto-logon.
But although I have achieved this successfully by elevating their privilege using task scheduler as per this article (Elevated Program Shortcut without UAC Prompt - Create), the auto-logon as Administrator leaves the system security vulnerable and compromised.

This could be overcome by auto-logon with a more restricted 'normal' user account (instead of administrator) to autorun the elevated privilege apps from "all users startup ' folder, but herein lies a catch22 problem...

A normal user logon appears (understandably) to have insufficient rights to create their own elevated privilege apps in tasks scheduler.
But elevated privilege apps created and placed in all users startup folder by administrator do not then run for a normal user.

This is my first experience of Win7 and although I suspect it's probably just a rights/permissions issue, this old XP dinosaur is now stumped and in need of advice from a Win7 expert who knows what he's talking about.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Mar 2014   #2
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Try setting the scheduled task so it runs using the SYSTEM user account.
I login with a limited account and this works for me to run a program silently with Admin authority.

Autorun unnattended startup programs at autologon for a standard user-tssp03.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #3
Electroguard

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

Thanks for your speedy response DavidW.
I found that when I run the task as System in the General tab the app doesn't run for any logon, but you encouraged me to keep on trying, and with much trial and error I found the only way I could get the apps to run at startup for both logons was to run the task as Users, which works fine with the administrator logon, but fails with an 'unable to write to ini file' with the restricted user logon, which now does just seem like a file permissions restriction of that restricted user.

So I guess I need to try changing the restricted logon accounts file permissions for the elevated app folders.

I expect it's easy when you know how, but I vaguely remember conficting issues possibly resulting in either locked out, or wide open, drives back in the jurassic NT days, so I'd better try to find out how best to tackle it in Win7 rather than go stumbling blindly around in the dark and do the wrong thing.
Thanks for spuring me on and letting me see light at the end of the tunnel, and when I reach the end I will summarise the steps taken for the benefit of others who may need to tread the same path.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Mar 2014   #4
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Here is a tutorial by Brink that might help you with permissions.
Permissions - Allow or Deny Users and Groups
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #5
Electroguard

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

By way of closure I am happy to report that Sod's law showed up the 'permissions' issue to actually be caused by hdd read errors, but that after rebuilding from scratch on a new hdd, the server apps installed ok and are working fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #6
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Glad to hear you got this figured out and fixed.
Thanks for posting back with your solution, it may help others searching for answers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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