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Privilege Spawner

A Windows application/command launcher, which spawns the command with the same privileges it has. I made this out of necessity. While running Windows in a user account with least privileges, it is routinely necessary to run applications with administrator rights. RunAs and authenticating each time was getting to be a chore. So I made this handy tool. You RunAs the Privilege Spawner with Administrator rights, set your common admin tools in the list, then running them as Administrator is just a double click away. Due to the annoyances and flaws associated with Vista's UAC, Privilege Spawner is still usefull for some Vista users!

Privilege Spawner Screen Shot
Privilege Spawner Tray Screen Shot


(Now saves command list configuration to [USER]\Local Settings\Application Data\ for automatic user privilege protection)


Run Privilege Spawner as an administrator account, or with the desired privileges. Add applications or commands to the launch list. Then double clicking the entry in the list to launch that command with the the same privileges you gave Privilege Spawner.


There seems to be a discrepancy in how BAT files are executed as opposed to EXE files. The problem lies in there being spaces in the file name/directory. It seems that exe's with spaces in the path work fine, but BAT's don't. What other executable types are stricken by this? I'm not sure yet. execl and spawnl seem to have the same problem. Putting quotes around it doesn't work and causes the spawn/exec to fail. Is converting the file/directory to it's short path version the only solution? (such as C:\Progam~1\bla.BAT)

(XP) Add Remove Programs - file: C:\WINDOWS\system32\control.exe argument: appwiz.cpl

No more right click-run-as:

If you make a link/short cut to Privilege Spawner you can set it to always ask you to login the credentials you want to run the application as.

(Windows XP)

First, right click the short cut and select properties. Then select the 'Shortcut' tab, press the Advanced button, and select Run with different credentials.

(Windows 2000)

Right click the short cut and select properties. Then select the 'Shortcut' tab, and check 'Run as different user'.

Security Notes

The targeted use for this application is to start applications with alternate Windows user credentials, most likely higher privileged credentials. Through the Windows messaging system or other means, targeting Privilege Spawner specifically, a trojan or script could possibly use it to run applications in your list, escalate it's own privileges, or worse. If using in a secure environment, you should understand the possible security issues associated with running an application with privilege spawning capabilities. Privilege Spawner's config file holds it's application launch list specifications and is a prime target. This file is now (as of build 5) placed in the [USER]\Local Settings\Application Data\ folder making it a private file of the user Privilege Spawner was ran as. You should concider additional privileges modifications you might require to secure your configuration file.


Download: PrivilegeSpawner.exe (210 KB) Version
MD5 Sum: 6e99b185843c115ec01b30f91def80bc
The exe is compressed via UPX v 3.03w ( down from 542 KB.

Source Code: (18 KB)
MD5 Sum: 1ceaa8a19c71ba58332fc9a280f6ad30

Version History

Version History: