General discussion

User or administrator ?

Is it safer to be on the Internet as a user than as an administrator?
If yes, why?

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Yes, running a user only is safer
Why you should not run your computer as an administrator

Running Windows 2000 or Windows XP as an administrator makes the system vulnerable to Trojan horses and other security risks. The simple act of visiting an Internet site can be extremely damaging to the system. An unfamiliar Internet site may have Trojan horse code that can be downloaded to the system and executed. If you are logged on with administrator privileges, a Trojan horse could do things like reformat your hard drive, delete all your files, create a new user account with administrative access, and so on.

You should add yourself to the Users or Power Users group. When you log on as a member of the Users group, you can perform routine tasks, including running programs and visiting Internet sites, without exposing your computer to unnecessary risk. As a member of the Power Users group, you can perform routine tasks and you can also install programs, add printers, and use most Control Panel items. If you need to perform administrative tasks, such as upgrading the operating system or configuring system parameters, then log off and log back on as an administrator.

If you frequently need to log on as an administrator, you can use the runas command to start programs as an administrator.
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Converting to user mode for routine surfing?

What would be ideal would appear to be a means of logging on as a user and being able to access all the files (My Documents, etc.) and programs that I presently use as an administrator. Is there a way to easily accomplish this in XP?

What impact would adding such a user have on hard disk utilization and such?


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User groups in XP consists of many types. User accounts has

2 type only.

User Accounts:
1. Limited

The limited account is intended for someone who should be prohibited from changing most computer settings and deleting important files.

2. Administrator

The computer administrator account is intended for someone who can make systemwide changes to the computer, install software, and access all non-private files on the computer. Only a user with a computer administrator account has full access to other user accounts on the computer.

User Groups:

1. Administrators

Members of the Administrators group have the largest amount of default permissions and the ability to change their own permissions.

2. Backup Operators

Members of the Backup Operators group can back up and restore files on the computer, regardless of any permissions that protect those files. They can also log on to and shut down the computer, but they cannot change security settings.

3. Power Users

Members of the Power Users group can create user accounts, but can modify and delete only those accounts they create. They can create local groups and remove users from local groups they have created. They can also remove users from the Power Users, Users, and Guests groups.

They cannot modify the Administrators or Backup Operators groups, nor can they take ownership of files, back up or restore directories, load or unload device drivers, or manage the security and auditing logs.

4. Users

Members of the Users group can perform most common tasks, such as running applications, using local and network printers, and shutting down and locking the workstation. Users can create local groups, but can modify only the local groups that they created. Users cannot share directories or create local printers.

5. Guests

The Guests group allows occasional or one-time users to log on to a workstation's built-in Guest account and be granted limited abilities. Members of the Guests group can also shut down the system on a workstation.

6. Replicator

The Replicator group supports directory replication functions. The only member of the Replicator group should be a domain user account used to log on the Replicator services of the domain controller. Do not add the user accounts of actual users to this group.

More info on Windows XP User groups at

As for your questions:

1. You can convert your current Administrator user account to any of the above User Groups.

2. The ideal group to use is "Users" but note that it can only access the files that was created by this "User". You can compare which one is best or suits you by visiting the above link or

I suggest that you create a new user Account as Administrator then convert it to another User Group instead of converting your existing Admin account.

To change the account to any of the above-mentioned user groups, type CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2 or type LUSRMGR.MSC in Run box.

3. Impact - It depends on how much RAM and space you have. Depends on how Virtual Memory, Page File is configured. See RAM, Virtual Memory, Pagefile and all that stuff

BTW, if the Quoata Management is enable you can control how much disk is use by a user

Note: Quoata Management is only applicable to NTFS

Hope the above helps Happy

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Might check this out..
I tried it, and seems to work as advertised.
You can also get this free program if you want to verify that DropMyRights is indeed working correctly. It is like TaskManager on steroids Happy.
Process Explorer.
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DropMyRights may be my solution

DropMyRights sounds like what I am looking for.
Many thanks to both Donna and Chuck44 for your help.

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