You may receive a "RUNAS ERROR: Unable to run" error message in Windows XP with Service Pack 2

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Article ID: 895196
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SYMPTOMS

Consider the following scenario:
  • Two user accounts, User1 and User2, exist on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2).
  • The User1 account is subject to the Software Restriction Policies (SAFER) setting on the computer. This setting keeps the User1 account from running a specific application (Application1).
  • You use the User1 account to log on to the computer.
  • You use the User2 account to run Application1 by using the runas command or the Run as graphical user interface (GUI).
In this scenario, you may receive the following error message:
RUNAS ERROR: Unable to run - c:\regedit 1260: Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy. For more information, open Event Viewer or contact your system administrator. The events that are logged by all of this are just the generic SAFER events
Note SAFER is a way for administrators to define what applications may run on a target system. SAFER is deployed by using Group Policy objects and is stored in the registry.

RESOLUTION

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites.

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
   Date         Time   Version            Size    File name
   --------------------------------------------------------------
   04-Mar-2005  20:44  5.1.2600.2624     616,960  Advapi32.dll     

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

To use an account that is not the current logon account to run a program, use one of the following methods:
  • Use the runas command at a command prompt. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
    2. Type runas arguments, and then press ENTER.
    Note To see the full syntax for the runas command, type runas /? at a command prompt, and then press ENTER.
  • Right-click the program, click Run as, and then select the user.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310791 Description of the software restriction policies in Windows XP

Properties

Article ID: 895196 - Last Review: October 9, 2011 - Revision: 3.0
Keywords: 
kbautohotfix kbwinxpsp2fix kbfix kbbug kbhotfixserver kbqfe KB895196

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