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Giving Windows XP Pro users more rights without AD

We are an international company and have not committed to Active Directory at this time. Here in the United States, we have approximately 350 desktops deployed at two sites. How can we give our Windows XP Pro end users more rights without giving them full administrative rights? I know that it would be much easier with AD, but we are stuck with NT domain controllers because of our international corporate standards. Any suggestions on third party add-ons or anything else?

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I'm not sure that I fully understand your questions, so please forgive me if I don't hit the mark. By giving users more rights, do you mean that you want users to be able to install software, device drivers and so on? If so, then you don't need Active Directory to do that. You simply need to add each user's account to each computer's local Power Users group (you mentioned that you didn't want to give them full administrative rights). Assuming that you're using the same password for the local administrator account on each computer, you can even automate the process of upgrading users' accounts. You might want to check out a utility called Cusrmgr from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit.

This was first published in September 2003

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