Archive

Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Get AutoHotkey To Interact With Admin Windows Without Running AHK Script As Admin

November 21st, 2013 7 comments

A while back I posted about AutoHotkey not being able to interact with Windows 8 windows and other applications that were Ran As Admin.  My solution was to run your AutoHotkey (AHK) script as admin as well, and I also showed how to have your AHK script start automatically with Windows, but not as an admin.  Afterwards I followed that up with a post about how to get your AHK script to run as admin on startup, so life was much better, but still not perfect.UAC Never Notify

 

Problems with running your AHK script as admin

  1. You may have to deal with the annoying UAC prompt every time you launch your script.
  2. Any programs the script launches also receive administrative privileges.

#1 is only a problem if you haven’t set your AHK script to run as admin on startup as I showed in my other blog post (i.e. you are still manually launching your script) or you haven’t changed your UAC settings to never prompt you with notifications (which some companies restrict) (see screenshot to the right).

#2 was a problem for me. I use AHK Command Picker every day. A lot. I’m a developer and in order for Visual Studio to interact with IIS it requires admin privileges, which meant that if I wanted to be able to use AHK Command Picker in Visual Studio, I had to run it as admin as well.  The problem for me was that I use AHK Command Picker to launch almost all of my applications, which meant that most of my apps were now also running as an administrator.  For the most part this was fine, but there were a couple programs that gave me problems running as admin. E.g. With PowerShell ISE when I double clicked on a PowerShell file to edit it, instead of opening in the current (admin) ISE instance, it would open a new ISE instance.

    There is a solution

    Today I stumbled across this post on the AHK community forums.  Lexikos has provided an AHK script that will digitally sign the AutoHotkey executable, allowing it to interact with applications running as admin, even when your AHK script isn’t.

    Running his script is pretty straight forward:

    1. Download and unzip his EnableUIAccess.zip file.
    2. Double-click the EnableUIAccess.ahk script to run it, and it will automatically prompt you.
    3. Read the disclaimer and click OK.
    4. On the Select Source File prompt choose the C:\Program Files\AutoHotkey\AutoHotkey.exe file.  This was already selected by default for me. (Might be Program Files (x86) if you have 32-bit AHK installed on 64-bit Windows)
    5. On the Select Destination File prompt choose the same C:\Program Files\AutoHotkey\AutoHotkey.exe file again.  Again, this was already selected by default for me.
    6. Click Yes to replace the existing file.
    7. Click Yes when prompted to Run With UI Access.

    That’s it.  (Re)Start your AHK scripts and they should now be able to interact with Windows 8 windows and applications running as admin 🙂

    This is a great solution if you want your AHK script to interact with admin windows, but don’t want to run your script as an admin.

     

    Did you know

    If you do want to launch an application as admin, but don’t want to run your AHK script as admin, you can use the RunAs command.

     

    I hope you found this article useful.  Feel free to leave a comment.

    Happy coding!

    Problems Caused By Installing Windows 8.1 Update

    November 8th, 2013 No comments

    Myself and a few co-workers have updated from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and have run into some weird problems.  After a bit of Googling I have found that we are not alone.  This is just a quick list of some things the the Windows 8.1 Update seems to have broken.  I’ll update this post as I find more issues.

     

    IE 11 breaks some websites

    • I found that some of the links in the website our office uploads our Escrow deposits to no longer worked in IE 11 (which 8.1 installs).  Turning on the developer tools showed that it was throwing a Javascript error about an undefined function.  Everything works fine in IE 10 though and no undefined errors are thrown.
    • I have also noticed that after doing a search on Google and clicking one of the links, in order to get back to the Google results page you have to click the Back button twice; the first Back-click just takes you to a blank page (when you click the Google link it directs you to an empty page, which then forwards you to the correct page).
    • Others have complained that they are experiencing problems with GMail and Silverlight after the 8.1 update.
      So it may just be that IE 11 updated it’s standards to be more compliant and now many websites don’t meet the new requirements (I’m not sure); but either way, you may find that some of your favorite websites no longer work properly with IE 11, and you’ll have to wait for IE 11 or the website to make an update.

     

    VPN stopped working

    We use the SonicWall VPN client at my office, and I found that it no longer worked after updating to Windows 8.1.  The solution was a simple uninstall, reinstall, but still, it’s just one more issue to add to the list.

     

    More?

    Have you noticed other things broken after doing the Windows 8.1 update? Share them in the comments below!

    In my personal opinion, I would wait a while longer before updating to Windows 8.1; give Microsoft more time to fix some of these issues.  Many of the new features in Windows 8.1 aren’t even noticeable yet, as many apps don’t yet take advantage of them.  Also, while MS did put a Start button back in, it’s not nearly as powerful as the Windows 7 Start button, so if that’s your reason for upgrading to 8.1 just go get Classic Shell instead.

    Hopefully Microsoft will be releasing hotfixes to get these issues addressed sooner than later.

    Have Windows Automatically Login Without Entering Your Password

    December 4th, 2012 No comments

    If you are like me and don’t want to have to enter your password each time Windows loads, you can have Windows start up without prompting you to enter a user name or password.  The simple (and BAD) way to do this is to simply not have a password on your user account, but that’s a big security risk and will allow people to easily remote desktop into your computer.

    So, first set a password on your windows account if you don’t already have one.  Then select Run… from the start menu (or use Windows Key + R to open the Run window) and type control userpasswords2, which will open the user accounts application.

    image

     

    On the Users tab, clear the box for Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer, and click on OK. An Automatically Log On dialog box will appear; enter the user name and password for the account you want to use to automatically log into Windows.  That’s it. 

    image

     

    You may also want to make sure your screen saver is not set to prompt you for a password when it exits either.

    image

    Now your computer is secure without getting in your way. Smile

     

    A word of caution about this: ANYBODY will be able to get into your computer.  This is probably fine for your home desktop PCs, but you may want to think about enabling this on your laptop, especially if you regularly take it out and about and it has sensitive information on it (ID, credit card info, saved usernames/passwords in your web browser).  If you weren’t using a password before anyways though, using this trick is still more secure than without it Winking smile

    Categories: Windows Tags: , ,