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Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista and XP by Russell Smith

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Conveniently elevating to admin privileges

To make it as convenient as possible to elevate to admin privileges when running as a standard user or protected administrator in Windows Vista, Microsoft designed a system of automatic elevation in certain scenarios.

Automatically launching applications with admin privileges

When a process is launched as a standard user, the CreateProcess function calls the AppCompat, Fusion, and Installer Detection functions to determine if the process requires elevation. The process's application manifest is also checked to establish the value of the requestedExecutionLevel tag. If any of these variables determine that the process requires elevation, the CreateProcess function returns an error and the ShellExecute

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