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LUA Lightbug Utility

As anyone that has spent time deploying applications in an enterprise environment knows, sometimes software just doesn't work. I guess it's more that the software just doesn't work for non-admin users than anything. My personal thinking is that software should be written in a way that it works at no matter what user level you're running it at. Now, I understand that this isn't always possible, and I'm fine with that. But some applications I've run into in the past, some camera related software that will remain nameless (right, Kodak?), that will not even run under a non-admin user account. The user receives a message that you need to be a local admin in order to use the software, which then promptly closes when you click OK.

Enter LUA Buglight (LUA = Limited User Account). I found out about this handy application while listening to a podcast a few days ago and was really anxious to try it out. This utility allows you to run an application and will generate a log of operations that failed while running as a standard user, but succeeded as an administrator. Pretty slick. This is much better than my old method of running Filemon and Regmon (Processmon now, which will get a blog entry here at some point) and filtering out everything but the application I was testing.

The interface is very simple and easy to use. You begin by selecting the executable you want to test, enter any switches for that application, and then click Start.

LUA Buglight 2.1 Interface







When you click Start, you will be prompted to enter two sets of credentials: 1) an account with administrative rights 2) the standard user account you are logged in with. Buglight needs to be run under a standard user account in order to function properly. You will need to provide both sets of credentials so that it is able to run your executable as both an administrative and standard user.

Buglight 2.1 Authentication Information










Buglight will now launch the executable you entered in the field and will begin logging. You can stop the logging at any point by clicking on the Stop Logging button. Once you do this, you will be presented with the log of the application execution. This will detail the registry, file, and COM objects that the program tried accessing as a standard user, failed, and was then able to access as an administrator.

Buglight 2.1 File System Report












Buglight 2.1 Registry Log













You can review the logs and follow the recommendation at the bottom of each tab in order to resolve the issues.

As I haven't had much time to try this out, I think this is definitely going to be a utility that will come in handy and will be very useful in installing and deploying new software packages. If anyone has any feedback or experience with Buglight, I would love to hear about it. Also, be sure to check out blog of the Buglight author, Aaron Margosis.

Vista SP2 Release

I'm a few days behind in updating the blog...okay, months behind in updating. I was just going to post that Microsoft released SP2 for Vista and Server 2008  last week. I have installed the SP on just a single Vista Business install so far, but have had no trouble from it. Actually, I think performance has improved just slightly since the service pack was installed.

Here are the download links for the updates:

Windows Vista and Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Download

Critical IE Security Patch Released

In case you haven't been paying attention to the news lately, there has been a security flaw publicised that affects Internet Explorer versions 5.01, 6, 6 SP1, and 7. Microsoft even recommends patching IE 8 Beta 2. The flaw could allow remote code execution by visiting compromised websites.

More information can be found on the MS Security Bulletin page for this patch:

It is recommended that everyone install this patch by running Windows Updates. If you have Automatic Updates enabled, you will automatically receive this patch.

Disable Hibernation in Vista

I like Vista, for the most part. There are still a few things that I'm trying to get used to. I was trying to disable hibernation because I don't use hibernation and it was using a little over 2GB of space on my drive, which is quickly filling up.

Here is how to disable hibernation in Vista:

1. Open a command prompt as Administrator
2. Type powercfg -h off and hit enter

Why does Microsoft feel it necessary to hide options like this?

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