The tedium of a Windows user account without Administrator privilege is almost unbearable. Installing software and other updates would require logout/in as Administrator and, while not difficult, is a hassle.
Microsoft introduced the RunAs command from the Command Prompt and the graphical user interface to overcome this. Right-click a program, choose Run As…, and enter your Administrator details. The application will install within your limited user account.
The trouble arises when you want to install an MSI file because they aren’t executables like SETUP.EXE. You’ll find that right-clicking an MSI from Windows Explorer only provides an Install option, not Run As. This makes it almost impossible to install the MSI from a limited user account.
I found ways to hack your Registry to enable RunAs for MSI files but there’s an easier way if you don’t mind some typing. In short, you’ll be using the command line to execute MSIEXEC using
runas and referencing the MSI file. Example:
runas /u:[domain][user] "msiexec.exe /i [path-to-file][file.MSI]"
Substitute the bracketed fields as needed. If you are not connected to a Windows Server Domain you can ignore the
[domain] text. Make sure the MSIEXEC command is enclosed in double-quotes. You may have trouble if there are space characters in your folder path or filename; try enclosing them in double-quotes or copy the MSI file to a location such as C:TEMP to keep the path simple.
Hit Enter and you’ll be prompted to type a password (assuming Administrator) and the MSI will install as if you chose Run As… from Windows Explorer.