People just want what they want, whether they have permission or not

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/12/29 07:01 -05:00, original URI:

The question that came onto the distribution list was:

I have a customer who has removed administrative rights for the users in his domain and since then those users are not able to see the administrative tab in the Regional and Language Options on their respective workstations. The workstations are running XP SP2.

I searched on this and found that this is something by default and hard coded in the OS and thus difficult to work around. Can somebody confirm this please?

Thanks for your help.

Of course what these non-administrative users wanted to do in the Advanced tab of Regional and Language Options in XP is less clear:

Every single item there requires administrative permissions to do, since they all involve addng/deleting files in the SYSTEM32 directory and/or changing registry information under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

it was in fact Raymond who set the record straight on that internal alias about whether or not one could find formal documentation on whether one coukld work around this issue; summary version: one can't.

Maybe they just wanted an easy way to view what the default system locale was, or which code pages have been installed.

Now there are nuances here -- the generic check for administrative rights would not handle special cases where registry permissions were modified in unusual ways to try to make all of the operations on this tab work (and we don't really document what that method is, or even what changes get made, in any real way).

But of course given the fact that the issue is addressed for everything Vista and later makes the idea of modifying XP to support something that changes no real functionality would be pretty unlikely.

If one wanted to query information writing a simple application that does that bit is a lot more likely, and easy to do.

But there is no way to win here, completely, since:

Summary: people just want what they want, whether they have permission or not.....

Cheong on 29 Dec 2010 5:43 PM:

I think most probably they want to change the locale for all users in order to change the default input locale in logon screen.

Sure they can change the input locale with key combinations, but I've heard people want to have "Num Lock" defaulted to "on" so that they can type password in keypad directly too... :P

That said, is it possible to make language bar floating in the logon screen (I think this is the reason why they make the language button available in Vista/7)? It isn't intuitive for users with less computer knowledge to figure out how to change the input locale in logon screen.

Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Dec 2010 6:50 PM:

But a DCR for an OS almost out of extended support? At this point, the fix is the upgrade (if that's the scenario, even)....

Alex Cohn on 29 Dec 2010 9:36 PM:

why can't a user choose their non- unicode code page?

Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Dec 2010 10:01 PM:

Because it is a system wide setting that affects every interactive and non-interactive session on the machine, and changing requires changes to be written to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, as well as a reboot.

Yuhong Bao on 30 Dec 2010 1:57 AM:

"But a DCR for an OS almost out of extended support? "

Well, extended support for XP ends April 2014.

Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Dec 2010 7:53 AM:

Features are not supposed to be added in the long tail of service packs.

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