How to: Run a cmd under system account / gain access to system account

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There is an account in Microsoft Windows that is more powerful than the Administrator account in Windows Operating Systems. That account is called System account it is similar to the root OR super user in the Linux/Unix world . I will show you how to access this system account in this article.

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In the ‘good old days’ of Windows 2000 / Windows XP there was this AT.exe command with the /interactive parameter/switch.. if you scheduled a task using

AT 12:34 /interactive cmd.exe

cmd.exe was started by the scheduler windows service and since this service was running under system account, the cmd.exe process was created by local system authority => result, your cmd.exe process was running as system.

Nowadays, with Windows 7 / Windows Vista and UAC and other improvements, the AT /interactive way does no longer work. but (for sake of Christ) there are those SysInternal Tools by the almighty doctor Russinovich. Especially we’re looking at the psexec.exe tool in this post .. So, to run a cmd.exe or any other process as system, just download psexec.exe and call it as follows:

C:\>\Temp\SysinternalsSuite\PsExec.exe -i -d -s cmd.exe

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PsExec v1.98 – Execute processes remotely
Copyright (C) 2001-2010 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals – www.sysinternals.com

cmd.exe started on CONWKS100 with process ID 5220.

In the opened cmd.exe type:

C:\Windows\system32>whoami
nt authority\system

C:\Windows\system32>

and you’ll see, you’re ‘the god of your system’ and you have all privileges.

Links

SysInternals psexec.exe can be downloaded here

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