Running WAMP without Admin credentials
Posted by: DocDay (
Date: August 26, 2006 10:57AM


I install programs and such from an Admin account, but for security reasons I typically do most of my work in a User account having limited privileges. See


for what I believe are some compelling reasons to do this.

Running with limited User privileges can be challenging, since many applications were created by developers running with Admin privileges. Even Microsoft (!) continues to do this, contrary to their own advice.

I've been experimenting with running WAMP5 (v1.6.4) from a Win XP User account, and here's what I've found:

1) I installed WAMP5 from an Admin account, which I'm assuming was necessary.
2) Manually starting WAMPserver from an Admin account works just fine.
3) Manually starting WAMPserver from a User account fails to start both Apache and mySQL!
4) I experimented with changing the Apache and mySQL services to run as Admin with no luck.
5) I experimented with changing the Apache and mySQL services to start "automatically" with no luck.
6) I found that manually starting "launch_wampserver.bat" from a desktop shortcut is helpful. The "Shortcut" tab of the shortcut property sheet contains the following:

The "Target" box contains "C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /c launch_wampserver.bat".
The "Start in:" box contains the full path to the folder containing "launch_wampserver.bat".
The "Run:" box contains "Minimized".
I clicked "Advanced", then checked the "Run with different credentials" box.

Manually starting this shortcut brings up the "Run As" dialog wherein Admin name and password may be entered. WAMPserver starts both Apache and mySQL, then remains in the system tray. Most functionality is available, with the exception of the shortcuts to LocalHost, phpMyAdmin, and SQLiteManager. These appear to do nothing, but a simple desktop shortcut to "[localhost]; can overcome those exceptions. The default WAMP5 index.php page provides links to phpMyAdmin, SQLiteManager, and more.

So this is my solution for now. Is there a better solution out there?

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