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The most common reason that some programs will work when you are logged in as one user, but not another is a choice made when the program was setup.

I am currently running winXP Pro on my PC. I am having an issue with my CDRom. It will not read or burn in any profile other then the Administrator. The two other profiles have administrative rights and can see the drive, but can do nothing with it. The media I am using is fine but I do not know what the issue is. Any ideas?

This kind of problem can happen for a couple of reasons, and the person asking has already eliminated one of them.

The reason we can rule out is privilege. A very common cause for this kind of account-specific behavior is privileges or rights. An administrator is allowed to do anything, of course. Other types of accounts can be set up under Windows XP that, for security and safety reasons, don't have the rights to do many things. Installing software is a good example - many applications will fail to install unless you're logged in with administrator privileges when you run the setup program.

Speaking of setting up software, there's another very common issue that can happen because of the way that software is set up.

If you've ever installed software and had it ask you "do you want this program to be available to all users, or just the current user", you've seen what I'm talking about. Many applications can be installed so that they are available to anyone who logs into the machine, or they can be setup to be available only to the account that was used when they software was setup.

In the case of CD-ROM burning software, it's not uncommon for additional software to come with the drive. If it was set up to only work with one account, then it's only going to work with that account. If it has the option of being installed for anyone, then a quick solution is to reinstall it, this time specifying that it should be accessible to anyone who logs into the machine.

If it doesn't have that option, then you might be stuck.

Article C2200 - October 8, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment

November 8, 2004 2:12 PM

Could it be as simple as copying a registry key for that software from HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software to the same location under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software, or to a different user's key under HKEY_USERS? If the user is comfortable with RegEdit and is desperate to make it work, this might be worth a try.

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