Drobo

Drobo Dashboard Autostart in Vista (and possibly Win7?)

Using Drobo Dashboard 1.5.1, and since it’s an unsigned app, Vista blocks it from launching automatically at login.

However, there’s an easy way around this (up to Vista SP2 at least, not sure if it’s been removed/restricted in Win7):
Use the Task Scheduler to set a task to
[list]
[]In the General Tab, enable Run with highest privileges
[
]On the Triggers tab, New, then Begin the task: At log on
[*]On the Actions tab, New, then Action: Start a program, and browse for the Drobo Dashboard application
[/list]

I use the same method to run the HotSwap! tray utility that lets me Safely Remove my SATA hotswap trays since it’s unsigned as well.

Brandon

Hi,

but I don’t recommend this if you have restricted account because a user can get administrative rights.

Regards, Nils.

Fair point, but for me, I rather have things auto-start, regardless of whether they’re signed, as long as I know they’re trusted.

It’d be better if Drobo Dashboard was just signed so Windows would stop blocking it from launching at startup in the first place. :slight_smile:

Brandon,

sorry, but I mean if your children log into your computer and the Dashboard is started with administrative rights, your kids can also get administrative rights.

Regards, Nils.

My children know better than to go into any program that isn’t theirs. :slight_smile:

just give your children their own account? which would be the sensible thing to do in the first place since then you can impose all kinds of other limits on their accounts.

only have dashboard autostart on your own account?

Hi

In Windows 7, it worked for me only after I’ve also changed the user account/group under which the program starts, from my username to “Administrators” group. Furthermore, I have also added “-startup” argument to the program (like in original, non-functional in UAC environment startup shortcut) to make the Dashboard run straight into hidden (“systray”) mode.

Regards
Zbig

@Docchris: if you have an restricted account, then runnig the Dashboard with administrative rights is a big security hole. And a lot of other programs are a problem, too. Because you can start other programs from the Dashboard using the admistrative account.

The use of unsigned programs is an absolute anathema, regardless of the OS, and any adult user ought to refuse to load such a program.

DRI, you ABSOLUTELY MUST get your act together with respect to such basic security measures, otherwise you will complete lose all credibility in the IT community, and most home users as well.

Agree with Suite B here… the best solution is for DRI to sign the app.

I don’t get whole this application signing topic… could someone explain it a little more please? I thought that if the application wasn’t signed, we would get an OS dialog asking if we’re sure to run this untrusted file (with an optional checkbox which makes the choice permanent). I don’t get anything like that on Windows 7 and current Dashboard version. All I’m getting is the UAC request for elevating the privileges. And UAC is triggered when particular program tries to do something considered not necessarily safe by Microsoft, like some lower-level or administrative operations. On Vista, I’m getting UAC request also when I try to access Device Manager as well as in dozens of other circumstances. It has been a little relaxed in Windows 7 by default but isn’t this just how User Account Control mechanism work? Are you sure it has anything to do with the signature (or lack of) of the executable?

@Zbig: you are using an user with administrativ right, aren’t you? So for this it does not matter. But if you create a user who is just in the group of users, than this method of running dashboard is unsecure. You can open the dashboard tools and try to do an manual firmware update. This will give you an file open dialog. In this dialog you can run any application with the rights of the dashboard, wich are in this case administrative rigths.

So you create a user for your children, give them just user rights, because they should not install any software or change system setting etc. But you also give them a big backdoor…

Thanks Nils, I see… Now I understand the risk of using the “workaround” for running the Dashboard at startup. But I still don’t get, how proper signing of the executable would prevent the Windows UAC mechanism from requiring elevated priviledges to let the Dashboard do its things, I’m afraid… Could MS issue “official blessing” for the Dashboard application so it won’t trigger UAC warning in the feature? Does it work that way?

  • I mean won’t generate UAC warning on administrative account and let the application work at all under non-administrative user account.

Unsigned apps get blocked from auto-startup because it’s a non-interactive launch. If the app is signed then Windows doesn’t worry so much about it possibly being tampered with and will them allow run.