Debugging WinForms and WebForms with a non-admin Domain Account

I just spent 4 hours trying to figure this out — so here it is for the next sucker.

I have a new machine on my network and it will be my development machine. I added my domain account on to this machine as a non-admin. (Do you hear cheering?) I used an admin account to install my software, including Visual studio.NET, which very kindly added my admin account to the Debugger Users group. However, I need my account to be a Debugger User. I tried the right click run as method which is a pia and works for WinForms but not WebForms – but I hate hacks.

Using the basic tool in Windows XP, you can assign/change groups but you can only have one group at a time. I replaced “Power Users“ with “Debugger Users“ but could not log back in. I needed them both. I went a little further to use the MMC snap-in for “Local Users and Groups“ but come hell or high water (leon, did I get that right?), I could not get it to recognize my domain. I spent a lot of time googling this and saw many requests for help with this problem but no solutions. Here is a snapshot showing the problem of not accessing my domain when trying to add users

Finally I remembered my own similar situation wtih SQL Server a few months ago. After upgrading my server to Win2003 and IIS6, I needed to add the “NT AUTHORITY/NETWORK SERVICE“ account to my sql server logins. The account was just not available through the UI and I had to add it through TSQL (command line).

So with this idea, I started searching again and quickly came across many features of the NET command line tool (part of DOS) that I never knew about. Here is the TechNet reference to this invaluable tool. Net Services Overview  and Net Services Commands

I used the “NET localgroup” command to add my domain account to the local Debugger Users group and now am back in business!

net localgroup “Debugger Users” MYDOMAIN\julie /add

Here are a few key words for google: add domain account group local user accounts windows xp

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