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Work Around For ShellRunas With Office on Windows 8

At Exsilio we do a lot of consulting work.  As a result we often need to use client provided credentials on our Exsilio work stations.  This can be difficult if the credentials provided are active directory based, since most of us are running on an internal active directory domain.  To get around this we use a cool little Explorer extension called ShellRunas which is part of the Sysinternals Suite (a free collection of useful system utilities for Windows).

ShellRunas allows you to change the Active Directory credentials a program submits to network resources.  For example, this would allow you to run SQL Server Management Studios and connect to a SQL server using Active Directory credentials on your client’s domain.  I have been using ShellRunas for a while now and have to say it works pretty well, except with Microsoft Office applications on Windows.

How to Install ShellRunas

Installing ShellRunas is pretty simple:

  1. Download ShellRunas.
  2. Extract the ShellRunas.exe file to C:\Program Files (x86)\SysinternalsSuite\.
  3. Open a command prompt
  4. Type in "C:\Program Files (x86)\SysinternalsSuite\ShellRunas.exe" /reg and press enter.  This will enable the “Run as different user…” option on the Explorer context menu.
  5. Type in "C:\Program Files (x86)\SysinternalsSuite\ShellRunas.exe" /regnetonly and press enter.  This will enable “Run as different user (netonly)…” option on the Explorer context menu.

The Issue

To produce the issue install Office 2013 on Windows 8 and pin Excel to the task bar.  Then, right click on Excel on your task bar, shift right click on Excel 2013, then select “Run as different user (netonly)…”
How to run as netonly

Enter your credentials into the popup and hit “OK”.  At this point a Command Prompt should open (to manage your connection) and Excel should start.  Instead the Command Prompt opens for a second then closes.  Excel never shows.

Trying “Run as different user (netonly)…” on the EXCEL.EXE results in an error message after a few minutes.
Something went wrong
We Couldn’t start your program.  Please try starting it again.
If it won’t start, try repairing Office from ‘Programs and Features’ in the control Panel.
You can go online to find more help.

Work Around

To run an Office application like Excel with different network credentials will need to open the Office application using another program, like Visual Studio or SQL Server Management Studio.

To do this start your host program using “Run as different user (netonly)…” and the desired credentials.  Then open an Excel document by opening File > Open > File…  Excel should open and use the credentials you provided.

You can get a free copy of Visual Studio from http://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-express-vs.aspx.  Any of the versions should be fine.

You can get a free copy of SQL Server Management Studio from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29062.  Download the file named ENU\x64\SQLManagementStudio_x64_ENU.exe.

If you are interested in learning more about this, please contact us at https://blog.exsilio.com/contact.

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