How to: become the LOCAL SYSTEM account with PsExec

If you are an administrator using Specops Deploy, you may have had the following experience: an application can be deployed without any problems when you are trying it on your local machine but when you try to deploy it you can’t seem to get it to work. This blog post might shed some light on your issue.

When an application is deployed using Specops Deploy, LOCAL SYSTEM is the account performing the installation. To ensure that your application is installed in the exact same way as Specops Deploy App, you need to act as the LOCAL SYSTEM account. To do this I recommend a little tool from Sysinternals called PsExec.exe

  1. Download PsTools from
  2. Unzip the content and copy PsExec.exe to C:\Windows\System32
  3. Open a Command Prompt as admin and enter the command below:
PsExec.exe -s -i cmd.exe

By using PsExec.exe you will open the new Command Prompt in the System Context and the account doing all the operations will be the LOCAL SYSTEM account. This is the same account Specops Deploy App uses when installing applications.

Using PsExec to become the LOCAL SYSTEM account

In the Command Prompt opened as LOCAL SYSTEM so that you can test your installations before you move them into Specops Deploy.

Open LOCAL SYSTEM account in the command prompt

In other words, this is the perfect way to test your installations. There is no way to get closer to how Specops Deploy App is deploying software to the machines in your network.

Test out Specops Deploy in your AD

(Last updated on October 30, 2023)

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mikael ingelin

Written by

Mikael Ingelin

Product specialist from Stockholm, Sweden has worked in the IT industry for over 25 years. For the past 10 years he has been working at Specops Software and before this he was responsible for the complete IT infrastructure at one of Sweden’s largest law firms. He has a broad practical and theoretical experience of managing, architecture and deploying complex IT infrastructures. Extensive knowledge of virtualization, Windows Server, Windows security, Active Directory and Group Policy.

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