I triple-boot Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2, and SUSE Linux 9.3 Professional.
For those that don't know, Linux has special user permissions. There is only one user with access to the entire harddrive, called "root", and this user has an encrypted password. All other users can only access a few folders, mainly their "Home" folder, which is the equivalent of the "Documents and Settings" folder in Windows.
I use Linux for email and web browsing as I am very paranoid about viruses and spyware and the like, but I need Windows XP for gaming, as well as some other programs. I also need it when making Windows screenshots to help people, so even if I could get WINE working correctly (which really isn't possible, given that my 3d acceleration doesn't work), I'd still need Windows XP for this. While I disable Internet in Windows 98, this is not possible for XP, because many of the games I play on it are online games.
It would thus be of great convenience to me to be able to run Windows XP safely, and I have recently heard that 'nix-like user permissions are possible with Windows XP. I have also heard, however, that XP's user permission system is far more primitive.
I am going to be buying a new video card soon, and when I buy this card, I plan on reformatting XP. When I reformat, I'd like to set up these user permissions, that is, if I can live with the annoyances associated with it.
Here are the questions I have (keep in mind that I have Home Edition):
1) Would this even protect me from viruses and other malicious programs?
2) Is it possible run a program as a different user?
3) Is it possible to encrypt the Administrator password?
4) Is it possible to configure Limited accounts' access to individual folders?
5) Is it possible to log in as a different user in the command prompt application?
6) Is it possible to configure which user is automatically logged into on startup?
7) Are there any programs I can expect not to run with this type of permissions system, even if I install them in the Documents and Settings folder?
8) Are there any other annoyances I should be aware of?
9) Is there an alternative way to protect myself that you would recommend?
10) Is there a way to configure the location of the Documents and Settings Folder of an already created account (this way, I could change my folder from D:\Documents and Settings\Kamex to D:\Documents and Settings\Administrator in order to try the system out and avoid having to reformat)?