I was doing some work on one of my PC’s and I had the processes list open in Task Manager. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that one process, VMware-authd.exe, was going from 0 to 10% of the CPU. I didn’t know what that process did, I went out on a limb and assumed that it was somehow related to VMWare. VMware is one of my favorite tools, but I wasn’t running any VMWare sessions. Time to go Googling. Apparently it’s a service that provides administrator priviledges to to a running VMWare session if the host use isn’t logged in with administrator access rights

If you are logged in with admin rights, you don’t need to have this service running. VMware-authd.exe is the name of the executable for the “VMware Authorization Service” service. You can go into Services and shut that service down and then set it’s startup type to “manual”. There are no other services that depend on that service to be running. You can also stop the service from the Windows command line with the following:

net stop VMAuthdService

[Edited on 3/5/08]

If you need to restart the service from the command line, use the following:

net start VMAuthdService