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   Administrator and User Passwords in Windows XP


How to Hide the Logon Script Dialog Box on a Windows Client
For Detailed Information click here.

Direct Bootup Without Typing Password

1. At a command prompt, type "control userpasswords2" and press Enter to open the Windows 2000-style User Accounts
    application.
2. On the Users tab, clear the Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer check box and then
    click OK.
3. In the Automatically Log On dialog box that appears, type the user name and password for the account you want to be
    logged on each time you start your computer.

Remove Login Password

Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Local Security Settings/Minimum Password Length/Reduce it to 0 (No password required). Control Panel/User Account/Your Account/Remove Password. 

Cannot Change the Administrator Password in Control Panel

After you log on as an administrator to a computer that is not a member of a domain, when you double-click User Accounts in Control Panel to change the password for the built-in Administrator account, the Administrator account may not appear in the list of user accounts. Consequently, you cannot change its password.

This behavior can occur because the Administrator account logon option appears only in Safe mode if more than one account is created on the system. The Administrator account is available in Normal mode only if there are no other accounts on the system.  To work around this behavior:

- If you are running Windows XP Home Edition, restart the computer and then use a power user account to log on to the
  computer in Safe mode.

- If you are running Windows XP Professional, reset the password in the Local Users and Groups snap-in in Microsoft
  Management Console (MMC):

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type "mmc" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK to start MMC.
3. Start the Local Users and Groups snap-in.
4. Under Console Root, expand "Local Users and Groups", and then click Users.
5. In the right pane, right-click Administrator, and then click Set Password.
6. Click Proceed in the message box that appears.
7. Type and confirm the new password in the appropriate boxes, and then click OK.

How to Change User Password at Command Prompt

How to use the net user command to change the user password at a Windows command prompt. Only administrators can change domain passwords at the Windows command prompt.  To change a user's password at the command prompt, log on as an administrator and type:  "net user <user_name> * /domain" (without the quotation marks)

When you are prompted to type a password for the user, type the new password, not the existing password. After you type the new password, the system prompts you to retype the password to confirm. The password is now changed.

Alternatively, you can type the following command:  net user <user_name> <new_password>.  When you do so, the password changes without prompting you again. This command also enables you to change passwords in a batch file.

Non-administrators receive a "System error 5 has occurred. Access is denied" error message when they attempt to change the password.

How to Enable Automatic Logon in Windows

If you set a computer for auto logon, anyone who can physically obtain access to the computer can gain access to all of the computer contents, including any network or networks it is connected to. In addition, if you enable autologon, the password is stored in the registry in plaintext. The specific registry key that stores this value is remotely readable by the Authenticated Users group.

As a result, this setting is only appropriate for cases where the computer is physically secured, and steps have been taken to ensure that untrusted users cannot remotely access the registry.

1. Start/Run/Regedit, and then locate the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
2. Using your account name and password, double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your user name, and then click
    OK.
3. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your password, and then click OK.

NOTE: The DefaultPassword value may not exist. If it does not:

a. Click Add Value on the Edit menu.
b. In the Value Name box, type DefaultPassword, and then click REG_SZ for the Data Type
c. Type your password in the String box, and then save your changes.

Also, if no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon key
from 1 (true) to 0 (false), thus disabling the AutoAdminLogon feature.

4. Click Add Value on the Edit menu, enter AutoAdminLogon in the Value Name box, and then click REG_SZ for the Data
    Type.
5. Type "1" (without the quotation marks) in the String box, and then save your changes.
6. Quit Regedit.
7. Click Start, click Shutdown, and then click OK to turn off your computer.
8. Restart your computer and Windows. You are now able to log on automatically.

NOTE: To bypass the AutoAdminLogon process, and to log on as a different user, hold down the SHIFT key after you log off or after Windows restarts.

Note that this procedure only applies to the first logon. To enforce this setting for subsequent logoffs, the administrator must set the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Value: ForceAutoLogon
Type: REG_SZ
Data: 1

Windows XP Inherits Autologon Setting After Upgrade from Win2000

After you upgrade a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer, Windows XP Professional may start directly to the desktop without stopping at the Welcome screen or requiring you to type a username and password. If you then create a new user account, you may not receive any option that allows you to log on by using the new account.

This behavior can occur if Windows 2000 was configured for automatic logon (Autologon). Windows XP inherits this configuration setting. 

To resolve this behavior, turn off the automatic logon feature and require a username and password at logon:

1. Click Start on the Windows taskbar, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.
3. In the dialog box that appears, click to select the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer"
    check box, and then click OK.

To work around this behavior, log off from the Autologon account, and then log on by using the new account.


Not Prompted to Create Password with New XP User Account

When you create a new user on a Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition-based computer, you are not prompted to create a password.  To create a password for a user account, click the icon for the account, and then click "Create a Password".

Stored User Names and Passwords Feature Interoperability at a Command Prompt

By default, the Stored User Names and Passwords feature creates a "key" for any connection that you make in the graphical user interface (GUI) that requires alternate credentials. When you make a connection at a command prompt by using the net use command and by passing alternate credentials, a key is not created.

For the net use command to save the credentials in Credential Manager, use the /savecred switch. When you use the /savecred switch, any credentials that you are prompted for when you use the net use command are saved as a key.

Therefore, if you are prompted for the user name and password (or if you are prompted only for the password) when you use the net use command (but not because you used an asterisk [*] in the net use command for password prompting) and the /savecred switch, the credentials are saved.

When you type the net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name /savecred command, the user is prompted for a user name, and then the user is prompted for a password.

When you type the net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name /u: domain_name \ user_name /savecred command, the user is prompted for a password.

However, when you type one of the following commands, a key is not created:
net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name * /user: domain_name \ user_name /savecred
-or-
net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name * /savecred /user: domain_name \ user_name

If you type net help use at a command prompt, more information is displayed about the net use command.

Password Has Expired Message

Start/Programs/Administrative Tools/Local Security Policy/Account Policies/Password Policy.  In the right pane, right click, properties, modify (use accordingly). And Start/Programs/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Local Users and Groups/Right Click "User"(intended)/Properties...Or with Admin privileges, at a command prompt type: net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited.

To Create a Password Reset Disk

The Forgotten Password Wizard lets you create a password reset disk that you can use to recover your user account and personalized computer settings if you forget your password.  The steps to perform this task differ depending on whether your computer is a member of a network domain or is part of a workgroup (or is a stand-alone computer).

My Computer is on a Domain

Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to open the Windows Security dialog box.  Click Change Password.
Click Backup to open the Forgotten Password Wizard. Click Next and then follow the instructions as they appear on the screen.

My Computer is not on a Domain

The steps to perform this task differ depending on the type of user account you have. If you have a computer administrator account:  Open User Accounts in Control Panel. Click your account name. Under Related Tasks located on the left side of the window, click Prevent a forgotten password. In the Forgotten Password Wizard, follow the instructions as they appear on the screen.

If you Have a Limited Account

Open User Accounts in Control Panel. Under Related Tasks located on the left side of the window, click Prevent a forgotten password. In the Forgotten Password Wizard, follow the instructions as they appear on the screen.

Notes:  To open User Accounts, click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.

     Certain Programs Do Not Work Correctly If You Log On Through a Limited User Account. 

     After you log on to a computer by using a Limited User Account, you may observe one or more of the following
     behaviors when you try to use a program that is not expressly designed for Windows XP. Information here.

Password Reset Disk Overview

To protect user accounts in the event that the user forgets the password, every local user should make a password reset disk and keep it in a safe place. Then, if the user forgets his or her password, the password can be reset using the password reset disk and the user is able to access the local user account again.

Resetting the Password

After you reset the password of an account on a Windows XP-based computer that is joined to a workgroup, you may lose access to the user's:  Web page credentials, File share credentials, EFS-encrypted files, Certificates with private keys (SIGNED/ENCRYPTed e-mail). More information in detail here.

I assume no responsibility for the purpose to which this information is used. This includes employees attempting to bypass restrictions put into place by System Administrators on corporate machines.

Delete Admin Password

Boot up with DOS and delete the sam.exe and sam.log files from Winnt\system32\config in your hard drive. Now when you boot up in NT the password on your built-in administrator account will be blank (No password). This solution works only if your hard drive is FAT.  [Editor's note: Use with caution, there may be other ramifications from performing this tip.]

Forgot your Admin Password

This is a utility to (re)set the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your NT system, by modifying the crypted password in the registrys SAM file.  You do not need to know the old password to set a new one.

It works offline, that is, you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a floppydisk. The bootdisk includes stuff to access NTFS partitions and scripts to glue the whole thing together. Note: It will now also work with SYSKEY, including the option to turn it off!  More information here.  Download here.

All Passwords-Master Copy

With Darn! Passwords! Just one password opens the safe that holds all those other ones for programs and web sites that require you to log in.  Download Here.

Just pick the password, and drag it and it's log-in (if there is one) into the program that uses it. No retyping is necessary (even in programs that do not accept the drag, you can just paste the password in). Go to the URL of a password protected site with the click of a button.

Information on System Restore and Password Restoration

Passwords That Are Restored:

1. Program passwords are restored, such as Hotmail Messenger, AOL Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and other Web server-based passwords. This behavior is by design: The programs simply cache these passwords; the actual passwords are
stored on a Web server. System Restore does not actually change the password, but it changes the password that is remembered by the program. You can use the current password for the program to log on to the server.

2. Domain and Computer passwords are restored. This behavior is by Design and is a limitation of System Restore. System Restore only rolls back the local machine state. Part of the information about joining domains resides in Active Directory, and Active Directory is not rolled back by System Restore.

Migration Wizard Does Not Migrate Passwords

The Migration Wizard does not migrate passwords. Passwords for Dial-Up Networking connections, Microsoft Outlook Express accounts, Microsoft Internet Explorer saved passwords, mapped drives, and so on will need to be reconfigured once the migration is complete.

Administrator Account Not Used for Logon

The administrator account and password created during Setup are used to log on in Safe Mode only. To create a password for user accounts, double-click Manage Users in Control Panel.

Therefore, if you are prompted for the user name and password (or if you are prompted only for the password) when you use the net use command (but not because you used an asterisk [*] in the net use command for password prompting) and the /savecred switch, the credentials are saved.

When you type the net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name /savecred command, the user is prompted for a user name, and then the user is prompted for a password.

When you type the net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name /u: domain_name \ user_name /savecred command, the user is prompted for a password.

However, when you type one of the following commands, a key is not created:
net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name * /user: domain_name \ user_name /savecred
-or-
net use * \\ computer_name \ share_name * /savecred /user: domain_name \ user_name

If you type net help use at a command prompt, more information is displayed about the net use command.

Logon Name Not in Task Manager or Under Documents & Settings

When the Welcome screen is appears, the names that are displayed do not match any of the names of users' folders under the Documents and Settings folder or any of the names on the Users tab in Task Manager.

This behavior may occur if you have changed the name of the account in the User Accounts tool in Control Panel. By doing so, the new name appears on the Welcome screen, but the actual account name remains the same. The folders under the Documents and Settings folder and the names that are listed in Task Manager show the actual account name.

To resolve this behavior, if the display name for a user account has been changed, you can find out which account the new display name belongs to by logging on as that user, starting Task Manager, and then clicking the Users tab.

The user account that is marked as active is the one that is currently logged on. Also, you can find out which of the folders under Documents and Settings belongs to the currently logged-on user by right-clicking Start, and then clicking Explore. Windows Explorer will then start in the Start Menu folder of the currently logged-on user's folder.


 

Administrator Unable to Unlock a "Locked" Computer

This behavior can occur for either of the following reasons:  When the default screen saver is set to use a non-existent screen saver program. And/or When you use a corrupted screen saver that is password protected.  More Information.

Information About Unlocking a Workstation

The following registry setting is received every time the computer is locked:  Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

ForceUnlockLogon
REG_DWORD

0 - Do not force authentication inline (default)
1 - Require online authentication to unlock

The preceding value controls whether a full logon is performed during the unlock process. This can force a validation at the domain controller for the user attempting the unlock process.

NOTE: If the value is not present, it functions as if it had been set to 0 (zero).

Lock Your Computer and Use Other Windows Logo Shortcut Keys

To use the shortcut, press the Windows logo key+L. The following list has different computer lock-up scenarios that are available to you, as well as other ways to lock the computer: Click Here.

Create a Shortcut to Lock Computer

Right click a blank space on the desktop, select new, shortcut. Copy and Paste this line: "rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation" in the program location box. Click next and create a name for your shortcut, click finish.

Lock the Taskbar

This restriction is used to force the locking of the taskbar and restrict users from making any changes to its position. Start/Run/Regedit:  Navigate to this key and create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called 'LockTaskbar' and edit the value according to the settings below.  Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
Value Name: LockTaskbar
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (0 = Unlocked, 1 = Locked)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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