Ever needed to have Windows log on as a specific user automatically without touching the PC. You might wonder where you could possibly need this.
We have two PC’s with each a 42” LCD TV connected as the screen. We use them as electronic billboards in the canteens. These PC’s are locked in a steel cabinet, so they are not easily reachable should the power go down in order to restart them. I needed to figure out a way to have this happen automatically.
There are a few steps you need to achieve this.
Firstly, you need to have a look in the BIOS set-up of your PC, on the power settings. You should find the setting that controls what the PC should do after an unexpected power-outage. This setting should be set to start-up.
Secondly, you might want to edit the time countdown you get when the PC starts back up after an unexpected power down. You do this by right-clicking on “My Computer”.
Clicking on “Advanced System Settings”. A new dialogue box opens called “System Properties”
On the Advanced tab, click the “Settings” button in the “Startup and Recovery” section. A new dialogue box opens called “Startup and Recovery”
In the “System Startup” section, reduce the seconds for “Time to display the list of operating systems”. About 3 seconds should do the trick as you still need a bit of time if you should need to get your hands dirty on the machine itself one day.
Thirdly, You need to edit the registry to insert the default Username and Password the PC needs to start with.
Run the Registry Editor.
Browse to; HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Double click the DefaultUsername entry and type in the Username to be used, and click “OK”.
Double click the DefaultPassword entry and type in the Password to be used, and click “OK”. If there is no DefaultPassword entry, create a new string value called DefaultPassword and edit it as above.
Double click the AutoAdminLogon entry and change the value to 1, and click “OK”.
If you want a backup plan when you need to login as someone else and thus NOT make use of the auto-logon, you can double click ForceAutoLogon entry and change the value to 1, and click “OK”. If there is no such key, create it and change the value as mentioned. This will allow you to logon with a different Username and Password simply holding down the left shift key on the keyboard as Windows starts.
The same auto-login can be done for PC’s that are not part of a domain. Watch out for that in my next article.
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