Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am automating a set of procedures to configure several servers. These procedures include several reboots. To solve this in pre 2008 builds we set the reg keys

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\DefaultUserName = "username"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\DefaultPassword = "password
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\AutoAdminLogon = 1
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\AutoLogonCount = 1

From everything I read this still holds true for 2008. When I use this when the server is standalone, it works fine. But after I join it to a domain it no longer works. It does not even appear to attempt to logon.

As a test I used the wrong password (pre domain) and it attempted to logon and then presented me with the 'bad password' dialog. Doing the same thing under the domain I do not get the dialog. I checked the registry and AutoAdminLogon had been reset to 0, but the AutoLogonCount had not been deprecated.

As another test, I increased the AutoLogonCount to 2 and reboot the server. It remained at 2 (implying that it did not attempt to logon) and AutoAdminLogon was at 0 (implying that something else changed it).

I have read that if you don't include the DefaultPassword key that the system will automatcially change the value of AutoAdminLogn 0. Could something else like that be going on here?

share|improve this question
After further testing I have some more data. The original DC I joined to was a 2003 server. When I join to a 2008 DC, the settings above work. The group policies are supposed to be the same on them but I am not confident in that. So I am guessing its either the result of the GPs being set in a specific way on the 2003 DC (any ideas as to where to look?) or some compatibility issue between 2008/2003. – Chris White Dec 1 '11 at 16:21
What happens if you set the DefaultUserName value to "domain\username" (where "domain" is the NetBIOS domain name, not the FQDN)? – Jonathan J Dec 1 '11 at 22:12
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This code works fine joining to our 2008 DC. What I believe the problem was has to do with some of our security settings and possilby kerberos between a 2008 server joining a 2003 hosted domain

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.