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We have an environment that requires laptops to login as a local user even through the machine is joined to the domain.

With XP, we could push out registry keys: DefaultUserName = 'ALocalUser' DefaultPassword = 'ThePassword' DefaultDomainName = '' AutoAdminLogon = 1 ForceAutoLogon = 1

Leaving the default domain name empty would cause Windows XP to default back to logging in to the local machine instead of the domain.

In Vista leaving it blank causes an error 'The user name or password is incorrect.' along with the username being displayed as '.\ALocalUser'

I have tried deleting the DefaultDomainName key I have tried setting it to a blank string I have tried setting it to '.'

Nothing seems to let it login short of explicitly putting in the name of the local machine. This is a major pain in the rear when I am trying to deploy those registry settings to 8 machines spread across 100 miles.

Does anyone know of a work-around or see something I'm doing wrong?

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You need to set the domain as the local machines name. In other words, if it's XXXPC001, then the domain is XXXPC001.

In Vista, if you leave the Domain out/blank, it defaults to the Default Logon Domain... which will be your Active Directory domain.

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Right--I totally understand that. What I'm trying to do is push a setting out from Group Policy (like I did under WinXP) that will work from all machines. (I can't push out one string that will work for all machines in this scenario.) – Aaron C. de Bruyn Oct 5 '09 at 2:29
Use a period as the domain, the computer will interpret it as "local computer". – Chris S Jun 18 '14 at 18:10
@ChrisS: I tried that one already. – Aaron C. de Bruyn Jun 18 '14 at 20:12

My suggestion is instead of manually setting those values on each machine, instead it would be better to write a script that sets up the autologin. The script should be able to grab the computer name for you so you don't have to look anything up. Since these are in your domain you could probably even run this script as part of a startup script.

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Yeah--I was thinking the best solution might be a quick script and calling 'reg' to set the name of the local machine. – Aaron C. de Bruyn Oct 5 '09 at 2:28

Using Windows 7, you can do this by setting DefaultUserName to .\username, with a leading "dot backslash", and deleting the DefaultDomainName key.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Just to let everyone know, we found no solution to this issue. We begged and pleaded with the application vendor to fix an issue that was preventing us from using domain-joined accounts. They finally fixed it and we switched over to automatically logging in to a domain account. Hate Microsoft...

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