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I need the administrator account on a 2003 machine to start without a password, or even a session. That is, once the machine is powered on, it should boot into the administrator account and run startup programs without any prompting.

I know that a service could accomplish similar functionality, but I truly need this behavior. Also, can I disable passwords for remote-desktop connections?

EDIT
This is a virtual machine, and I need it to boot into a user account for various reasons. I have startup scripts under the administrator account, but they only start after I have logged in via remote desktop for the first time. I need these scripts to run as the machine boots.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's unclear what you mean by "...even a session." I think you're just looking for auto-logon functionality, though.

The AutoAdminLogon functionality will get you what you want on the server's console. (The article refers to Windows XP, but it works the same way on Windows Server 2003). Be sure you physically secure the server computer's console.

You can't remove the password prompt for Remote Desktop connections. You really don't want to, either (even if you think you do).

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This is a virtual machine, and I need it to boot into a user account for various reasons. I have startup scripts under the administrator account, but they only start after I have logged in via remote desktop for the first time. I need these scripts to run as the machine boots. Why wouldn't I want to remove the password prompt? This is an internal VM, and users accidentally knocking one another off of their remote connections is a non-issue. –  Stefan Kendall Dec 8 '09 at 21:27
    
I've set AutoAdminLogon, ForceAutoLogon, Defaultuser, Defaultpass, and this doesn't work as I need it to. –  Stefan Kendall Dec 8 '09 at 21:28
    
Either you're not setting something properly, then, or you have a pre-logon "Legal Notice Caption". I've used this functionality for just what you describe (a VM that starts a cruddy "not a service" program) and it works fine under W2K3 and WXP. You are using "DefaultUserName" and "DefaultPAssword", rather than "DefaultUser" and "DefaultPass", right? You wouldn't want to remove the password prompt because having machines exposed to logons w/o passwords remotely is a horrible idea, from a security perspective. –  Evan Anderson Dec 8 '09 at 22:02
    
Horrible idea, but this is the way to do it. Have you looked at Srvany.exe as an alternative? –  Nick Kavadias Dec 8 '09 at 22:33
    
@Evan: This may actually be working. Confirmation later. –  Stefan Kendall Dec 8 '09 at 23:49

If you tell us what your goal is, we can probably tell you the correct way to get there.

If you just want to control a user without using a password, you could use VNC, but that's a messy way to operate.

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I've modified my modified post. –  Stefan Kendall Dec 8 '09 at 21:46

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