Yet Another Reason To Dislike Windows?

Posted on Thursday 20 August 2009

I titled this post as a question, because I’m not sure if I’m missing something or what; please fill me in if I am. Here’s the story:

Today at work I had a Windows XP Pro machine suddenly decide that the automatic login was too convenient; it’s attached to a piece of inspection equipment, and the manufacturer set it up to be on its own domain and log in automatically. But when it was booted up today it decided it needed to have a password. And nobody knew the password.

I was able to guess the password after a few tries (they’re so predictable), but the question then became, how the heck do I re-enable the automatic login? The users on this machine really didn’t want to have to mess around with a password, so I poked around for a while in the Control Panel & Help system, but didn’t find any answers. I resorted to checking Microsoft’s knowledgebase, and found this gem of a solution:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate the following registry key:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Using your account name and password, double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your user name, and then click OK.
  4. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your password under the value data box, and then click OK.

    If there is no DefaultPassword value, create the value. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type DefaultPassword as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type your password in the Value Data box.

    If no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows XP automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon registry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false) to turn off the AutoAdminLogon feature.

  5. Double-click the AutoAdminLogon entry, type 1 in the Value Data box, and then click OK.

    If there is no AutoAdminLogon entry, create the entry. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type AutoAdminLogon as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type 1 in the Value Data box.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.
  7. Click Start, click Restart, and then click OK.

Cool. Edit the registry to re-enable the auto-login. Genius. And that isn’t even touching the reason why it got disabled in the first place. Isn’t there an easier way to do this? For crying out loud…

Contrast that with Mac OS X (10.5.7 to be exact)…

  1. Click the Apple Menu, pull down to System Preferences, & click on Accounts,
  2. Flip the Automatic login: from Disabled to the login account you want to use, and enter the password when prompted.
  3. Go about your work, getting things done.

Now isn’t that a lot easier?

3 Comments for 'Yet Another Reason To Dislike Windows?'

  1.  
    2009/08/21 | 6:25 am
     

    Only closet liberals like Macs.

  2.  
    2009/08/21 | 11:15 am
     

    Don’t forget the puppy kickers. They like Macs too. Or is it the other way round; Mac users like to kick puppies? I forget so easily.

  3.  
    2009/08/21 | 5:12 pm
     

    Obama uses a Mac. His is outfitted with a specialized “Grow Government” hot key. There’s another one for “Enact Death Panel.”

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