Microsoft Windows: Auto Login

As I’d posted before I’m really sick of passwords.

Now, my situation may not be very standard… Okay, it’s not. I work from home. I’m the only person who touches my computer, and I don’t have dozens of people walking by during the day, so actually logging into my computer with my username and password is a step (albeit a small one) that I would prefer to bypass.

Clearly, as a professional IT guy, I do not recommend you do this, unless you fully understand that when your computer is restarted, it will log in and whomever is sitting at the keys will have access to your profile. Even if you lock your screen when you walk away, all someone needs to do is yank the power cord, wait a sec, plug it back in, turn it on, and boom: they’re in, with access to all your files.

This will also frustrate the hell out of anyone who shares your computer, and has to wait for your profile to load before he / she can log you out, and themselves in.

This trick is specifically for Windows 8, because that’s what I have installed, but the idea is the same for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. There are some subtle differences between Windows versions and the rest, which I’ll explain as we go.

Hit the Windows key on your keyboard. It looks like one of these, depending on the age of your keyboard… :

windowsbuttons

When you hit it, it brings you to the “Metro” in Windows 8… (In other versions of Microsoft Windows, it brings up the “Start” menu.)

Metro

 

It’s where all the “Charms” are…

Now, what people don’t realize most of the time, is once you’re in the metro, you can just start typing, and it automatically starts searching. You don’t have to click a search box. Just begin typing what you’re looking for. In this case, you’re going to type “netplwiz” and it’s going to show up in a search box on the right side of the screen.

NOTE: If you’d like to bypass the metro all together, press the windows button and the “r” key simultaneously. This brings up the good ‘ol familiar “Run” box. (This is true for all versions of windows, I believe… Certainly as far back as Windows 2000…) 

ALSO NOTE: In Windows XP, you do not type netplwiz. In Windows XP, type

control userpasswords2

Note the space between the two words, and the 2 at the end. I don’t know why there’s a 2, and I don’t know if there is a userpasswords1… So don’t ask. 🙂 

search

 

Notice below it, I’ve got “Apps” highlighted. Your search results will show up on the left, like so:

results

 

Click on the result there, where the two people seem to be snuggling that little key like a baby. This brings up the users accounts box. I’ve blanked out all the user accounts on here, because with Windows 8, you’re able to log in with your Windows Live account, which is an email address and I don’t need people sending spam to me, my wife or kids…

box

 

You’ll notice the empty check-box at the top that says “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.” By default, that box is checked. To continue, un-check this box, and hit apply. This brings up the following box:

password

 

Your user name will be filled in already, you just have to supply your password, twice. Mercifully, you won’t have to do it again to log in, until you undo this configuration, or get a new computer.

As I said, this information should get you where you want to go in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. If you’re using any other version of Windows, you have my sincerest of condolences, but logging in is probably the least of your frustrations.

Use this information if you like, please understand it comes from me, not from my place of employment, and I do not recommend doing it… Because if I do, and you muck it up, it’s not my fault. This information comes with no warranties or promise of support…

That said, it’s pretty straight forward. Don’t blame me if you get in trouble with your IT department. …and if I AM your IT department, yes, you will get in trouble. …or at least billed 15 minutes for me to remove your auto login setting. You have been warned. …on second thought, go ahead. I could use the extra billable time. 😉

 

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I Am So Sick Of Passwords

Passwords. I can’t wait until the next big thing comes in the world of passwords. I must have three dozen freakin passwords that I need to remember, and that’s just for me. I have hundreds of clients, whose passwords I remember too.

I hate that I “get into work” in the mornings (which I quoted because I work from home) and I have to put in my password to log into my computer (which hoenstly, I bypassed, but for the sake of this rant, just humor me). Then I have to log into three applications for work. Then I have to log into servers.

Not to mention the things that I don’t do ALL the time. Like, checking the bank account, or going to BaceFook. I recognize the need for a strong password and account security and what not, but there’s gotta be an easier way to do this.

The very worst part is things like when you call someone, and you have to key in your account number. Then your birth date, then your account password, then you talk to someone, and the f*cking ask you for it again! Of course the damned account number is forty digits long, and made up a combination of only C D B E G P T and 3. And they have voice recognicion software, so you speaking it. clearly and slowly. ”

“B….3….D…C…T….E…4….2…..D….T….C….T….*. 

Did you say” P…3..” 

“NO!” 

“I’m sorry. Please try again, speak the number slowly and clearly. when you’re fini” 

and you try to cut the machine off, because you know what it’s going to say, and you’re not interested in wasting any more of your time…. but it doesn’t work so it comes in on the “C”… and you’re wrong again.

“I’m sorry. I still didn’t get that. Please try again, speak the number slowly and clearly” and now you seethe while waiting for it to finish. “when you’re finished, please press star. Start speaking now. BOOOP”

“B! 3! D! C! E…. AH crap!!~ *

“I’m sorry you’re having trouble, please wait while I transfer you to an attendant.”

“Well good! That’s all I wanted!”

“I’m sorry I didn’t catch that. Did you say start over?”

By then, you’re (…well, I’m) ready to strangle whomever is unlucky enough to get my call. And then they answer and ask you all that same crap already.

Only time that whole thing goes worse, is when you’re in the car, or you have your young kids with you, and they’re talking. …or both.

Here’s another one… They (the experts, you know) REQUIRE at least a password of 8 characters, there must be a number, and a special character, and a mixture of upper and lower case.

Well, far be it from me to fly in the face of standard convention. My main password is over 20 digits long (which you could imagine may have something to do with how I’m so sick of passwords.) so I generally use just that some one for most of my low-importance stuff… Pandora, and Netflix sorts of things.

Ironically enough though, Microsoft does not support such a complex password. Microsoft. You know, the guys who make everything? I can’t use that password for my Live passport (or whatever the hell it’s called these days). I can’t use it for my xbox live account, and Windows 8 allows you to use those accounts to log into Windows… But that password is just to damn complex for Microsoft. God knows, you don’t need THAT much security on your business applications.

I host a website (that you’re reading now) which REQUIRES me to have a password that is more complex than Microsoft can apparently accommodate. And this website software (WordPress) was free for me to download.

I’ll leave you with just another thought, and perhaps a word of wisdom… If you didn’t change your password on your home wireless router, you are asking for trouble. If someone can get onto your wireless by typing in “admin”, then they have your home network.

If you don’t know how to do this, post a comment, I’ll point you in the right direction.

 

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UPS – We Have a Problem

The following blog post is a direct complaint to UPS. I will be tweeting it to their twitter account, emailing it to their service department, and sending it however else they have available. I will update this post with information as it becomes available.

My wife ordered something and it was shipped via UPS.

I have a history of problems with packages going to my neighbor’s house, or drivers saying “Gosh, nobody was home!” though they never came. I have a large bay window which I frequently sit next to while I work… and I work from home, so I’m here all day. I often have to drive to the facility and pick up my box.

I’m not complaining about this, however. There are many times (probably 70%) where the driver does, in fact come to the house. Sometimes the package is left at the door, which is also fine.

My problem is as follows:

atfrontdoor

 

Actually, it was not left at ANYONE’S front door. It was left in my mailbox. Not really such a big deal, except that my mailbox is close to a quarter-mile away from my house.

mbfdSo after searching around the front door, the back door, under the steps, at the garage, we generally start hitting the assorted neighbors houses. Nothing still. I will admit, the house layout is confusing, because I am 1681B, there is a 1681R, and 1681 fell over. To confuse the issue, there’s a house that’s on the same physical road, but the address is Goward, not Bay, and he is 125. So we allow for a certain amount of human error when we complain about deliveries.

We finally did find our package in our mailbox. I realize that “Left in mailbox a quarter-mile from the front door” probably isn’t an option in the status drop down menu, but “Left in mailbox really ought to be.

This would have been not a very big deal, except that the box was jammed into the mailbox so tightly that my wife’s fingernail tore off trying to get it out.

I went to the mailbox for her.

This, I find completely unacceptable. I should not have to wrestle a package out of my mailbox. It should not have been wedged into the box so tightly that it tears fingernails off of otherwise healthy fingers. Had there been glass in the box, it would have been shattered.

I look eagerly forward to hearing back about this. I certainly hope this complaint is not ignored. I do expect to hear back.

***UPDATE 1***

13 minutes after tweeting:

So far so good. And quite fast too.

***UPDATE 2***

I emailed the requested info, and they replied within an hour and a half:

Thank you for reaching out to our team. I have reviewed the link you provided so I can definitely see your concern. I’m very sorry that this happened. I have alerted the management at the local delivery center of how this was improperly delivered and forced into your mailbox. Please let me know if any personal or property damage occurred to you, the package or the mailbox that wasn’t mentioned in your blog. I will have the management at your local delivery center call you back within one hour to address this with you. Also be aware we are here if any issues arrives with deliveries in the future.

That reply was at 3:38pm yesterday. I have not yet heard from anyone, (it’s currently 11:32am the following day – Thursday) though neither have I reached out again yet, either…

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