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Automatically Logon as a Specific User [How To]

Posted by Spazz On October - 20 - 20101 COMMENT

Ever needed to have Windows log on as a specific user automatically without touching the PC. You might wonder where you could possibly need this.

We have two PC’s with each a 42” LCD TV connected as the screen. We use them as electronic billboards in the canteens. These PC’s are locked in a steel cabinet, so they are not easily reachable should the power go down in order to restart them. I needed to figure out a way to have this happen automatically.

There are a few steps you need to achieve this.

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Not too long ago we encountered some problem with our users that share PC’s in different locations on our network. Some users do not always log-off their PC’s when they have to go into the plant. Now from where they are on the network, they remote desktop into another workstation for a particular system developed in-house.

Now if a user does not log-off, this remote desktop connection stays logged-in and makes it so no-one else can use that PC. Therefore, I was tasked with finding a way to log a user off if there is no activity for a certain amount of time.

I searched on Google and couldn’t find any other solution except this one. This involves getting hold of the “winexit.scr” screensaver contained in The Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit, or you can read about and download individual resources from this toolkit here.

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Following my previous article about how to change the “Shutdown” button, I have had some PC’s on our network, that are shared by many users, that needed to have all options except “Log-off” removed.

In my previous article I explained how to change the function of the “Shutdown” button to “Log off”. Now I’ll show you how to remove the other options you see on the little side-menu when you hover over the arrow next to the “Log off” button.

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Recently I have had the need to change the power-button on the start menu for some users to the option to “log-off” rather than “shutdown”.

Shutdown button

This is quite easy on a user by user basis. For each user you can follow the steps by right-clicking on the Taskbar, clicking on properties.

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When I had Windows 7 installed, I noticed that the standard network icon in the task bar area doesn’t “light-up” when there is data throughput as I have been used to ever-since Windows 98. I suppose some people might argue that we have been spoiled a bit, but actually it gives you a sense of security when you’re busy working and you can see there is activity on the network when you expect it to be. Also, that is the quickest way you can see when something isn’t working correctly.

Taskbar with Windows 7 Network Icon

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One of my colleagues asked me recently if it is possible to prevent a certain group of people to use certain PC’s on our company network. If you have a domain set-up, it is quite easy, provided your set-up is done well.

My meaning of “if your set-up is done well” does not refer to how well your server software has been installed or anything of the sort. I refer to how well you have grouped your users in the active directory. We created groups for each level of user in our organisation, so it was quite easy for me to block a particular group of people from using certain workstations.

In this case, I was asked to prevent the Electrical and Instrument guys from using the PC’s allocated to the Mechanical Foremen, as the Electrical & Instrument guys has their own PC’s to work from.

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