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Vista autologon utility

March 4, 2008

As someone who knows how to secure his workstation fairly well without requiring Windows to babysit his every move, Windows Vista’s user account control and disabled Administrator account really get in the way of me doing my daily activities. So the first thing I do whenever I reload my Vista workstation is I enable the Administrator account, set a strong password on it, set up autologon for that account, and turn off UAC.

There is a registry edit that will enable automatic logon, but it requires you to store your password in plaintext in the registry. Obviously this isn’t the ideal solution. ShellRevealed.com comes to the rescue with a utility that will set up the autologon functionality for you and it will store your password in an encrypted portion of the disk to keep it away from prying eyes.

The utility is called autologon and can be downloaded here. If that site is ever down, I have uploaded a copy to Box.net, which can be downloaded here.

The file is a zip file and contains a command line utility, which you can copy over to your WINDOWS directory. Open up a command prompt utility by going to the Start menu, typing “cmd.exe” in to the Search box, right-clicking on the cmd.exe application and selecting “Run as Administrator”. You need to run the command prompt under an administrative account because of the registry changes made by the autologon utility.

Once you have your command prompt open, type in “autologon /set /username:Administrator”.  The utility will prompt you for the password for the Administrator account.  If the password is correct, the autologon functionality will be set.  The next time you boot up, you’ll be automatically logged in as Administrator.

I don’t recommend this for everyone as any process you create from that point on will be created under the Administrator context which means every process will have elevated privileges on your system, but for people who are comfortable with that and want to get rid of the annoyances of Windows Vista asking for permission every time you want to do something, this will help out tremendously.

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