May Reader Challenge Solutions

Problem 1
Tommy Terse calls the Help desk and reports, "My computer is broken." You ask him to be more specific. Tommy responds that he has an hourglass on his desktop that won't go away, and he can't get any work done.

Tommy is at an NT 4.0 workstation that logs on to a domain and then logs on to a NetWare server. He uses spreadsheet and word processing software on the workstation. He’s in charge of Accounts Receivable, and the company’s accounting software is on the NetWare server.

Tommy must enter a password to log on to the domain and then enter a different password to log on to the NetWare server. Today, Tommy canceled the NetWare logon because he only needed to work locally.

Why does Tommy have an hourglass haunting? What is the likely cause of the problem, and what's the solution?

If a user has separate passwords for logging on to the NT domain and the NetWare server, NT tries to connect to the NetWare server with the NT password. When the logon fails, NT asks the user to select the NetWare server and provide a password.

If the user cancels the NetWare logon, NT continues to attempt a connection, using the NT username and password. The computer locks up, and the user gets an hourglass haunting.

To solve the problem, Tommy needs to press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart the logon process. He must complete both logons, even if he’ll work only on the local computer.

To keep the problem from recurring, Tommy needs to choose the same password for the NT and NetWare logon. If you have secure domain logons, you don’t need a separate NetWare password.

Problem 2
You're a domain administrator. Your company’s Accounts Payable department is using an NT 4.0 computer (could be a workstation or server) as a print server. No one uses the computer, and it has no software installed. You use the computer strictly for print services. You’ve added a second parallel port to service the printer that holds the checks and the printer that prints reports.

You shut this computer down each weekend, but no one remembers to log on to it on Monday mornings. After weeks of frustration, you decide to create an automatic logon. You have no security concerns, so you give the logon a null password.

The following Monday, you turn on the computer and leave. Everything works fine, and everyone prints. The next Monday, no one can print. You investigate the problem and find the computer displaying the logon dialog box, waiting for a password. You press Enter, the computer logs on to the domain, and everyone prints.

Why did the computer wait for a password instead of automatically logging on? Enumerate the steps for using the Registry to create an automatic logon.

If you set a null password for an automatic NT logon, the automatic logon works only once. After the initial logon, NT changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon Registry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false), preventing another automatic logon. You need to create a password for the automatic logon.

Start a Registry editor, and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\WindowsNT\ CurrentVersion\Winlogon. Double-click DefaultUserName in the right-hand pane, enter the user’s name who will log on automatically, and click OK. Double-click AutoAdminLogon in the right-hand pane, change the value to 1, and click OK. Add a new REG_SZ type data item named DefaultPassword. Double-click DefaultPassword, enter the user’s password, and click OK. Close the Registry editor. Open User Manager, and select Password Never Expires for the user.

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