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Reader to Reader - September 1996

I want to warn everyone about a virus we've been having trouble with. So far, this virus seems to affect only Windows 95 users, but Windows NT users may not be immune.

This virus affects Word documents. If you notice that additional template files are saved when you save a document, you have the Mad Dog virus. Because this virus is brand new, as of this writing, the current version of McAffee virus checker does not know about it and can't detect it. This virus sets the list of last documents viewed (displayed at the bottom of the File menu) to zero. Even if you set the number of documents to >0 (in Tools, Options, General tab), each time you open an infected document, the virus resets the number to zero. Although this problem is aggravating, it is not destructive.

However, one data-altering function of this virus occurs if you open Word documents between 8:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. It will replace all 'a's in the document with 'e's. If you access Word documents during this time, be aware of the changes that can occur.

The IS Help desk is working on an automated cure, but until it's available, you must inoculate the document yourself. Here's how:

1. When you receive an email with a Word attachment, you must open the Word document by holding down the Shift key and double-clicking on the attachment. This method will launch Word and display the document.

2. Immediately after opening any Word document, click Tools and then Macro. You'll see all the viruses listed as macros.

3. Delete each macro (except Presentlt, the only macro that is not a virus) by clicking the macro name, clicking the delete button, and then clicking Yes or pressing Enter. Continue until all macros are gone. After you delete the macros, press Close to exit the macro window.

4. To save the document under a new name, go to File and click Save As.

5. Double check the new document by clicking Tools and then Macro. If you removed all the viruses, you won't see any macro names except Presentlt.

6. Be sure to delete the original infected document or email containing the document.

Note that if the macro names reappear, you can't cure the document. Use it with care, and don't send it to anyone because you'll spread the virus.

\[Editor's Note: Look for a review of virus scanners in the October issue.\]

Mass-Create User Accounts
You can easily create a Windows NT user account with NT's User Manager. This menu-driven utility is user friendly, and with it, you can easily customize a user's rights and properties. However, for mass-creating similar user accounts, User Manager is time consuming and inconvenient.

For example, a professor teaching a semester course about the Internet uses an NT network. She has to create 100 student accounts, and at the end of the semester, she has to delete all the accounts. With User Manager, she has to create and delete each account individually.

Using a script to mass-create and mass-delete the accounts is easier. I have a simple C program that conveniently creates many accounts, and you can easily modify it to mass-delete user accounts. The complete program is in Listing 1. The method is to spawn the NT command NETUSER with the option ADD, as you see in the statement

(spawnl(P_WAIT,"NET"," ", "USER"," ",arg1," ", arg2," ",

where arg1, arg2, and arg3 contain the user's login and password and the string /ADD, respectively.

Put the logins and passwords in a text file with the default name user.dat. Each line of the text file contains the login and password of one user, as in the following example:

blee 123-14-9500

myoung 567-68-6578

plone xyz123


The program recognizes end as the last line of the text file to denote that the routine is complete.

You can modify the program to include more specifications for each account. For more information on options for the command NETUSER, execute the command prompt, NETHELPUSER at the DOS prompt. To use this program, first compile it with a C compiler. I used Microsoft Visual C++. To obtain an executable file, specify makeusr.exe and a convenient directory. Then copy the file net.exe (usually, it resides in the directory \winnt35\system32) to the same directory. Also, use an editor to create a text file called user.dat that contains logins and passwords for all users. Put this file in the same directory. To create the accounts, execute the command MAKEUSR at the DOS prompt.

This utility can help the harried systems administrator create large quantities of similar user profiles easily. You'll want it to be part of your systems administrator's tool chest.

\[Editor's Note: Share your NT discoveries, comments, problems, and solutions and reach out to other Windows NT Magazine readers (including Microsoft). Email your contributions (under 400 words) to Karen Forster at [email protected] Please include your phone number and a photo (.bmp) of yourself. We will edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we print your letter, you'll get a Windows NT Magazine coffee mug.\]

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