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Eliminating ALL passwords in W95 for school lab

Posted on 1997-07-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Given a lab of PCs with Win 95 on them.  I would like to disable the ability for students to add passwords (both screen saver and login).  We are running Novell's Client 32 to do the actual user validation.  But, I do not want a student to put passwords on anything.

1) How Can I disable the screen saver password.  Both thru the Control Pannel - Passwords  and from right clicking on the desktop and picking properties - ?? Screen Saver.

2) Can I disable / remove the Passwords Icon in Control Pannel.  I would like to figure out the underlaying program and keep it.  Just loose the Icon.

3) Are there other ways for a student to put a password on a computer and prevent anyone else from using it?

For a "A" grade I need specifics on how to accomplish each of the above points.  Assume that I am not a Windows Exprert and provide detailed steps.

Thank You
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Question by:Jesse_Tutterrow
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by:CountZero
ID: 1749780
Just letting you know I can help you, but it will take some time to put all the steps in order and I have to do a little research. If it is acceptable, my solution would entail the disabling of the display properties and control panal completely.  It is completely reverseable and can be set up to only be accessible from a disk you make.  Please let me know if this is an acceptable solution before I write up all the steps to do it.

As for question 3 yes...they could enable a system password in the BIOS on most systems.  Usually you can set two passwords, one for booting the computer and one for editing the BIOS.  To prevent USERS from putting a system password, choose a BIOS password.  This would prevent USERS from putting on a system password and from changing vital BIOS settings.  I can't give you precise steps because every BIOS is different.  I hope this helps.
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by:Ikon
ID: 1749781
Have you ever used user policies? Take a look on the Win95 cd, do a find on poledit. The poledit program allows you to set policies on local or networked machines including showing the passwords icon in control panel. Comment if any questions.
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by:CountZero
ID: 1749782
Just so you know, my solution entailed using the Policy Editor, but you requested detailed steps on how to use it and I want to get your intial aproval before a wrote out all the steps.
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by:Ikon
ID: 1749783
Excellent point about the detailed steps CountZero. I was not prepared to go quite that far, I would have recommended buying the Microsoft Resource Kit for Windows 95 as what Jesse is trying to do is not somthing that should really be attempted by a novice, especially without any reference books.

Jesse, reject my answer if you like and let CountZero give you all the info if thats what you really want.
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by:Jesse_Tutterrow
ID: 1749784
Thanks Ikon,

I am rejecting your solution due to the lack of detail.

This is a small private High School.  We don NOT have funds in the budget to purchase additional software, hardware or documentation.  I am paying part of the cost to get it connected to the internet!

CountZero,  Yes I like and will accept your solution.  I do not care if it uses the Policy Editor or @#$#$$ program.  Classes start in 3 weeks and I am tring to modify the entire curiculum (4 years worth) to fit the new software, hardware, ...

Yes I know about BIOS passwords.  They are already in place.

My question 3) was meant more as a "Is there any other passwords in Win 95, or any other places that I need to check/verify?

Thanks.

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Expert Comment

by:huy
ID: 1749785
2) delete the PASSWORD.CPL in the windows 95 system directory,
   the password icon will be removed from the control panel.

3) there is no way to prevent. some way must have some    solution.

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by:CountZero
ID: 1749786
Huy... he is not asking about those passwords, he talking about screen saver passwords...  

Jesse, I was really busy yesterday and didn't get a chance to work out the steps.  I will diffently do it tonight.  THX for waiting..  BTW the only password on a windows 95 machine are BIOS, Login, and screen saver unless you have a third party software that adds more to it.
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by:DANIEL
ID: 1749787
As a person in a similiar situation I have found that using system policies is the best option.
It is possible to use the policy editor that ships with 95 in the
ADMIN/APPTOOLS/POLEDIT directory and create policy that disable as many or all of the control panels including display.
To do this use the ADMIN.ADM policy template that Microsoft provide and select new file, open default user, control panel, display and check disable Display Control Panel.  This makes the follwoing change to the registry which I assume could be done manually if need be,
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/System  NoDispCPL (BinaryValue)
Although not fully tested I would assume the following would work for a manual installation. (remember be careful editing the registry backup first)
HKEY_USERS/.Default/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/System  NoDispCPL
I fyou have problems or would like to discuss your ideas please mail Daniel.Marshall@Nursing.monash.edu.au
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by:CountZero
ID: 1749788
Here are the steps needed.  Have a blank disk and windows 95 cd handy.

1.  Insert win95 cd into CD-ROM drive
2.  Click start->programs->windows explorer.
3.  Highlight CD-ROM drive
4.  In the right window double click on admin then apptools then poledit
5.  double click on poledit.exe
6.  The policy editor will load and a dialog box will popup.  Double click on the admin.adm file.
7.  Chose file form the menu and then choose open registery
8.  Double click on "Local User"
9.  Double click on control panal
10. Double click on Display
11. Click on box to check Restrict Display Control Panel
12. When a check is in the box several more check boxes appear the the bottem box.  Check whichever one or ones you wish to restrict.
13. Double click on each item under Control Panel to choose restrictions.  I would recomend disabling everything, the students would have no need to be messing with anything in the control panel.
14. Double click on shell then Restrictions.  A whole list of things appears than you can estrict.  Check whichever ones you want to.
15.  Double click on system then Restriction.  A short list of things appear for you to choose from.  Again restrict anything you want.
16. When done choosing all your restrictions, click OK and then choose file->save and then file->exit.
17. Highlight all of the files in the right side of the explorer.  Right click and a menu appears.  Select Send To-> 31/2 Floppy A:
18.  That should copied all the files dealing with Policy editor on to the disk.  Now you can just launch Policy Editor fomr the disk instead of fom the CD.
19.  After you Exit the policy editor, the computer may ask you to reboot.  If it doesn't reboot anyway.  Some of the changes will not take affect until you reboot.

That should be it... If I wasn't clear on a point, just ask and I'll try again.  So that I can get credit, you will need to reject the current proposed answer, and then I will come back and repost and then you can accept my answer.  C-ya later
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by:CountZero
ID: 1749789
I made some typos and skipped a few key words starting from 14 I've redone the steps.

14. Double click on shell then Restrictions. A whole list of things appears than you can restrict. Check whichever ones you want to.
15. Double click on system then Restriction. A short list of things appear for you to choose from. Again restrict anything you want.
16. When done choosing all your restrictions, click OK and then choose file->save and then file->exit.
17. Insert a blank disk and highlight all of the files in the right side of the explorer. Right click and a menu appears. Select Send To-> 31/2 Floppy A:
18. That should copied all the files dealing with Policy editor on to the disk. Now you can just launch Policy Editor fomr the disk instead of fom the CD.
19. After you Exit the policy editor, the computer may ask you to reboot. If it doesn't ask, reboot anyway. Some of the changes will not take affect until you reboot.

Bye again
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Author Comment

by:Jesse_Tutterrow
ID: 1749790
I tried renaming PASSWORD.CPL to old_password.cpl_old and rebooting.  Password icon is still in Control Pannel and a non-priveleged (network) user can still turn passwords on.

Thanks, anyway
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Expert Comment

by:cbaksa022497
ID: 1749791
If this is a lab you might want to purchase a 3rd party product to lock it down.  Look into a product called FOOLPROOF that will lock just about everything down including boot from dos disk.  It works really well.  I haven't been able to find a way around it yet and Lord know's I've tried.  Users can do just that "USE" not change.  It puts an end to mallicious fingers on keyboards.  Even  lock the user out of the Bios (handy for those brain surgons that like to put in Power up passowrds)
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749797
You want to git rid of passwords. Delete *.pwl
They are in the windows directory.
I'm unclear about what you want on screensavers
Please let me know, i can fix it.
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by:CountZero
ID: 1749798
Jesse... people keep posting answers before I check the sight so I will formally propose the answer as soon as I can

Smeebud...  READ THE THREAD!!!!  That suggestion has already been proposed and REJECTED!!!!  I have ALREADY given him DETAILED steps on how to fix his problem using the Policy editor.  
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749799
Ok, I saw the cpl suggestion but i didn't see the pwl suggestion.
However,. jesse, before you delete *.pwl, copy them to a C:\KEEP
Directory.
Countzero, perhaps you could point it out to me.. Thanks.
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by:CountZero
ID: 1749800
Smeebud... I see your point... you said delete pwl files and previous said delete cpl files.  Sorry about that, BUT READ the question, he doesn't want to remove LOGIN passwords, just passwords a student could put on to prevent others form using the computer, I.E screen saver passwords, and he wants to make sure student can't change the password via the password icon on the control, so your suggestion is still POINTLESS and doesn't help him.  As I stated from the begining of the thread I knew exactly what he needed and later outlined the steps he should follow.  Now if you disagree with my comment, fine say so.  If you don't think it will work, fine say so.  If I skipped a step or got them backwards, again I have no problem with you correcting me, but STOP giving solotions that WON'T solve his problem.  If you delete (or move) the pwl files the next time you boot the computer a blank login dialog box will appear waiting for a name and password.  How does this help him?
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749801
This is not the place to discuss or argue countzero.
We here to help Jesse.
If you want me to say anything to you send you email and we'll talk. This is a problem here on this answer site. Experts start arguing and the Questioner get's get lost or just quits respondes.

Jesse, Are you still with us. We are her to help. If what I suggested is not to your point, go ahead and reject.
Tell me about the screen saver thing.:)
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by:CountZero
ID: 1749802
He doesn't want anybody putting a password on the screen saver.  Its that simple.  One way to prevent people from putting passwords on screen savers is to disable the display properties with the Policy Editor, which I have already outlined above.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749803
Good. I saw it. He will decide what to do. Your advice is sound.
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by:Jesse_Tutterrow
ID: 1749804
Already tried that.

I am tring to keep students from disabling the computer!!

Lets keep the argueing down.  

No more suggestions about *.cpl  or *.pwl  or *.xxx to disable an existing password.  I want to prevent someone from adding a password in the first place.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749805
Get rid of all C:\WINDOWS\*.SCR

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by:smeebud
ID: 1749806
This will gid rid of your screen savers. If you want something other than that, Please let me know and i'll provide you with an answer.
Sorry about the bickering.

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Author Comment

by:Jesse_Tutterrow
ID: 1749807
This is not the stated goal.  Just the passwords.  Students like screensavers.  It gives them something other than their assignments to work on.

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CountZero earned 70 total points
ID: 1749808
Have you tried my suggestion yet.  Now my solution will not allow them to change the screen saver, but it will still be there.  Do you need to prevent USERS from installing software as well.  This also can be done and if needed I will provide the steps.
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Author Comment

by:Jesse_Tutterrow
ID: 1749809
Yes, I would like to prevent user's from installing software.

But,  I need to be able to install software when needed.

Please provide steps.

Thanks
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by:winner081297
ID: 1749810
There is no way to prevent users from installing software unless:

1) You disable all external drives.
                 and
2) You prevent them from accessing the modem.

I'm sure both of those suggestions are completely unacceptable, but that's the truth. As far as the comments made above regarding Windows Policies, that's the way to go to implement alot of control over the pc's, but I really don't think anyone can explain how to use it in five paragraphs or less. Every environment and situation is unique, and everybody has to come up with their own best solution. If you are interested in using policies, get out the Windows95 Resource Kit and start experimenting. I know you mentioned you're running out of time, so in the meantime here is a solution to all of your problems when the students arrive in a couple of weeks:

LAY DOWN THE LAW!

I help administrate the network and workstations of a 600-user environment, and believe me, these are grown adults who present to me many of same problems you are going to be faced with when teenagers get their hands on the equipment. We have network restrictions, Windows Policies, bios lockdowns, LanDesk Manager, and any other reasonable control over the system, and I still find workstations where MS Office is disabled because some armchair hacker thought they knew how to change the color display or they decided they liked Lotus Suite better so they'd install it (even though our company doesn't even own the license!)

But I don't let any of this get to me, because its not that common. And the reason its not that common, is, granted, because we have alot of system tools helping to enforce our policy, but also because we told our staff what the policy is, and stated that it will be enforced with disciplinary action, if necessary. (There are ways to find out who has been using a particular computer.)  And 99% of them respect this. Or they're to busy doing work to screw things up. Sure you will always have those one or two users who want to push the envelope and find a way to do so. But software can always be reinstalled.

The most important thing for you, at this point, is to make sure your server is protected. A workstation is a workstation, but the server is the whole shooting match. And make sure you have virus protection.

Also, another utility that will help you infinitely if your hardware is identical is imaging software. Maybe you can get the funds for this next semester or even next year. But what you can do with this (we use a product called "Ghost"), is develop the software load for one machine, make an image file of the whole hard drive, and blow it across all the other pc's. Its a wonderful, simple lifesaver. If anybody ever screws up a machine so bad and I don't feel like figuring out what the hell they did, I just "Ghost" it! And we tell them to keep their data on the network, so if they have anything on the hard drive, tough!

Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:Jesse_Tutterrow
ID: 1749811
Thanks,

Sorry to take so long to get back to you.  I was out of town and then had a big project that I had to finish

--Jesse

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by:j2
ID: 1749792
Windows95 is NOT a "safe" platform regardless of what you do with it.. there is (just as an example) a hack out there that will bypass any policies enforced on a W95.

"Ok, but they have to get it on the machine" you say

Way1. Copy from floppy

Way2. (if the floppy is disabled) FTP from the net

Way3 (if firewall prevents FTP) Get if of a WWW server

Way4 (if WWW port is disabled (not much use in having it internetworked in that case) Use a bouncer site that has FTP/WWW/Telnet servers responding on funky ports (lots of them out there)

I´m just saying this cause i KNOW schools are "hostile enviroments" and W95 is an easy pick :)
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by:j2
ID: 1749793
or.. if everything is locked down.. you can always mail it to yourself from outside the network...
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by:Ikon
ID: 1749794
2) Can I disable / remove the Passwords Icon in Control Pannel. I would like to figure out the underlaying program and keep it. Just loose the Icon.

yes, rename or move the password.cpl file (or something like that)
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Assisted Solution

by:smeebud
smeebud earned 70 total points
ID: 1749795
You can safely delete password.cpl from your system.
That should remove the Icon.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1749796
Oh and if you need to replace the Icon for any reason:
To extract from CD, 1st Change Directories to the X:\WIN95> prompt, where X is your CD-ROM's drive letter. Then type the following:
EXTRACT /A /L C:\Windows\System WIN95_02.CAB PASSWORD.CPL
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