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Simulating Ctrl-Alt-Del

Posted on 2003-11-17
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Last Modified: 2008-03-03
I have been trying to simulate a Ctrl+Alt+Del keypress for a Macro program that I am writing.  So far I have tried using the combination of the three using keybd_event, with no success.  I am trying to get through a screen saver (WINNT) which requires me to hit Ctlr-Alt-Del to get to the user/password prompt.

My Macro program has to interact with the GUI (running as a scheduled task), but I want to protect the computer with user passwords and screensaver passwords.  The only way I have been able to figure being able to run this program with the GUI is to also automate the login, and to "break through" the screen saver by automating as well.

I have not been able to find a way to automate a login, but I think I should be able to break through the screen saver.
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Question by:Masurium
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by:jkr
ID: 9764190
Hm, I think this is the wrong approach.

>>I have not been able to find a way to automate a login

Why do you need to automate the login? Have the program run as a service.

>>I should be able to break through the screen saver

Kill the screeensaver using 'TerminateProcess()'.
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Ichijo earned 250 total points
ID: 9767865
Q234562 in MSDN (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;234562) explains how to automate the login process. But it probably won't much help for screen savers. However, this presents a security risk, as probably would automating a login with ctrl-alt-del.

Also take a look at Q140723 (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;140723).
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Author Comment

by:Masurium
ID: 9768671
Actually, since I have to both create the security, (and apparently for this macro automation, break through it) I have already modified the default user registry in win95 and win98 machines to force the computer to shutdown if a non-valid user attempts to logon, rather than them be created as a new default user.  So, the security breach is too high.

Thanks for the idea anyways.
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by:xssass
ID: 9957587

you can use the winapi function kbd_event. it works in combination with virtual key codes...

the statement "keybd_event(VK_CONTROL, 0, 0, 0);" whould simulate a press of the ctrl key.
"keybd_event(VK_CONTROL,0, KEYEVENTF_KEYUP, 0);" whould simulate a release of the ctrl key.

the first argument identifies the key.
the second argument is not used.
the third argument denodes a press or a release.
the last argument specifies an additional value associated with the key stroke.

(http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/winui/WinUI/WindowsUserInterface/UserInput/KeyboardInput/KeyboardInputReference/KeyboardInputFunctions/keybd_event.asp)

So for your particular purpose it should be:

keybd_event(VK_CONTROL,0,0,0);         // Control key press
keybd_event(VK_MENU,0,0,0);               // Alt key press
keybd_event(VK_DELETE,0,0,0);            // Delete key press

keybd_event(VK_CONTROL,0,KEYEVENTF_KEYUP,0);         // Control key release
keybd_event(VK_MENU,0,KEYEVENTF_KEYUP,0);               // Alt key release
keybd_event(VK_DELETE,0,KEYEVENTF_KEYUP,0);            // Delete key release

Don't forget to #include <windows.h>

Hope this helps...
  .K.
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Author Comment

by:Masurium
ID: 9958790
Thanks, but that was my initial approach.  See the initial question.  I stated: "So far I have tried using the combination of the three using keybd_event, with no success".  Apparently the OS is catching this before it executes for security reasons, basically to prevent exactly what I'm trying to do.
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