Logging off user at locked computer

After 15 mins of inactivity, our computers lock and go to a screen saver.  The only way to unlock the computer is to have the current user sign back on or to log off the current user with an administrator account.  We have remote locations where IT support is not readily available.  At these locations, it's a problem if users forget to log off.  

Question:  Is there a way to assign some non-administrative users the ability to log off users if their computers have been locked?


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Mike_KaubleConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well. . .considering that even if the Admin were there and could use his/her password, it would just shut it down without saving anything, I would use the low tech solution of just having someone designated to push the power button and turn the system off.

That's pretty much the whole point of the Admin override, is that someone in authority would be the one to shut down a computer and potentially lose someone's work.

It's not really a security matter because anyone could just pull the plug. More of a sign to "stop and think".
meade470Author Commented:
Yeah, but "pulling the plug" doesn't shut Windows down propertly.  Plus you have to wait for the darn machine to boot back up.  Forcing a logoff is quick and clean (excluding lost data).  I don't want to reboot the PC; I just want to logoff the user.
corneliupConnect With a Mentor Commented:
How To Force Users to Quit Programs and Log Off After a Period of Inactivity in Windows XP
This article was previously published under Q314999


This step-by-step article describes how to automatically quit a user's running programs and to log the user off of a workstation after a specified time period.
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meade470Author Commented:
Thanks, corneliup.  This is good info.  But what I really want is to be able to assign a common user (perhaps the user of a specific group) the ability to log another user off.  (Sorry to be so specific, but this is what management is requesting).
corneliupConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This is possible only if you add a domain user to the local administrators group on each remote workstation. Only o local/domain administrator is able to logoff a user, and you don't want an ordinary user to have domain admin privileges
Hmmm.... Personally speaking, I'd want to know (from management) why the previous suggested solutions are not acceptable... however, given the current limitations...

I'm just thinking outloud (I am assuming you are running Active Directory), can the designated user be given rights to shutdown/logoff/reboot a workstation from the server console?
meade470Author Commented:
We have a mainframe application that requires a user to be logged on with a specific program open in order for a special printer to be available.  (Don't ask...)   If a screen saver if blocking the screen we can't see if the program is open.

meade470Author Commented:
Thanks guys!  I split the points among you.  Shutting off the power was acutally the solution management went with (thought none of us were too thrilled about it).
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