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How do i set myself up as administrator?

Hi,

I currently have three computers set up all running Windows XP Pro and Zonealarm Security Suite. They are networked (I just used the Windows Home Network Wizard to make things simple, using an ethernet network. One of the computers is directly connected to the internet using a broadband connection and has a Network Switch which the other two computers connect to it through. All is well. The Internet connection is shared, as are network folders and files.

But there is one problem. The other day i tried to shutdown one of the computers from the one i was using (on the network), using some information i found on the internet. The problem is, is that apparently, i need to "set myself up as a network administrator" for all three machines before i can remotely control them. I think i understand this has something to do with "logging in" or setting up permissions? or even group policy permissions???

For all my searching on the internet, i have not found one single website that makes it clear how to set up a simple network using Windows XP Pro, and set up an administrator that can administer the other computers remotely. I need a guide that can tell me which settings to set and on which computers to set them, so i end up with a simple network (3 computers), with one computer that has administrative access to the other two. Also, will the firewall (Zonealarm) be a problem? I know networking isnt inherently easy, but surely setting this up cant be all that difficult for someone who knows what theyre doing.

Can anyone lend some advice, or point me in the right direction, i'm pulling my hair out with this one?

Many Thanks
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alsheron
Asked:
alsheron
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3 Solutions
 
yvsupportCommented:
create the same user on each pc with the same password. then in the local security policy under 'Local Policies|User Rights Assignments'.

double click 'access this computer from the network' and add in the a/c you have created. This will allow access from another box.
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alsheronAuthor Commented:
Sounds like it will work, as all three computers have the main account as "Administrator". None have passwords, to avoid having to eneter one on boot up. (Is this a problem). Where exactly is 'Local Policies|User Rights Assignments'?? Control Panel?
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TRobertsonCommented:
I would think twice about the administrator no password thing.  I would recommend creating the same username on all machines with the same password and add this user to the administrator group.  This will allow you to connect to each.
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yvsupportCommented:
I agree with TRobertson - forget the blank password route. If u are gonna use administrator - use a strong password.

to get to local security policy editor:

start|run|secpol.msc


or navigate via admin tools - either will do.



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nazirahmedCommented:
Hi
Right Click on MY Computer Icon on desktop(if classic view is enabled) select Manage>click on Users and Groups and create user named XYZ for example and make it member of local administrators gorup, remove it from Users group. Repeat same on all three machines. Logon to each of the machine with same account and run the desired application
for zone alarm have a look on:

http://www.wown.com/articles_tutorials/wxpzonea.html
hope it will help.
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alsheronAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your advice and input - I know and agree that its not a good idea having an Admin account without a password, but the people using these networked computers dont even want the inconvenience of typing in a password when the computer boots, so unless there are some suggestions for having a password AND making the computers boot to the desktop, i'll have to keep the accounts password free.

yvsupport - Thanks very much for your help. I tried it but, when i try to set the permissions it gives and error message saying "Failed to save Local Policy Database"..... Otherwise i think this might have worked. Any ideas?

nazirahmed - Your solution i thought made a lot of sense too, but i didnt quite understand the reason for removing the XYZ user from the Users group once it had been added to the Local Administrators group. What do you mean by "Logon to each of the machine with same account and run the desired application"??? I dont need to run an application.... I need to remotely control other computers on the network, for example, reboot them, and shut them down.

Interestingly, no matter what method i seem to use to connect to other computers on the network, it always seems to give me "Access is denied" messages when i try to connect to another computer.

All of the suggestions so far dont seem to have worked on the machines i'm using, but i feel that more detail would help a lot so i can modify the instructions to the set up i have. If there is a website that goes through all of the process step by step, then please let me know....

Thanks for all your help so far.....

Alsheron
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yvsupportCommented:
if you cant save the local sec policy that's a problem.

make sure you are logged in as admin.

if you are - the profile could be bad. To resolve this, create a new user and assign full admin rights. Then log on as this user and try to make the sec policy changes again.
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nazirahmedCommented:
how u r trying to restart or shutdown the machine remotely? i mean are u using any thirdparty applications? you need admin rights to alter system security, creat or modify users and groups etc. creating users with admin righs will make them admins of the local machines and you have to remove them from users groups bcoz otherwise security rights confilict. I am not sure if you have admin rights for the machines? if you are accessing a machine remotely and getting access denied, it means you are trying to accessing the machine with a user name and password which is not authenticated by the remote machine, as each machine is responsible for its security. so make sure you have same user name and passwords on all machines when you are connecting remotely.

to enable auto logon, if you want, have a look on
http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/13/
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yvsupportCommented:
Just in case this question is of help to anyone, I believe the solution was to go to:

Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Local Security Policy

In this window go to:

Local Policies - Security Options

There should be an option labelled Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only

This needs to be set to Disabled to allow access via the network to an account without a password.

Regards,
yvsupport
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