Send Ctrl-Alt-Delete to a remote logged of XP machine..


When the labs are closed, but machines are on and logged off... I want to install applications remotely... I have all the scripts and apps ready for install and can do it remotely if the machine is logged problem is to be able to cause a machine to log itself on via a remote script that carries the keystrokes and credentials...
i.e. Autoit or any other similar sendkey software..... which incidentally do not work...

Any other ideas...!! Please help and thank you for your time..
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why dont you just distribute a registry key with auto logon information to that maschine ?

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\ Winlogon

simplay deploy theese settings.

AutoAdminLogon: 1

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or you could deactivate the  necessity that ctrl+alt+del combination is required for logon temporary.
If you are running a Win2K or Win2003 enironment you can simply use Group Policy to install software.  Simply use the .msi installation file or ceate your own and attach it to the software installation in Group Policy.  Once the user logs on they will see that software is being installed (they will not be able to cancel it), depending on the installation size and hardware installation times may vary.  I have used this feature often and it is a time saver.

All of the installation packages must be in .msi format.  Here is a link to a free tool that will crate .msi packages.

Hope this is helpful.

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Oops my first link was cut off, here is the working link.
well but creating msi packages is not that easy if you haven't done it before and it takes ages to finally develop a bug-free version which will work on every maschine without problems.
dottiangelAuthor Commented:
Hi Ancient Orange,

Tried your registry method, sent the remote machine the required reg entries... it did not invoke anything on the remote machine...i.e. ctrl-alt-delete stayed on screen..
Not sure what you mean with " or you could deactivate the  necessity that ctrl+alt+del combination is required for logon temporary. " what does logon temporary mean in this context....please explain...thanks for your time.

Hi Lyle...
Sorry, but I don't have a 2k or 2k3 environment... nonetheless, I will retain your advice for the future...thanks for your time..
You are correct like anything else you can run into problems but, a lot of todays installation packages come with msi packages already.  I have been using a freeware version of a msi creator for sometime successfully.  I have one computer with a clean image of XP or 2000 take a snapshot with the package creator and then install the software and take another image and it creates a msi file that can be used with the policy.  
i meant you should deactivate it temporary. and activate it again when your finished with what you are doing.

my registry key setting works on reboot.

if the computers got this setting in the registry and is started up he automaticily logs on using the credentials (username,pass,domainname) supplied in the registry.
Install one of the remote control softwares like RealVnc(, install that while logged into the system as administrator, then choose to run as service during the installation. Now the realvnc server program would be listening for any connections even though you see the logon screen. Now install the client software onto one of the systems on the network and try to connect to the system in the lab( server). you will be presented with the logon screen of that system from where you can continue to logon and install any other programs.
dottiangelAuthor Commented:
Hi Cooljai1,

Thank you for your comment.. Your process requires interaction with every desktop. I have 700 desktops, you can imagine the time that will take... I'm trying to automate the entire process, such that it can take place without any human intervention, I have every piece in place, except the ctrl-alt-delete issue... We do use VNC for our servers.
At this point Ancient Orange, seems to have the closest solution to the problem...which is;
1. Send reg entries, restart, Wait for machine to reboot..
2. Run remote process, push reg entries that reverse step 1... restart and back to normal..
Thank you for your time..
Ctrl-Alt-Del is formally called "Secure Attention" because, *as a security feature*, it cannot be faked or issued remotely.  Does your business require this security?  Apparently it conflicts with other business needs....

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