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Why dont allow me to lock the XP machine?

Posted on 2005-03-11
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
hi folks here,

XP does not support locking workstation any more if you enable fast user switching, i really dont understand why MS had such a design, could some gurus here give me a reasonable explanation?

moreover, i really need this feature. e.g. when i leave the computer for a while, i dont allow others access it while keep the applications running well. so standby is not an option here. any workaround tricks?

many thanks in advance.

cheers,
bbao
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Question by:bbao
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19 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13523365
Put a password on your account.  It SHOULD prevent users from reentering your desktop if they don't enter the password.
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LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523372
so quick reply. :) hehe, i am sure i know this. but how can i lock the machine to activate the login screen? ctrl-alt-del does not do this, it only invoke Task Manager. :(
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13523386
I don't generally use XP home, so I can't tell you for certain, but I believe you just go to Start Menu, select Shutdown and "Switch Users".  This should put you back at the user selection screen.  Then, if you've configured a password for your account, you shouldn't be able to get back to your desktop without it.
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LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523400
i am sure i know this, too. :) it is a bit labor intensive way, so i am here looking for the way to lock the workstation instantly, just like what i do on NT/2K/2K3, to hit ctrl-alt-del. and, i also want to know why MS thinks this function is conflictive with fast user switching, a function i need too.
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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 800 total points
ID: 13523410
I'm not sure if this will work with Fast User Switching.  Try pressing the Windows Key + L
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LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523411
btw, i am using XP/PRO, specifically, XP tablet edition. you may just think it is a PRO.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:vtsinc
vtsinc earned 800 total points
ID: 13523412
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:vtsinc
ID: 13523417
Or for free:

To lock your Windows XP workstation, press the Windows key (i.e., the key with the Windows logo) + L.
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523419
haha leew, you should be awarded: that works! :) many thanks!
but i am still looking for the answer of my primary question, WHY MS does this? hehe.
0
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13523422
Because if you can LOCK the workstation then you can't switch users.  Switching users itself is like locking the workstation when you have a password on the account.
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:vtsinc
ID: 13523423
Not trying to be a smartass with the (i.e.) part -just copied from elsewhere.. ;-)  I've wondered about it myself for some time but never bothered to look into the question further until seeing your post...  It worked for me on a tablet PC.

Regards,
Mike
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:vtsinc
ID: 13523427
And now I feel like an ass anyway since someone else already said this.  Answering why MS did this is beyond me....

I do think leew should get the points, though. ;-)
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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:sramesh2k
sramesh2k earned 400 total points
ID: 13523428
bbao,

The behavior that you explain is absolutely normal. You may look at the LockXP.htm link above. That stand-alone exe allows you lock the workstation (classic lock) without permanently disabling Fast User Switching.
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523434
thanks vtsinc, leew just suggested the WIN+L solution. i also just visited the site you mentioned, it seems a lot of people have the same question as mine. the utility looks good, but it works only with administrator-level user account. :(

as what i thought before, it seems the two features are not conflictive. any reasonable explanation for why MS does it? any MS guys here? hehe ;)
0
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13523438
How are they not conflictive?  When you lock the computer, ONLY the use can unlock it.  So if you are to use Fast User Switching, HOW could they switch if only the current user could unlock it?
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LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523459
hi sramesh2k, MS might think WIN+L can completely replace CTRL+ALT+DEL. see the follows for its official explanations:

Using CTRL+ALT+DEL Key Combination to Open Windows Security Opens Task Manager
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q281980

How to Quickly Lock Your Computer and Use Other Windows Logo Shortcut Keys
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q294317

here is another informative link:

Different Ways to Lock Windows XP (by Vic Ferri)
http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/Pub0009/LPMArticle.asp?ID=70

thank you all gurus :)
0
 
LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523473
> When you lock the computer, ONLY the use can unlock it.
> So if you are to use Fast User Switching, HOW could they switch if only the current user could unlock it?

IMHO, thats not how MS thinks about it. see Q294317 for the answer. :)
0
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13523479
I think that's what I said, just poorly articulated:

"If the Fast User Switching feature is enabled and you lock the computer, you can observe the same behavior as if you switched users: The computer returns to the Welcome screen and other users can log on to the computer."
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LVL 37

Author Comment

by:bbao
ID: 13523756
thank you, the points splitted, hope that's ok... :)
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