Protecting my computer


I really hope that someone can help me. It has been brought to my attention by a few of my friends that my roommate is getting onto my computer some kind of way. I have no idea how he is gettin on it, all I want is to secure my computer so that he cannot get on anymore. My user account is password protected. I suspect that he is getting on via the startup. Please, anyone help me.

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Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
What OS are you using?

If it's XP or 2000 do this

1) right click on my computer and select manage
2) go to local users and groups
3) go into the users folder
4) Disable any account except;
    a) your account
    b) the administrator account
  To diable an account doule click on it and selec account is disabled
5) reset your passwod and the administrators password
   Do this by right clicking on an account and selecting set password
  you need to use a strong password (6 or more charicters including, caps and lowercase, numbers, and non alpha-numeric (&*^%$#@!)
6) Scan your computer for any trojens, spyware, keylogers, or other simelar apps
7) Make sure you lock or log off your computer when not using it

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williaj03Author Commented:
Thanks for the quick response. Do you know of any good spyware detection software out there? I am currently using Lavasoft's Adaware. Is there a possibility that he is going through DOS or at start up and completly bypassing my password or getting it to show up?
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Yeah, Windows XP by default has a blank password for the Administrator account. And 2000 sometimes does the same.

So pretty much follow what ebjers put in, you should be alright. has a nice easy to use firewall (ZoneAlarm).

Which version of Windows are you running?

williaj03Author Commented:
I am running XP.
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
OK then follow the steps I posted above, this should protect your computer from your room mate.

Another thing you can do to track when he accesses your system (and to see what account he is using) is to create a login script that will place an entry in a text file evertime anyone logs in.

to do this
1) Open notepad and start a new file
2) contents of the file should be
    @echo %username%, %date%, %time% >> c:\login.csv

3) svae the file as login.bat (MAKESURE IT GETS THE .BAT ONLY AND NO .TXT AT THE END the icon should look like a gear)
4) run gpedit.msc from the run prompt on the start menu
5) under user configuration expand windows settings and select scripts (logon/logoff)
6) Double click logon (right side of the screen)
7) Click show files
8) copy the login.bat file you made into the folder that oppens when you clicked show files
9) close the folder
10) Click the add button (back in the Window you opened when you double clicked login
11) Click browse
12) you should see the file you put there, double click it
13) click OK untill you are back to gpedit.msc (I think 2 times)
14) close gpedit.msc
15) test it
      a) log off and back on
      b) go to the C: drive and open your login.csv file
      c) you should see an entry showing your login

IF you do not have xecel installed change step 2 so that the end reads 'login.txt' and not login.csv
You can use any path or file name you want after the >> in step 2, this will create a file that stores the log

Have fun


This may be a patience troubleshooter.

This one describes a way to do it:

You can double check to confirm this one is implemented or not, by waiting the logon screen times out.

Other ways to configure the Administrator and User Passwords in Windows XP:

And one EE solution on how to recover Windows XP passwords:

Tim HolmanCommented:
With physical access to a machine, more or less anyone can use a boot CD or physical key stroke logger to gain software access.
I would seriously consider a BIOS password - these are only bypassable by opening the PC and doing stuff with the CMOS battery/jumpers, so if you padlock the PC together (most have lugs built in to let you do this), then your roomate can only get in if he/she breaks something.
There's a link here that explains how to do this:
Is he getting on at your PC or remotely?  If so, a bios pass or padlock won't make a difference because once your on he may log in using whatever software he may be using to log in, whether it be some type of VNC, or remote desktop.

Follow the first entry's advice, and also install a firewall.

Get ZoneAlarm free at

He won't be given access unless you grant it AND, you can see attempts made to access your computer.
If this is me and I KNOW that someone is accessing my system the hard drive in my pc leaves with me or is locked away when I'm not home. It's not that hard to do and there won't be any worrying about who might be getting access and what they are doing with that access. Good advice from everyone above no doubt. But that hard drive doesn't stay in the system when I'm not around. David
JoeWeb Application DeveloperCommented:
The best thing to do is lockup your laptop up when you are gone. You can take a look at this link here it is a nice product that you could use to secure your laptop when you are gone. It seems like he might be running some sort of boot up disk on the laptop that will recover your admin account password or user password these tools are freely available. Your best bet is either looking in the below link to lockup the laptop or find some other sort of secure storage when you are gone.
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
Thanks for the points, but I have to ask why the C


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williaj03Author Commented:
please do I didn't know that I could do a split.

Ask to reopen at

And, please do not grade it a "C".

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