Configure a Windows USB key for client logins


I am looking for a way to have my users login to there Windows XP Pro workstations using a USB memory key. I would want them to connect the key to a USB slot and just have to enter a PIN in order for them to automatically login to windows without having to enter a username or password, just a PIN.

I do not want to use any third party applications or softwares. I would like to set this up myself using Microsoft Windows. I currently have 3 servers that are domain controllers and run AD. I have about 20 workstations at one site.

I would like to know how to configure the memory key to hold a PKI if needed and how to configure the OS end. Any suggestions would definitely be appreciated.

Thank you,

Who is Participating?
OkigireConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As far as I know, this can't be done natively with Windows.  You don't need to use 3rd party software per se, but if you don't you will have to custom develop your own software to interact with Windows.  As far as I know, the only login method Windows has "built in" is for smartcards.  Otherwise, you will have to modify the authentication system yourself.

I haven't done this myself, but have seen many resources on developing this... search for GINA for Windows authentication and you should get more information about the auth library and development information.
MS is recommending 3rd party tools themself:

SafeNet technology offers USB authentication tokens that eliminate user names and passwords; SSL acceleration devices providing fast and secure online transactions; software security, and licensing products preventing software piracy.

With windows vista, you can use bitlocker:
BitLocker offers the option to lock the normal boot process until the user supplies a PIN, much like an ATM card PIN, or inserts a USB flash drive that contains keying material. These additional security measures provide multi-factor authentication and assurance that the computer will not boot or resume from hibernation until the correct PIN or USB flash drive are presented.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.