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Enable local administrator account for Vista workstations using Server 2003 Group Policy

Posted on 2009-04-21
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
We have over 200 Vista workstations. All of them have the local administrator account disabled by default. We want to enable it as well as set a password.

We are using Server 2003 as our Domain Server. Can we use group policy (or anything else) to enable to local admin accounts on the vista workstations as well as set a password?
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Question by:sibaroochi
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Mike Kline earned 375 total points
ID: 24200501
What you can use are group policy preferences.  Since you already have a vista box on the network you can use them.
 GP MVP Darren Mar-elia has a good overview of preferences here:
http://www.gpoguy.com/FAQs/Whitepapers/tabid/63/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/7/Group-Policy-Preferences-Overview-Whitepaper.aspx
 
To set the password and manipulate it look at this blog entry
http://www.gilham.org/Blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=aab85845%2D88d2%2D4091%2D8088%2Da6bbce0a4304&ID=505
 
You also get some security with this because Passwords in Group Policy preference items are protected using 256-bit AES encryption. In the XML source code of a preference item, the password does not appear as clear text; it is encrypted. The client reads the XML, decrypts the password, and implements the configuration.
 
Thanks
Mike
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