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Script to change passwords in local services on Windows 2003

Posted on 2009-05-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hey Everyone,

I need a script to change all the passwords tied to Services on my Windows 2003 Machines.

I'm changing the local password (for security purposes) and I need a script to run and change all the passwords in the services so nothing stops.

Help please!

Thanks
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Question by:eallerton
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by:oBdA
ID: 24358802
You should never use an account that's used for interactive logons to run a service with. Create a dedicated accout for each service with only the necessary permissions to run this service, and give it a complex password.
That said, you can use sc.exe to change the service password (and/or the service account) (note the space after "password="!).
Try to avoid the following characters in the password, as they may lead to unexpected results: < | > % ^ &
Note that the service will have to be restarted once the password has been changed.

@echo off

setlocal

sc config "Some Service" password= "TopSecret"

net stop "Some Service"

net start "Some Service"

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:eallerton
ID: 24358887
The account that all services are usually bound to is the default administrator local account, or am I mistaken?

That being said, I want to change all the passwords using the local administrator to the desired password.


Also, I'm assuming to make that into a batch file and run it, correct?
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by:oBdA
ID: 24358969
Not at all; just check the "Logon as" column in services.msc. Unless you've installed your own services, the accounts used are Local Service, Local System, Network Service.
Yes, you can use the above as template.
But then again, since you might have to change the properties of some services anyway, why not go the full nine yards and change services using "Administrator" to dedicated accounts?
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Author Comment

by:eallerton
ID: 24364906
Just to make sure I understand this.

BACKUP EXEC is using Domain\Administrator (If I change the admin password, do I need to change the password in the services)

about 70% of the services are local system (I assume I need to change the password if I change the local server's password, correct?)

Some are NT AUTHORITY\LocalService or NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService (I assume I Don't need to touch these)

Is it best practice to have ALL the services running as Local System/Service/NetworkService

Or just all the Windows 2003 builtin services and have all the installed software (BACKUP EXEC) run on a dedicated account

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Accepted Solution

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oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 24365019
Neither of the Local Service, Local System, Network Service accounts requires a password; they're local pseudo-accounts that exist solely to run services. You do *not* need to (and should *not*) change any of the Windows default services running under one of these accounts.
With third-party software, it depends on the *software* alone under which account it's running best.
And, yes, if if BE is running under the Administrator account, and you plan to change the password for this account, then you obviously have to change the logon informatoin for the service as well--which is exactly the reason why an "interactive" account should NOT be used for a service. Interactive accounts should change the password far more often than a service account.
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