Win XP administrator - log in as user?

Posted on 2011-04-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
As network admin I work on all the pc's here.  I'm curious - is it possible to unlock or log in as a user if I know the local admin password or the network admin p/w?

It's nice to go in as the user to modify software settings, etc even if the person is not there and without the hassle of resetting their password every time.

Question by:pamgmt
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    No it is not.   You will have to reset the password.  Been down that road.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    No you have to reset there password.

    1 option is give them a password when you create a user and not allow them to change it.
    Then that way you know all the password for all the users

    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    Why do you need login as the user?

    All settings are available in the registry, which is editable by the admin.

    You can also use group policy to enforce settings for users if you are the admin.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    @babesia:   No offense, but aside from troubleshooting, you do not want to go down that road.  That is a bad security risk all around.

    Reset the password, use it to troubleshoot, give it to the user and prompt for reset

    Author Comment

    The users need a lot of hand holding so it's easy to jump on as them to modify settings for things like Outlook, or get some settings right for printing.  Basic stuff but frequent.

    We have a Win Server 2003 but I don't know group policy editor other than it's a fast way to destruction if a rookie change is made.

    I'll just stick with the reset I suppose.  We need a 3rd party lock utility with a shared password for them and I.  

    It's a small company so employees are trusted.  We lock them to protect against cleaning crew or in case of break-in from some hacker type off the tv.
    LVL 62

    Expert Comment

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    You could use a remote desktop system to view the users' machines and see the effect of any changes you made logged in as admin and/or use 'Run as...' within that account if appropriate but as everyone has already said you're storing up security headaches if you do that any other way.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    In regards to group policy, you could start small and create an OU with a GP applied changing one thing at a time to fit your needs.   Simple stuff like "No Internet Explorer" or to start certain logging etc.

    @MASQUERAID:  Ditto with remote desktop to view their user session on their machine as they login and se what errors they are getting.


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