Managing the Logon Process

Unlike Windows XP, which provides a radically different logon experience for computers joined to a domain compared with those in a workgroup or not connected to a network, the process is similar for all users of Windows 7. The key differences:

• By default, on a computer joined to a domain, users must press Ctrl+Alt+Delete before the logon screen appears This requirement can be removed from domain computers or added to others, as described in the following tip

• The Welcome screen for a workgroup or standalone computer shows an icon for each account on the computer, as shown in Figure 16-7 . By contrast, after pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete, a domain user sees only one user account, along with a Switch User button that enables you to log on using an account other than the one shown . (This is the same screen that a workgroup user with a password-protected account sees after clicking his or her account name .)

Figure 16-7 At startup, a workgroup computer—but not a computer joined to a domain—shows all user accounts on the Welcome screen .

INSIDE OUT

Skip the Ctrl+Alt+Delete requirement

On a domain-based computer, if you don't want to be bothered by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete to reach the logon screen, make the following change:

1. Open User Accounts in Control Panel, and then click Manage User Accounts to open Advanced User Accounts.

2. In the User Accounts dialog box that appears, click the Advanced tab .

3. Under Secure Logon, clear Require Users To Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

Be aware that doing so removes a security feature. Because the design of the Windows security system prevents any other application from capturing this particular key combination, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete ensures that the next screen that appears, the logon screen, is displayed by the operating system and not by a rogue application that's trying to capture your password, for example.

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