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Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Managing Users Accounts in Windows XP Professional

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jul 14, 2002


by Jason Zandri
www.2000trainers.com

Jason Zandri's latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series covers managing Users Accounts in Windows XP Professional.

Welcome to this week's installment of Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 minutes a week, the tenth in this series. This article will cover using Managing Users Accounts in Windows XP Professional.


Managing Users Accounts in Windows XP Professional

In Microsoft Windows XP Professional, you will find one of three different accounts in use on any given system:

  • Local user accounts allow you to log on to the local system and access resources there. If you needed to access any type of resource beyond the local system, you would need to provide additional credentials in most cases. Local accounts authenticate to the local security database.

  • Domain user accounts allow you to log on to the domain the user account belongs to in order to  access network resources. You may be able to access resources in other domains depending on how the trust relationships are defined or if any modifications have been made to them. Domain accounts authenticate to a domain controller and to the domain security database.

  • Built-in user accounts allow you to perform administrative tasks on the local system and sometimes they can access local or network resources, depending on their configuration on the network. This too, is dependant on how trust relationships are defined or if any modifications have been made to them. The only two accounts created by default on a stand alone Windows XP Professional clean installation are Administrator and Guest.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - The built-in Administrator account is enabled by default and cannot be deleted from the system. The name of the account as well as the password can be changed, however, and this is a recommended best practice. It is also recommended that the default Administrator account never be used or used as infrequently as possible and only when tasks need to be performed at an Administrative level. If there is ever more than one Administrator on a workstation, each one should have an account created for their use. In the event that you need to log administrative events, this would be easier if there were a number of different administrator accounts created rather than a single one.

The Guest account also cannot be deleted from the system; however, it is DISABLED by default, and unless there is some required operational need, it should stay disabled. The only "need" for the Guest account would be a kiosk type terminal in a lobby of an office building or hotel and in that event it could be used. If there is ever a short-time need to grant access to a temporary user to a system, it is always worth the "aggravation" to create an account.

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