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Windows Password Q&A


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Silver Bullets For SaleThere has been a lot of confusion about the differences between the Windows password and the Network password. In response to many questions, this document has been drafted to give information on exactly what a Windows password will and will not do. Below this section are sections on how to remove a Windows password and how to delete a forgotten Windows password.

What is a Windows password?
Basically, when there is no server on the network, Windows allows the option of having a Windows password to log on .The most common time this happens is when individual user profiles are enabled.

Is a Windows password required when you have a server?
No. When a server is present, and server authentication is required to log on, there is no need for a Windows password.

Are the Windows password and the screen saver password the same thing?
No. They are completely different. You can have a screen saver password without having a Windows password, and vice versa.

Can someone log into my machine and have all my icons if I don't have user profiles enabled?
Yes. However, they will not have access to any resources they would not normally have through a server. Example: You may be able to see the icon for their network drive, or home directory, but you would not have access to it unless you normally had access to it.
Best example I can give: While Susan was gone, Tim logged onto her system many times. She did not have user profiles available, so Tim saw her desktop with her icons. He still could not look into her Home directory, or even run Word Perfect from the network because he had no authentication from the server. Even though she has logged into that system many times, and has her passwords cached on that system, he could not get into the server or any of her resources on the network.
* this does not mean that someone could not DELETE your individual user settings. To delete settings, all you have to do is find the directory where their settings are and delete the directory off the local drive. There is no way to alleviate this unless settings are kept on the server.
Even in this instance, however, a Windows password will not help.

Removing the Windows Password

1) NEW WINDOWS 95 INSTALLATION:
When Windows is installed for the first time, after the computer restarts, the system logs onto the network and asks you for the password. You type it in, then the system asks you to confirm your WINDOWS password. Make sure it's asking to confirm the Windows password. At this point, it has the password (shown as ******) in the top box, and it's waiting for you to type it in again in the bottom box. Highlight the ****'s in the top box, hit the "DEL" key, and click on okay. This will set your Windows password to nothing, and it will not ask you for a Windows password again.

2) WINDOWS ALREADY INSTALLED
If you've already installed Windows and you've changed your network password, you already have noticed that the system asks you for your network and your Windows password.
To get rid of the Windows password, click on: START | SETTINGS | CONTROL PANEL | PASSWORDS | CHANGE WINDOWS PASSWORDS.
Make sure there are no check marks in any boxes that come up and click on OKAY. It will ask for the OLD PASSWORD, NEW PASSWORD and CONFIRM NEW PASSWORD. Type in your old password, but leave both NEW PASSWORD and CONFIRM NEW PASSWORD blank. This will stop Windows from asking you for the password every time you log on.
Neither of these steps will change your network password or alter your network log ons in any way.

Deleting a Forgotten Windows Password

To delete a Windows (not Network) password that has been forgotten, you need to find your *.pwl file in the (Windows) directory and delete it. The file will be listed as {USERNAME}.PWL. Once this file is deleted, and you log back into Windows, it will ask you for a new Windows password. To keep the password dialog from coming up again, follow step 1 above.

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