Windows startup without logging in
July 18, 2005 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Windows 2000 users and passwords: Is it possible for Windows to start up without any password prompting, yet have the OS [reasonably] safe from a bot logging in as an admin?

I have a data-gathering computer that reboots every 24 hours on a script to get rid of the occasional memory leak or corruption. Setting an Admin login would cause the computer to hang at the logon prompt until somebody typed something in.

However this computer has gotten pwned when hooked up to a dialup network (Earthlink), and I figured it was likely to be due to the computer having no firewall and me assigning no password to the Administrator account. Thus the bot comes in on some unprotected port as a service of some kind and exploits the password weakness.

So how can I safely go without any startup login/password, and shut off the service the bots are coming in on without closing off the Internet? I am putting a firewall up but I'd like to know which service I should make sure the firewall never opens.
posted by rolypolyman to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)

or use TweakUI
posted by arruns at 3:14 AM on July 19, 2005

For the second part of your question, what services do you turn on (or not turn on) at startup, Black Viper's guide is the best I've seen. It's very thorough but also very easy to follow.
posted by tiny purple fishes at 5:59 AM on July 19, 2005

I would also think that having your password stored in cleartext in the registry for auto-login wouldn't be a good idea for long term security.

I swear there used to be a Microsoft utility to encrypt this password in the registry, but I'm having a hard time finding it now.
posted by curse at 11:58 AM on July 19, 2005

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