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Vista Question - making an account that doesn't show on the welcome menu

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by The Zig, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

    A Vista question. How can you hide an active user account?
    Google has NOT helped me on this question!

    See, I built a family computer last week, and slapped in Vista just for the fun of it, and now I'm trying to figure out ways to do things.
    For an extra layer of security, I've set everyone as Standard Users, and set up a separate account with Admin privileges. For convenience, I've shared the Admin pass with my wife, so she can install things without me, and so she can help the kids work with stuff.

    So... now I'm a bit paranoid about the admin account. My wife's a bit of a computer noob. I want her to be able to do stuff, and I want her to gain confidence, but at the same time, I'm a little concerned about her accidentally killing the sole admin account, in which case the system will be screwed.
    I'm thinking about a 2nd admin account, but the problem there is the Welcome screen, which already has 5 users. We're reaching overkill already. Plus, if I put another admin account there on the welcome screen it'll get everyone curious about what I'm keeping in my PRIVATE-SUPER-SECRET-ACCOUNT-OF-MYSTERY!

    So the ideal would be making an admin account, but keeping it hidden somehow. Just an emergency backdoor. A way to log in with full privileges and fix anything that might have gone wrong.

    I've researched, and in XP it was possible to do this by making a new user with admin rights, and then changing the registry like so: run "regedit" and go to the following path (adding keys where you need to)...


    and then add the user name you want to make secret as a "DWORD (32 bit)" with a "0" value.
    And voilla! The account would be hidden. You could then access it by pressing "Ctrl-Alt-Del" twice at the XP's login screen, and typing it in. This could work nicely as a covert, spare login.

    But in Vista you can no longer login this way - ctrl-alt-del doesn't do anything at login, and there's no way (I can find) to log into such a hidden account. Worse still, an account hidden this way appears completely inactive - disabled. The User Account Control (UAC) doesn't recognise it at all, so you can't even use this as an emergency way to gain "run as admin" privileges. To do anything at all with such an account, you need to reactivate it first through the registry - which requires admin privileges to do (and so is useless in an emergency).

    Does anyone know Vista? Does anyone know how to make a hidden user account like this?
    Is there another really obvious solution I'm missing through tunnel vision?
    Cheers in advance for any responses.
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  2. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

    Apparently this works for some, but not others:

    Certifications: Lots.
    WIP: Upgrading MS certs

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