Windows 2000 User Management

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 3 June 2001 / Last Updated on 3 June 2001]

User Management and Security is one of the major differences between Windows95/98 and the new Windows 2000, because Windows 2000 is based on Windows NT (remember: it was first called Windows NT5, before Microsoft renamed it for marketing purposes to Windows 2000), it has inherited the User Mangement and Security from Windows NT4. Best example: When a Windows95/98 system presents of startup the Network Login-screen:

you can press the ESC-key or click on the Cancel-button, Windows95/98 continues and allows to access to the computer, while on WindowsNT4 and Windows 2000, you will be refused access :

(but there are possibilities to allow a bootup without a logon-screen in both Windows NT4 and Windows 2000.

Lets first look at the applet for "Users and Passwords" in the Control-panel

Like on Windows NT4, the installation procedure creates by default the users "Administrator" and "Guest". If security is no issue, you can use always the username "Administrator", otherwise you should now create new usernames by pressing the "Add" button.

Window "Add New User": Enter a Username, which is the name to use later to identify yourself. All other fields are just "for information".

You are asked to enter a password, which you need to enter twice (to make sure that you typed it correctly. Note: while usernames are not case-sensitive, passwords are case-sensitive : "johannes" is not the same as "JOHANNES" and it is not the same as "Johannes". If you work alone on the system or if security is no issue, you can work without any passwords.

Here you now need to define, which permissions the user will have. For now, use the description provided here (for the details on these groups and their rights/privileges , see: User Permissions). usually, you create here a "Standard user" or a "Restricted user"

In my example, I have created "Helmig" as a "Restricted User": Member of the group: "Users" I have also created a user "jhelmig" as "Standard User": Member of the group: "Power Users".

Let's see now the impact of these different type of users, so I now logged in using the new username "Helmig" as a "Restricted User", accessing in the Control-Panel the "System" -Applet:

Lets view our Hardware - Configuration in the "Device Manager" on the tab : "Hardware" :

Lets translate this message: For each piece of hardware (a modem, a scanner, a CD-Burner,...), which you like to connect to your system, you need the software to talk/use this hardware. In Tech-Talk-Language, such additional hardware is called "Device" and the software for the system to be able to communicate to ("talk to"/"use") the hardware (the "Device") is called "Device Driver". Translation of this Message: "to be able to connect or disconnect or configure hardware components, you need to be the Administrator (or be a user with the same rights as the Administrator)."

Lets see this in action:

Logged in as "Regular User" (without Administrator rights)

Logged in as "Administrator"

The "Administrator" has additional Menu-items, allowing to install, disable and un-install hardware components (= "Devices").

Golden-Rule for using an Windows NT4 or Windows 2000 System:If you try to do a certain job and you cannot find the menu-item or toolbar-button, ask yourself: Do you have the permission to perform this job?

A "Standard User" (member of the group "Power Users" ) has more permisisons:

In "My Computer, right-click on the C-drive to get the Context/popup menu : A "Standard User" can define a Sharing of a disk or folder.

a "Restricted user" will not have the "Sharing.." option available.

but some activities are limited to the Administrators :

If you are NOT logged in as Administrator, you will need to know the Username and password of an administrator to be able to view/add/modify the list of Users:

You need to be an Administrator to make any change to the Properties of your Local Area network:

If your are NOT logged on as
Administrator, this warning will be displayed and

the buttons "Install", Uninstall" and "Properties" are not accessible.

For a detailed view on the rights/privileges of the different user: User Permissions

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