Manage NT accounts using NET USER commandline utility

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

The net user command duplicates the full functionality of User Manager for Domains with commandline syntax allowing for scripting. For commandline types like me, it is extremely useful. Combined with AT or soon, it is a good way to change all builtin administrator passwords, for example. The pattern is:

soon \\ntmachine cmd /c "net user administrator newpassword"

If you are logged on as domain admin, you could issue the command from the commandline over and over and over or built it into a script and execute the script:

soon \\ntmachine1 cmd /c "net user administrator newpassword"
soon \\ntmachine1 cmd /c "net user administrator newpassword"
...

Modify slightly to automate a sweep through change in any passwords on workstations, memberservers or domain controllers.

You should built in error checking and logging but this is the core of a script to do the job and is based on soon and net user. If you don't have the NT Resource Kit, you can use AT instead of soon.

You can use the following command to get the last logon date/time for an account and is the core of line for a script to get this information on any or all accounts of interest:

net user accountyouwanttoquery /domain|find /i "last logon"

The output of the net help user follows:

The syntax of this command is:


net user [username [password | *] [options]] [/DOMAIN]
         username {password | *} /ADD [options] [/DOMAIN]
         username [/DELETE] [/DOMAIN]

NET USER creates and modifies user accounts on computers. When used
without switches, it lists the user accounts for the computer. The 
user account information is stored in the user accounts database.

This command works only on servers.


username     Is the name of the user account to add, delete, modify, or 
             view. The name of the user account can have as many as 
             20 characters. 
password     Assigns or changes a password for the user's account. 
             A password must satisfy the minimum length set with the 
             /MINPWLEN option of the NET ACCOUNTS command. It can have as 
             many as 14 characters. 
*            Produces a prompt for the password. The password is not 
             displayed when you type it at a password prompt. 
/DOMAIN      Performs the operation on the primary domain controller of 
             the current domain. 

             This parameter applies only to Windows NT 
             Workstation computers that are members of 
             a Windows NT Server domain. By default, 
             Windows NT Server computers perform 
             operations on the primary domain controller. 
/ADD         Adds a user account to the user accounts database. 
/DELETE      Removes a user account from the user accounts database. 

Options      Are as follows:

   Options                    Description
   --------------------------------------------------------------------
   /ACTIVE:{YES | NO}         Activates or deactivates the account. If 
                              the account is not active, the user cannot
                              access the server. The default is YES.
   /COMMENT:"text"            Provides a descriptive comment about the
                              user's account (maximum of 48 characters).
                              Enclose the text in quotation marks. 
   /COUNTRYCODE:nnn           Uses the operating system country code to
                              implement the specified language files for a
                              user's help and error messages. A value of
                              0 signifies the default country code. 
   /EXPIRES:{date | NEVER}    Causes the account to expire if date is
                              set. NEVER sets no time limit on the
                              account. An expiration date is in the
                              form mm/dd/yy or dd/mm/yy, depending on the
                              country code. Months can be a number,
                              spelled out, or abbreviated with three
                              letters. Year can be two or four numbers.
                              Use slashes(/) (no spaces) to separate
                              parts of the date. 
   /FULLNAME:"name"           Is a user's full name (rather than a 
                              username). Enclose the name in quotation
                              marks.
   /HOMEDIR:pathname          Sets the path for the user's home directory. 
                              The path must exist.
   /PASSWORDCHG:{YES | NO}    Specifies whether users can change their
                              own password. The default is YES.
   /PASSWORDREQ:{YES | NO}    Specifies whether a user account must have
                              a password. The default is YES.
   /PROFILEPATH[:path]        Sets a path for the user's logon profile.
   /SCRIPTPATH:pathname       Is the location of the user's logon
                              script.
   /TIMES:{times | ALL}       Is the logon hours. TIMES is expressed as
                              day[-day][,day[-day]],time[-time][,time
                              [-time]], limited to 1-hour increments.
                              Days can be spelled out or abbreviated.
                              Hours can be 12- or 24-hour notation. For
                              12-hour notation, use am, pm, a.m., or
                              p.m. ALL means a user can always log on,
                              and a blank value means a user can never 
                              log on. Separate day and time entries with 
                              a comma, and separate multiple day and time
                              entries with a semicolon.
   /USERCOMMENT:"text"        Lets an administrator add or change the User 
                              Comment for the account. 
   /WORKSTATIONS:{computername[,...] | *}
                              Lists as many as eight computers from
                              which a user can log on to the network. If 
                              /WORKSTATIONS has no list or if the list is *,
                              the user can log on from any computer.

NET HELP command | MORE displays Help one screen at a time.

Featured Links