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Windows XP, Logon Screen, Standby?


Somewhat eXPerienced
Hey guys,

Last night I setup my friend's business Dell Optiplex out of box. The machine is to be used as a filemaker server system only. I know for a fact that when logged in as the administrator, I went into the power management options, and disabled everything except for the monitor turning off after 20 minutes. I didn't go to enable hibernation mode, so I believe that is also off by default.

This morning I received a call that it was not accessible. The user I was working with cannot ping the machine, nor can he RDP to it. The unfortunate part is that there's a very good possibility that no one will have physical access to this machine until at least 1pm.

I disabled the regular user account, so now when the machine is turned on it will take a user to the Windows Welcome screen, showing the Administrator account... however the machine will not be logged in, it will sit at the welcome screen. Does the computer automatically enter a standby mode if a user does not login to a system? If that is the case, is there a way to disable that without having to setup an automatic login account? Or should I just have Administrator automatically login when the computer is turned on?

Not that I'm aware of. I would think even if it does go into standby it would wakeup on RDP

Is it setup for automatic updates? If so XP could have shut itself down to install the updates and depending upon the power configuration, it might only startup when the user presses the power button.


Beware the G-Man
Political User
Ok, first thing, did you set the Screen Saver to "None"? And in the Power Settings did you set the Power Scheme to "Always On"? The "Always On" setting will have it so the Monitor is turned off at 20mins, but whoever is using the machine can just turn off the monitor manually and be do with it. When they wish to use it again just hit the power button on the monitor and continue with whatever they were doing. In the Advanced tab are any of the boxes checked, namely the "Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby" box? If so un-check the box. Under the Hibernate tab make sure that box is not checked. Is this machine connected to a UPS? If so some UPS units have software that is to be installed with it so as to save any work that is being done and shut down the system safely in the event of a blackout or a long brownout, etc. Many will automatically set the computer to hibernate for the necessity of the file/work saving. Now If you want to have the computer log on automatically, do what is listed in this link:


The second option is the easiest. Click the image next to the Method 2 explanation to get a view of the TweakUI window.

Here is the link for TweakUI v2.10 for XP SP1 and above:


Just install it and then do what is layed out in the link above.

Having a second user account now disabled on this machine is gonna always go to the welcome screen because the Admin account is probably password protected. If there is no password the it's like it has always been, you leave the password field blank and hit the "return" key and you get logged on. You need to set it up for automatic log on. But double check all the Screen Saver and Power Settings items to make sure you didn't miss anything.

Hope this helps, good luck.


Somewhat eXPerienced
Thanks for the heads up guys.

@ JPRuss: It's a possibility, however I configured Automatic Updates to run every Monday morning at 3am, and ran updates prior to my leaving the customer. It shouldn't have downloaded and installed any that night.

@ gonaads:

1) Screen saver was previously set to none, which should also take care of the "Prompt for Password on Resume" issue.
2) The setting was set to always on, and I confirmed when leaving that the monitor was the only thing to shut off after 20 minutes. This wouldn't matter anyways because there is no monitor tied into the system.
3) I didn't take care of the hibernation tab before leaving. When I woke up this morning, that was the first thing I thought about, however I wasn't sure if that was enabled or disabled by default.

The person who was able to get into the office today was there around noon, and he hit a button on the keyboard and it came out of sleep. I had him RDP to the computer and we went over the power settings. The power settings were all set to their default... and I know I changed them. The only thing I could think of was that I made the power changes under User, then proceeded to remove the user account and never made the changes on the Administrator, but I'm not sure if that's what I did or not. My friend also reported that hibernation was in fact enabled, so I had him disable that as well.

We finished the conversation by saying that I wasn't sure if the machine will enter standby if it's at the welcome screen... it shouldn't. The most i've seen is that the password will be on if it's in standby for too long, and that's minor. We're going to see what happens when he comes in Monday morning. I just pray to someone that the power settings stick this time so we're not in the same boat as this morning.


Beware the G-Man
Political User
Another thing is if the Mother Board BIOS has a setting for Sleep or Hibernate. You may wish to check on that. And again since this is a server machine it is probably connected to a UPS which is possibly why the Hibernate option was on. Well, maybe. :D The automatic log on thing is still there if you wish to do that, up to you.


Somewhat eXPerienced
Thank you sir. It's actually a regular desktop, just being used for "Filemaker Server"... no UPS, just a protected power strip.

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