Usernames and Passwords pass-through explained

  • 10063212
  • NOVL51510
  • 25-Jun-2001
  • 08-Nov-2001

Archived Content: This information is no longer maintained and is provided 'as is' for your convenience.

Goal

Usernames and Passwords pass-through explained

Fact

Microsoft Windows 9x/Me

Microsoft Windows NT/2K/XP

Symptom

Prompted for user credentials when connecting to another network service

Cause

Windows Networking remembers your first username and password that was entered, and will try to automatically use that username and password when connecting to another network service.  If your primary logon is the Novell Client, then the novell username and novell password are passed through to the winlogon process, which is then stored in memory.

If the Novell Client does not detect a network, then the login process is passed to the Microsoft winlogon process, and then Windows will remember the username and password used here.  This is most likely the case for mobile users on Windows 95/98/Me workstations.  However, for ease of use, most people cancel out of this login box, or there is no password, which means that the login process is never seen.  Windows then remembers the username and password, which is in most cases blank on either the password or both username and password.

Subsequent logon processes, including remote access and authentication to a domain or to NDS will *NOT* be stored in memory, as Windows has already stored a username and password in memory, even though they might be blank.  As a result, further authentication requests either to Microsoft Networking or to Exchange will be invalid because the username and password remembered are incorrect.  You will then be prompted for credentials to access these services.

Although these problems can also exist under Windows NT/2000/XP, it is less likely, as users generally have local accounts they can log in with, which are the same as their network accounts.  This problem can exist if your Windows NT/2000/XP workstation logs in automatically as an account which is not the same as the network services you are trying to access.

Fix

Ensure the Windows username and password are the same as your other network accounts

Train users to log in to Windows

Enforce Windows authentication by changing the Windows Policies

Create shortcuts that specify a fixed username/password when connecting to network resources (NET USE /USER=jblogs, etc).

Single Sign-On may assist so that users are not prompted for authentication after they have logged into NDS