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Unlock workstation without closing session

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  • Unlock workstation without closing session

    For WinNT, Win2000, and WinXP, when a workstation is locked, nobody but the person who locked that station (not even an admin) can unlock the station. When an administator tries to unlock the station, the session will close immediately shutting down all the applications that are currently running on the system. This often poses a problem for us. We often see yellow stickies asking people not to touch the system. Shutting down someones system is simply not an option.

    This does not make any sense to me! This, in effect gives a regular user more power than an administrator who should have absolute control over the system.

    Ideally, as an administrator, I would like to be able to truely unlock the system. That is, unlock the system without closing the session.

    Anyone know how or even if this is possible?


  • #2
    Think about the word "privacy"...

    As administrator, your are supposed to have enough privileges to take over the system without poking around in user session. For the same reason you can't:
    - add yourself to ACL without taking ownership (given the fakt you do not have permissions over the object)
    - peek into files encrypted by users without taking ownership and performing a recovery.
    - Logon to other user's mailboxes (by default)

    In your place I would be looking into other direction. For example:
    - communicating a scheduled maintenance to users with warning that their sessions will be terminated.
    - looking into other ways of performing tasks rather then logging on to the console (ssh, telnet, command line utilities - you would never believe how powerfull those sometimes are)

    But, hey, maybe it's just me ?
    Guy Teverovsky
    "Smith & Wesson - the original point and click interface"


    • #3
      Thanks for you feedback. What you have to understand is that I have a real-life problem to fix. Not a moral issue. Here we have computers running in a lab where the policy is to lock unattended computers. We cannot kill the programs running and must allow different people access to these machines.

      In any case. FYI I think I have found a solution I can work with.

      The Transparent Screen Lock (which locks your system either in Transparent mode where you can still see the screen or blanks the screen) can be set to be unlock by the user or an Administrator. When the system is unlocked the user's session is perserved.

      Anyone have any experience with this product? Any feedback would be nice.

      You can find more info on this product at