I had hidden the "owner" account from being visible at the Windows XP Welcome Screen on a laptop running Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (see Hiding an Account from the Welcome Screen). "Fast User Switching" was turned on, so I could switch from one account to another. I could hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up a login prompt that would allow me to input the userid of "owner" and the password for that account, but that would only work if no other account was logged on already. I could run programs from the command prompt by using the
runascommand, but there were times when I also wanted to be able to switch to that account and use it with a GUI interface, so I decided to "unhide" the account.
You can use
regedit, which provides a
GUI interface for editing the registry or you can use the
command at a command prompt to query and modify the registry.
Since I was logged in under an unprivileged account, i.e. one not
in the Administrators group, I first opened a command prompt under
that account and then used the
runas command to open another
command prompt under an account in the Administrators group, in
this case the "Owner" account on the laptop.
C:\>runas /user:owner cmd
I then used the
reg query command to check the current
registry entry applying to the "owner" account that kept it from being
visible at the welcome screen for Windows XP.
C:\>reg query "hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\CurrentVersion \Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList" /v Owner ! REG.EXE VERSION 3.0 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\windows nt\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Special Accounts\UserList Owner REG_DWORD 0x0
A value of zero in the key
means the account represented by userid won't be visible at the
Welcome Screen. If you put a value of one there, then the account will be
I then changed the value with the
reg add command. Note: when
reg add command, if a value already exists in the
registry for a key, you will be prompted as to whether you want to override
it unless you use the
/f option with the command.
C:\>reg add "hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\CurrentVersion\W inlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList" /v Owner /t REG_DWORD /d 1 Value Owner exists, overwrite(Y/N)? y The operation completed successfully C:\>reg query "hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\CurrentVersion \Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList" /v Owner ! REG.EXE VERSION 3.0 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\windows nt\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Special Accounts\UserList Owner REG_DWORD 0x1
I was then able to use the Windows logo key + L to obtain the welcome screen where I could now see the "Owner" account listed as one of those I could select.