Automatic Login for Virtual Machines

Virtual machine images typically don't need much security, so the login prompt is more of a formality than anything else. Plus, if you're planning to share the VM image with others, you need to communicate the login information along with the image. It's a pain.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Or even better (IMO a reg hack is better than installing yet another utility) follow these instructions from Microsoft. I’m pretty sure this is what Tweak UI is doing.;en-us;315231

On XP, I’ve always just disabled the Welcome screen, then run “control userpasswords2”; it’s pretty straightforward from there.

IMO a reg hack is better than installing yet another utility

I agree, but the “install” here is to copy the TweakUI.exe to the c:\windows\system32. And TweakUI has some pretty useful tweaks in addition to the logon one.

disabled the Welcome screen, then run “control userpasswords2”

This is interesting. I’ve never seen that userpasswords2 thing, that I can recall…

Slightly off-topic but amusing nether the less. My brother once came round when we were all out and he wanted to use our desktop PC. He did many complex hacks, including the old cmd as a screensaver trick (which means you can get the command prompt on the logon screen. We have a bootable WinXP CD that means you can edit the registry of the installed copy.). In the end he managed to log in I think. When I got home he told me of all his endevours, and I just looked at him and told him no-one has a password to login.

TweakUI also allows you to log in to a domain, should that be what you want.

And thanks for dumping the “email” requirement.

That’s the Windows XP (or even XP SP2) version. If you want an older Windows 2000 version (I mostly use Windows 2000 Server in Virtual Machines) then try

See for information about the error message generated upon startup by previous versions of Windows

Are you talking about virtual machines from VmWare?

Sure, either Virtual PC, or VMWare, or Parallels… any software that allows you to run Windows in a virtual machine on a physical machine.

You can setup autologon via Group Policy too:

I mostly use Windows 2000 Server in Virtual Machines

Why not use Windows 2003 Server instead? 2k server is more than 6 years old now…

Hi, Jeff
Are you talking about virtual machines from VmWare? If not, I’m a little lost here… could you show me some ligth?

I was playing around with TweakUI yesterday and I managed to get it to show me the blue Windows XP login screen - but with no users accounts to log into?!

I think this was from clicking the “don’t show email counts in the user login screen” even though I wasn’t displaying a login screen.

Fun stuff. :slight_smile:

Old post but very handy. Many thanks - exactly what I needed. Cheers.

I don’t know why you would bother with the “bitmap
login background” method, as the autologin method
is so much cleaner.

It can be very useful in a kiosk. Lots of casual Windows users -never- restart or logoff. But sometimes the kiosk should allow them to change things around in ways that would inconvenience the next user. Solution: autologoff after # minutes, and have the logon instructions on the bitmap. Hardly the only solution, but it can be a convenient one.