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Windows 7: How to enable a login password at startup

15 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
How to enable a login password at startup

I installed Windows 7 x64 on my laptop a few months ago, so I'm the admin on that system. As I'm the sole user, I never enabled any sort of login; it just boots right to the desktop. Now I'm getting ready to take a trip, and I'll be packing the laptop in my checked luggage, so I think it would be a good idea to require a login password in case the laptop disappears. How do I enable that, and how do I disable it when I'm back home?

As an aside, is this adequate security (assuming a strong pwd)? I assume someone would have to reformat the disk and reinstall Windows to make the laptop usable again, but what do I know? Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Dec 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #3

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

There was one question left unanswered: Is this adequate security? What I'd like to know is what if the BIOS does not have a password and the system is set to boot from USB first - will booting to a flash drive allow the person to access the hard drive?

(Edit: Or boot from DVD first for that matter)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Dec 2011   #4

 
 

Hi,

from previous experience if your user profile has a password then if someone was to boot from USB/DVD (Dos/Install mode) then they will be faced with an "Access Denied" message when trying to gain access to the files.

This may be different if they manage to boot an entire OS from USB/DVD as Windows generally tends to ask if you want access to files, thus changing some security settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #5

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

What I had in mind was booting, say, Ubuntu from flash drive or DVD. Will the HDD be accessible?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #6

 
 

Yes, the HDD will be accessible. Only the user files will be protected.

Unless someone else knows different
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #7

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

Are you talking about only the files in the C:\Users folder?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #8

 
 

Depends on what/how it's been protected. If you have a user password then generally only your user files are protected. The main operating system and the rest of the HDD will still be accessible if booting occurs from USB/DVD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #9

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

Please define what "user files" are. Are these limited to only those files in the C:\Users folder, or are other files also considered user files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #10

 
 

Any file created by a user with a passworded account will required password entry/user permission if another user tries to access it, whether it be from the c:\users folder or a folder of their choosing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to enable a login password at startup





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