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Windows 7: Fast User Switching for Domain PC's

11 May 2010   #1

Windows 7
Fast User Switching for Domain PC's

Wanting to migrate my student lab's to & this summer but need to find a way to "Disable" Fast User Switching - I see the advantage for the home user and maybe even a small office but for students who NEVER log off, I want the machines to run as fast and as clean as possible and NOT have multiple accounts logged in at the same time.
While I am familiar with the reg hack to hide the "switch user" button, this is also not an option since if a student logs in and locks the machine, there is no way for the lab instructors to log off the machine with their administrator credentials???? It simply asks for that users information and the only way around is to shut down or reboot the machine??
Did Microsoft miss this??? It may have been in Vista also but we skipped that OS and this will be a MAJOR headache for MANY network admins -
I hope I have missed something and look forward to anyone's advice on this and how they handle this scenario -

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #2

Windows Seven x64

Try this,

Lock and Switch User - Add or Remove - Vista Forums

The first thing you can do is disable the Lock function,
in the registry browse to the following keys: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Then create a a new DWORD (32bit value) name it DisableLockWorkstation
Change the value to 1 which disables the Windows Lock. (The change should be immediate)

From there you can disable the Switch User, from either Group Policy or in the registry..

Hope this Helps...

EDIT: I have just tested this on my Windows 7 computer and it works! I can't Lock the machine or switch users..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #3

Windows 7
Reg hack *DisableLockWorkstation*

Hi Ryan,
Thx for the reply - while this does grey out the option for shutdown options, I can still lock the workstation after CTRL-ALT-DEL.
Also, all of my domain machines (per policy) lock after 30 minutes of inactivity (I work for a private school and many teachers would leave their machines "open" and not be in the classroom which forced that policy creation) so that is another "challenge".
My fear is if I want to deploy this in a lab setting, it looks like my options are to either - allow mulitple logins and have the admin of those labs just reboot the box each day when it starts to crawl with so many concurrent users - OR - hide the "switch user" option and have the lab admin do a hard reset on the box when a non-admin locks it? Either one of these is definitely not ideal and still at a loss if I am missing something super obvious~
So far, this OS is AWESOME but this is a big PITA for domain settings where there are a ton of potential users per day.
Have you ran across anthing else?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 May 2010   #4

Windows Seven x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hokieman91 View Post
Hi Ryan,
Thx for the reply - while this does grey out the option for shutdown options, I can still lock the workstation after CTRL-ALT-DEL.
The first registry edit should have not grayed anything out??

The only thing that registry edit did was disable the ability to lock the computer. Even if you have it set to lock for 30 minutes, it won't.. you have completely disabled it..

When you press CTRL-ALT-DEL the option it should also disappear, I have tested it again and I am unable to lock the computer when I do the CTRL-ALT-DEL option, the Windows Key+L option and if I go to the start menu and click Lock nothing happens.

Make sure you have put the registry key in the right place and also make sure there is no space after the DisableLockWorkstation and change the value to 1..

For the teachers computers I would just leave them be, let them Lock for 30 minutes.

Also what Windows 7 Operating System are you working with?

Hope this Helps...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2010   #5

Windows XP - Now Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2010   #6


Got a better solution - hide the user switching, and use this to implement a forced logout domain wide - this set of posts, while old, has some info that may still be applicable to Win 7 - Auto log off of user

Sysinternal's PSTools should be able to accomplish this remotely, as long as the connectivity is there (obviously if it loses connectivity, most students prolly won't care to use the machine)....


If you want, I can ask tomorrow what method they implemented at the university I just graduated from (I worked in the IT for 3 semesters, and am pretty friendly with the lot) and pass it on to you. If you're interested, shoot me a PM....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Fast User Switching for Domain PC's

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