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How to prevent a computer from running a user logon script in Windows Server 2003

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
INTRODUCTION
This article discusses how to prevent a computer from running a user logon script in Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

User logon scripts contain a set of instructions. These instructions are run when a computer starts. For example, a user logon script may contain instructions about how to map network drives, about how to connect to network printers, or about how to run an antivirus program.
MORE INFORMATION
Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

You may experience certain situations where you may want to prevent a computer from running a user logon script. For example, you may want to do this when a terminal server hosts a special environment for a forest.

The user logon script is started from the Userinit.exe process. The Userinit registry value describes the programs that are started by the Winlogon.exe process. The Winlogon.exe process retrieves the Userinit startup parameters from a registry entry inside the following Winlogon registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
The parameter that controls the user logon script is set in the UserInitLoginScript variable.

To prevent the system from running the user logon script, the UserInitLoginScript variable must be removed. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Notepad.
  2. Copy and paste the following code into Notepad:
    @echo off		Set UserInitLogonScript=		Start %systemroot%\system32\userinit.exe		exit
  3. Save the text file as a program file by using the .cmd file name extension. For example, save it as DisableLogonScript.cmd.
  4. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  5. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  6. In the right pane, double-click Userinit.
  7. In the Value data box, delete the userinit.exe entry, and then type the full path of the file that you created in step 3.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Exit Registry Editor.
REFERENCES
For more information about how to start a program before the shell at logon, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
142905 How to launch a program before the shell at logon
Properties

Article ID: 924034 - Last Review: 10/11/2007 02:12:27 - Revision: 1.5

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition

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