Windows Server 2003 as a Workstation

Windows Server 2003 as a Workstation


The first thing you should do is disable the Manage Your Server window, you don't want it nagging you everytime you boot up Windows do you? Simply tick the box "Don't display this page at logon". You can access it later via Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Manage Your Server.

Manage Your Server

The Welcome Screen is non-existant in Windows Server 2003, so you weren't prompted to make a new user name upon first boot-up. But worry not, its fairly simple to do, as everything in this guide is! I would like to thank Donald Morris for this new submission, replacing the advanced lusrmgr.msc (Local Users and Groups) completely.

User Account

Go to Start -> Run -> and type in rundll32 netplwiz.dll,UsersRunDll and press enter. The User Accounts window will appear. Click on Add and then fill in the necessary fields with your User name, Full name, and Description. Click on Next and fill in both password fields as shown here and then click on Next. On the next wizard box as shown here, choose Other and select Administrators, lastly click on Finish!

If you wish for a more advanced configuration, you can always use lusrmgr.msc by running it from the Run box again.

Incase you're wondering, rundll32 netplwiz.dll,UsersRunDll is the same as control userpasswords2

Accounts 2

Now that we've set up a personal user account, we want it to autologon without the use of TweakUI. If you don't wish for this feature please skip this step.

Make sure your name is highlighted in the User Accounts window, as shown in the screenshot to the right, and then uncheck the box Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer and then click on Apply. If you did it right, you will get another window asking for the password to use for autologon on your account name as shown in this screenshot here. Fill in both password fields, and you're ready to go!

Now log off and log in with your new account!

Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security

Unable to browse sites? This section is for you.

A new security feature of Windows Server 2003 has set Internet Explorer to high security by default, so you won't be able to browse any sites. Want to fix this? Read on!

IE Security

To remove Internet Explorer's Enhanced Security Configuration, we will need to do this via Add or Remove Programs. Go to Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Components -> and then scroll down until you see Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. Click on Details and uncheck both boxes as shown in the screenshot to the left. Click OK and OK!

Now fire up Internet Explorer and you'll be faced with the page as shown in the screenshot to the right, warning you that IE's Enhanced Security Configuration is not enabled. Simply change your homepage in Internet Explorer's options, and that's it, you won't be seeing it again!

ie sec 2

Disabling the Shutdown Event Tracker

Because Windows Server 2003 is a 'Server', the event tracker plays a crucial role so that it can keep logs on why the server was shutdown/rebooted. Since we want it to be a Workstation, we will easily attempt to disable this feature. Again, its so damn simple :-)

gp edit

We will need to go into Group Policy Object Editor, go to Start -> Run -> and type gpedit.msc followed by enter. You should see the Group Policy Editor as shown on the left. Browse to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> now look in the right window pane and double click on Display Shutdown Event Tracker.

This window will now appear, simply select Disabled and then proceed to click on OK. Now close the Group Policy Object Editor window.

event tracker

If all goes well, you should get this when you attempt to shutdown:

This page was last modified on Wednesday, 15th April 2015 at 08:35:34 by Gary Keeling. © 2022 GKWeb Design.

Categorised as: Windows Servers

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