Step-by-Step: "Lock Computer" Tricks
November 23, 2001

Most of the time when you are not using your server I assume that you log out of your computer so that it is inaccessible from grubby little hands.  However, if you have a program that is not designed to run as a service, the program will shut down when you log out which is a big problem.  The trick that I found was to hit "Control, Alt, Del", then select "Lock Computer" which will basically log you out.  The difference between 1. logging out of your computer and 2. locking your computer is that authorized users can still log into 1. while for 2. only there person who locked the computer or an authorized administrator can unlock it.  Since I now use FREEping, which isn't designed to run as a service, I can't log out of my server but I can still lock it for an additional measure of safety. 

Here are two little tricks to lock your computer easier and faster.  No more "three finger salute"!

Trick Number 1 - Automatically Lock Computer after a time period

Right click anywhere on the screen and select "properties".  Select the "Screen Saver" Tab.

Check the "password protected" box.  Select a time period when you want your screen saver to activate and lock you computer.  This time should not be too short otherwise you'll constantly be logging in.  Now every time your computer screen saver kicks in, your computer will be locked until you log in again.  This is a great trick because your server will be lock even if you forget to lock it.

Trick Number 2 - "Lock Computer" Shortcut

Here we'll make a "Lock Computer" Shortcut on your Desktop so you can lock your computer by simply double-clicking on an icon.

On an empty space on your desktop, right click and select "New" then "Shortcut".

You'll see this shortcut wizard in Windows 2000 Server.

Paste the following line into the "Type the location of this item" box.  Click "Next".

%windir%\System32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

This next dialog box will ask for a name for this shortcut.  Type in "Lock Computer" or something that makes sense to you.  Click "Finish".

Now you'll have an icon on your desktop that allows you to quickly lock your computer without having to go through the process of "control-alt-delete" -> "Lock Computer".

Pretty neat eh?

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