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Thursday, July 26, 2012

automatic log in, automatic run

When writing test scripts for testing an installer, on Windows, one of the challenges is when the installer requires a reboot. To handle this I use automatic log in and the run once features of Windows.

To create automatic log in:
  1. Run regedit.exe
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Set DefaultUserName to the name of the person you want to automatically log in. If the key does not exist add it as REG_SZ.
  4. Set DefaultPassword to the user's password. If the key does not exist add it as REG_SZ. Note: anyone who can read the registry can see the user's name and password. Create a local user with no permission on your network.
  5. Set AutoAdminLogon to 1. If the key does not exist add it as REG_SZ.
  6. Set ForceAutoLogon to 1. If the key does not exist add it as REG_SZ.
And that is all you need to have the computer automatically log in after a reboot.

The second part is to create a script which will start up the automation at the right place. What usually happens is the installer will put something in place so that after the reboot it will continue with the install the moment the user logs in. If this is the case for your installer, write a script which continues the automation and add it to the RunOnce key. Assuming you have a batch file which starts part 2 of your automation:
  1. Run regedit.exe
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  3. Add a string value
  4. The Name of the should be something like zzz_Automation
  5. The Data value will be the full path to the batch file. It is important to note that the current directory will not be the location of the batch file. Do not assume it will be in your script. Either use full paths for everything in the script or change to the directory you think you should be in then continue with the script.

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