MicrosoftWindows Home ServerAdding a new PC using 'control userpasswords2' to Windows...

Adding a new PC using ‘control userpasswords2’ to Windows Home Server on a Friday Night


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I just got my mother a new Dell laptop from Best Buy and I am going to connect it to her Windows Home Server. This usually is not a task worth mentioning but the Geek Squad at Best Buy opens the PCs they sell before you get them. You would think it was nice of them to “check” the new PC for you, but the Geek Squad, bless their little capitalist hearts, load it with cheapie virus protection software and other useless trial applications. In this article I will explain how to work around what those Geeks screwed up.


My parents have two Dell laptops and a HP MSS EX470 and it is time for an upgrade to one of their old laptops. I usually order directly from Dell but our local Best Buy had the same model and as-built specs for the same price. Same price, right? Why not get it today?

While they were picking up the laptop I connected via Remote and added a new User account so she could run both laptops concurrently until she was comfortable retiring the old one. The new laptop has Vista Premium and I want mom to transition from XP Home so she can use Windows Media Center. Viva WHS!

My parents picked up the laptop and had the opened box waiting for me when I arrived and planned on spending just FIVE minutes to connect it to their server. Opened box?

Mental note: Best Buy may have a FIVE minute pick up guarantee but to undo their software crap takes a hour!

What I did not know at the time of purchase was that Best Buy was going to open the box and load a bunch of crap on it. In addition, they were going to give it a name "OWNER-PC" that Mom, and her WHS, did not recognize.

The already opened, now taped up, box is waiting on their kitchen counter which has a label over the tape that say something like "Thank you for shopping at Best Buy. A Geek Squad technician has made changes to your new computer because Corporate can probably trick the average consumer into accepting crappy software that even Dell (believe it or not) would not ship with this computer."

I am not sure if that was exactly what it said, but I think it was close. Lets set this pig on fire!

Equipment Needed

PC with WHS password or user name errors (Available at your local Best Buy)

One Beer (Optional as always)

Windows Home Server Connector CD

Connector Installation

I start the laptop and it boots right to the desktop. This is not good since not seeing a Vista set up screen is the first sign that I am going to have to change settings. Your first thought is to navigate to System Properties and change the name of the PC or even to change the default User Account prior to running the CD. For the purpose of this article I am going to follow that process. I make the changes to her PC and change the names to Mom.

System Properties

I connect to their wireless network and insert the WHS Connector CD. After the installation my cell phone starts texting me with all of the alerts on their WHS. I am getting alerts for no backup and out of date virus protection. I will fix that. Stop texting!

I can open the WHS Console but as you can see below the Name of the new PC is "OWNER-PC". I want the name to be MOM. It is my preference to keep the PC names and User Accounts in sync. You may have other preferences or not be as strange as I am. Viva WHS for letting us be individuals!

WHS Console

Right after I close the Console I get a balloon that a new Connector Upgrade is Available. I am prepared for this since the WHS Connector CD is the original once from a few years ago.


Before I start the upgrade process I need to fix the name. Since I already created a User Account for "MOM" I need to make the changes to this PC. But I already changed them in User Accounts and System Properties.

Get to a CMD line or type ‘control userpasswords2’ in the Run box.

Command Exe

This is the actual User Accounts box where you can change account names AND passwords that do not match. Have you been getting those annoying password match errors? This is where you fix it! Forget the standard interface. This one is the way to go if you need advanced controls.

Click on Properties.

User Accounts

Even though I had changed the name to Mom before I need to change it here to really get the names synchronized. Change the User name to the correct name.

Owner Properties

See how the User Name is now "MOM"? This PC is now in sync with WHS!

User Accounts

While I am making these changes the virus protection has updated and WHS is Yellow now. In addition I have spared you the details of removing the other applications, toolbars and icons. If you would like more information on those applications see you local BB.

WHS Console Alert

I click on Yellow and my only remaining Risk issue is updating the Connector. I click on the link to start the process.

Home Network Health

Once you click on the link a browser window will open. Click on "Download Now" to start the upgrade.

WHS Connector Troubleshooter

The standard File Download box appears. Click on Run.

File Download

When the exe. file opens click on Run.

Security Warning

I am on wireless so the download takes about a minute. You mileage will vary.

WHS Connector Setup

Once it downloads it sees the old connector and asks to replace it. Click on Yes.

WHS Connector Alert

Once the new connector is installed it will guide you through the connection process. Click on Next.

WHS Connector

Watch the pretty green bar. Consider opening a second beer.

WHS In Progress

The connector will ask you for your WHS password. This is NOT the PC password unless you made it the same.

WHS Password

This part of the setup is to verify the backup settings. You can always change this later. Click on Yes.

WHS Wakeup Settings

Wait for the pretty green check boxes and click on Next.

WHS Connector

You are now done with the connector upgrade. Click on Finish.

WHS Connector Complete

WHS is now Green and I am good to go. Seriously. My wife wants to go home so we are done here.

WHS is Healthy Again!

I will start the first backup before I leave (so I never have to repeat this again) and mom is all set!


Overall the installation was easy since I was expecting to make User Account changes. The main scope of this article was to show you the ‘control userpasswords2’ dialog box so you can easily make changes to User Accounts. This access route is good for when you add a used computer to your network or have password match errors.

See you next Friday night,

Timothy Daleo

Timothy Daleo
Timothy Daleo
Timothy Daleo is a Project Resource Analyst and Oracle Applications Trainer in Pasadena, California. In addition to financial analysis, Tim has been developing training materials since 2003 and supporting direct projects through various auxiliary databases since 2005.


  1. I've recently built a WHS box from parts that I have repurposed. I'm currently reading everything I can find related to WHS and your articles come up frequently.

    I'm not a particular fan of Best Buy and have only purchased 1 computer from them. The box was factory sealed and nothing was added(or subtracted) by the store.

    I did have to remove some of the crapware that HP puts on their laptops but nothing was amiss. I live in central NJ so I'm wondering about the opening of new computers in your state.

    If I purchased a new computer and the box was opened with a note from the store I would immediately return it without taking a step towards the door. A store opening a new product box and adding(or subtracting) anything without the purchasers permission seems legally dubious.

  2. My parents picked up the unit. Had I been there to get it I would have asked about the policy and would have tried to get a sealed package.

    Not a big deal, just more of a pain in the a$$.

    In California, when you go and buy a car, they usually add on extras like alarms and LoJack (you can have them removed) so I am sure it is legit.

    Welcome to the WHS community!

  3. Just to let you know control userpasswords2 has been replaced with netplwiz in Win 7 🙂

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