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Windows Home Server Security Tips: Force change of the initial password for a newly created Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials Account

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Introduction

In the 2nd of our Windows Home Server Security Tips I’m going to go over is how to force change newly created accounts initial passwords upon logging into either Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. While this is essentially the same as what I had gone over in Windows Home Server there are some minor differences between the two operating systems that should be paid attention to.

What version of Windows Home Server does this pertain to?

This pertains to Windows Home Server 2011 and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials; while the steps are similar for Windows Home Server there are some steps that are different and it is recommend that this article is to be used only for Windows Home Server 2011 and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials

Disclaimer and Recommendations

While the methods and steps have been tested in a non-production environment to work as written within this article I take no responsibility and the user shall bare full responsibility if there are any repercussions from using the information of this article. It is also further advised to backup your server first before proceeding with any of the steps within this article.

Procedure

1. While the first part of this can be done from the Launchpad on your client PC it is recommended that you either Remote Desktop or Directly Console into your Home Server for the entire process.

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2. Click on the “Dashboard” Icon on your home server desktop and wait for it to open

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3. Proceed to create a new user account as shown in this following How To article provided by Farshad from addictivetips.com. REMEMBER to give the account you are creating an easy initial logon password (Example: Password1234), the whole reason for this drill is for the end user to change the initial password. Even through this How to is primarily aimed at WHS 2011 it is exactly the same for Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. Upon completion close the Dashboard.

4. Now click on the windows Start Icon clip_image008 , and on the right hand screen of the menu “Right Click” On the “Computer” icon and click on “Manage”.

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5. Within the “Server Management” snap-in go to “Configuration”, then click on “Local Users and Groups”, and click on “Users”.

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6. With the desired account highlighted (In this case CDW) right click on “Properties”.

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7. Check the “User must change password at Next Logon” and click “OK”

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8. Exit the Computer Management Console.

Please Note: The next part of this article will simulate the end user remotely accessing the home server remotely either locally (http://MYSERVERNAME) or abroad (https://xxxxxx.homeserver.com for WHS 2011 or https://xxxxxxx.remotewebaccess.com for WSS 2008 R2 Essentials).

9. Open your Web Browser of choice and have the End User enter your home servers URL address (As shown above).

10. Now have the end user enter the name of the and the initial password that was assigned to them into the Windows Home Server Credential Box and then click on the “Log On” Radio Box.

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11. If the end user entered the correct account and initial password you should be greeted with box below. Re-enter the initial password originally given in the second box below the account name and then enter the new password in the subsequent boxes below. Then Click the “Green or Blue Arrow” Radio Button and Login.

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12. The End User should now be greeted with your home server’s main menu page. Once the end user has completed their business then click on the “Sign Out” URL located on the top right corner.

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13. Once you have logged off (as pictured below) close your Web Browser.

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When should I use Force changing of the initial password for a newly created Windows Home Server Account?

The only time you really should have to use this method is if the End User (This can be Family Member or Business Associate) can only access the home server Remotely from its location (I.E. Different City, State, Country etc…). However, you can still employ this method locally if the intended end user is not readily available, at home; work or if you just want the end user to choose their own password instead. The Choice of course is yours.

So what’s next in Windows Home Server Security Tips?

The next two Windows Home Server Security Tip Articles will be covering complexity and the desired minimum length for your home server accounts.

Acknowledgment’s – I want to thank again Farshad from addictivetips.com for the excellent how to guide on making accounts on Windows Home Server 2011.

John Keller
John has been in the IT profession for over 20 years along with being certified in both Comptia Security + (2008 edition) and a MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) on Both Windows XP & Server 2003 Administration, He currently works as an Windows System Administrator for Northrop Grumman in the Greater Los Angeles Area and manages 3 Windows Active Directory Private Networks (Two 2008 R2 and One 2012 R2) along With 2 VMware EXSI 5.5 Servers in the US. He has been an avid fan and follower of Windows Home Server (Now the Essentials Role of Windows Server) and Visualization Since 2009. He is currently trying to exploit the full potential of Microsoft's Windows Server Operating System to the Home & Small to Medium Business Community along with the power of Visualization. When not being a Nerd and a Geek he likes to watch Movies, Read Comic Books, and most importantly spend time with his family.

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