Account Lockout, Stored Passwords, and all that stuff!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.08.2007 at 15:55

If your domain account keeps getting locked all by itself for no particular reason, its probably because you ‘saved’ your password somewhere while accessing a resource. You have since then, changed the password, but Windows (or another application) still remembers your old (cached) password and uses it to authenticate.

You may have entered your password and not thought much about it — it could be that shared folder or printer you were trying to access last month. Or it could be the password you entered for authenticating to the proxy while you logged in locally to your PC or on another machine and decided to browse the internet. It could even be entered in the browser while you logged in to the corporate portal whilst not logged in to the domain.

If this is the case, you can clear all the stored passwords on a Windows machine by typing the following command:

rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr

Or in Windows XP, you can use the Stored Passwords option within the Users applet in Control Panel. Remove all the stored credentials listed there and you should be fine. Also note that it saves your MSN Passport account password here as well!

Another reason for a lockout could be a service or application or scheduled task that you have configured to use your domain password while starting or performing an operation. Once you change your password, the previously saved password will not work and this results in a lockout.

Microsoft has beautiful tools that let you further troubleshoot account lockouts. Check out the Account Lockout and Management Tools.
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