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Our system administrator has disabled the option to lock the screen of our (lab)computers and now whenever I need to go to the toilet/outside I need to close IDEs/browsers/everything and log off. I've tried creating a shortcut on the desktop to: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation but NOTHING.

Is there a portable software or an alternative to this? Cheers!

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Have you asked why locking is disabled? – ChrisF Nov 21 '10 at 21:40
I used to disable locking to encourage users of school machines to log off when they were done, otherwise it would cause headaches for the next user. It's a reasonable administrative rule given enough machines to manage. – user3463 Nov 21 '10 at 23:11
With Windows 7, a more reasonable approach would be to allow locking, but allow user switching and automatically log out users who've been logged in but inactive for more than a given amount of time. It would take some time to put together, but would work better for users long-term, and might be worth it. – nhinkle Nov 22 '10 at 4:02
@nhinkle: if it would be that easy to talk him through... – bsuv Nov 22 '10 at 10:26
I'm not suggesting it's a practical solution in this case; thus I didn't present it as an answer. I was just pointing out that disabling screen locking isn't always necessary even in that environment. Sorry if there was any confusion. – nhinkle Nov 22 '10 at 11:21

I don't think that you can override that as this has been set by your sys-admin, it would be a setting group policy on an Organizational Unit on the main server(you do connect to a domain in your workplace right?). And that over-rides all local group policies, given that your company uses a Windows server.

The only solution according to me would be to ask the sys-admin to enable it according to me, but that doesn't seem to be like an option I guess and hence this question right?

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The part about LockWorkStation not working confirm that the lock option was disabled by Group Policy or similar, so you can't override it. – Alberto Martinez Nov 21 '10 at 23:32
Asking the sys-admin is a reasonable attempt and but it resulted in a negative response. Hence me googling/asking people for alternatives – bsuv Nov 22 '10 at 10:26
@bsuv: if you do find a work around post it here, it would be good to know. – rzlines Nov 23 '10 at 15:20

Take the mouse with you when you need to go outside. Should discourage others from using the machine.

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Somehow I feel like if the IT department doesn't want them locking the computer, they're not going to be any happier about students taking the mice, but that is a clever solution ;) – nhinkle Nov 22 '10 at 4:05

Only if you have admin privileges.. which it's obvious you don't:

Predator sounds like a good alternative.

It doesn't use the Windows Lock feature, and can be unlocked with a password if you lose your flash drive.

When you remove your flash drive, the screen blackens and the keyboard and mouse are locked, when you plug your drive back in, the screen comes back, and control of the keyboard and mouse is returned to you.

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I've just tried it, and it seems to work really well, and it disables the task manager. One suggestion though is to turn the read interval down to something like 5 seconds so that it doesn't wait 30 seconds until it locks. – Azz Nov 22 '10 at 4:22
well, it's a good alternative if you have the PRIVILEGES to install software – bsuv Nov 22 '10 at 10:02
Ohh yeah, forgot, I'll see if I can run it without installation. – Azz Nov 22 '10 at 10:10
tried to install it from my memory stick on the desktop-FAIL, from the memory stick on the memory stick-FAIL. – bsuv Nov 22 '10 at 10:16
My bad, yeahh the service needs to be installed. It's good if you can install stuff though :) – Azz Nov 22 '10 at 10:20

I assume that your administrator disallowed the use of the Windows-L key combination.
There are however other ways of doing the same thing:

  • In the Start menu, click the lock icon.
  • Create a desktop shortcut :
    %windir%\System32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
  • Locking your computer through the screen saver (if you have the permission)

If all fails, you might still be able to use Cursor Lock :

Cursor Lock is a utility program that confines the mouse cursor to a selected area on the screen. The cursor lock can be toggled on and off with hot keys.

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