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A Windows account that looks like this "domain\computername$". What does that mean?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

That's the computer account. When a computer joins a domain it has to have an account associated with it in order to apply policy settings. This gets created automatically when the computer joins.

From Microsoft's technet article on accounts:

Computer accounts

Every computer running Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or a server running Windows Server 2003 that joins a domain has a computer account. Similar to user accounts, computer accounts provide a means for authenticating and auditing computer access to the network and to domain resources. Each computer account must be unique.

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Aha. What's the connection between computer and user accouts? Lets says I give a computer account access to login to a database, who can login to the database? The computer itself? All domain users that are also local users on the computer? – Karsten Apr 1 '11 at 9:24
no, computer accounts aren't used for that sort of access control - they are used for domain level - is this computer allowed to access the domain? What computer-level group policies should be applied to it, etc. – Majenko Apr 1 '11 at 9:50
>"computer accounts aren't used for that sort of access control" OK, I understand that you shouldn't do this, but what if you do? I'm using a sql server, where this the computer account is used. – Karsten Apr 1 '11 at 10:14
I guess there's nothing stopping you from doing it, but I suspect it would allow access to any user on the computer (which may be desirable I guess), but all with the same access level. I'm not too hot on MS SQL myself, so I don't know all the implications of this. – Majenko Apr 1 '11 at 10:16

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