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I tend to RDP around a number of different machines both at my office and remotely at various customers. Each time I connect to a destination, Windows presents me with a login dialog that remembers who I logged in as last time (without the password because I don't like having the system remember any passwords).

I've noticed the following pattern:

  1. The first time I get a remembered name it is presented as `domain\user`
  2. The next time I get a remembered name (same system) it is presented as `user@domain`
  3. Rinse & repeat

This doesn't hinder me at all - it's just one of those curious little things that I'd like to know why it works that way.

Can anyone offer an explanation?

Point of Clairification

The more I think of it, this only seems to happen when the "domain" is the target workstation (ie: not a real Windows domain).

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the domain\username is the NetBIOS form of providing credentials; is called User Principal Name. The UPN is DNS based. The differences you see maybe because of differences in how the systems you are autenticating to are configured.

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the interesting thing is that I will see this behaviour across 2 logins to the same system – LRE Sep 1 '09 at 4:02

Check the client side TS Credentials cache,

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Terminal Server Client

That is where the cached credentials detail comes from.
How does it show the entries for the machine in question? Do you have multiple entries?

You can also look at this cache from the mstsc window with the Options button on the bottom-right.

As an aside, I have seen that the machine name (maybe IP address too) is used when the target machine is not on a domain login. In a network with Windows Domain login configured on some machine and not on others, I find that the domain machines show the domain name in the cache and the others show the configured machine name there.

I wonder if you have two cached entries for the machine because
you did a domain login at one time and then
a local machine login at another time from that RDP client.

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your observation about machines that aren't a part of a domain is consistent with my experience – LRE Sep 1 '09 at 4:33

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