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Does vista keep a log of the times a user logged in on the system? If so, how do I view it?

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Yes!

Click on the Start Orb, then right click on "Computer" and click "manage".

Expand "System Tools" > "Event Viewer" > "Windows Logs" > "Security".

I think (but could be wrong here) You want to filter for events 4624 - Logon, and 4634 Logoff.

If you do not see what you want, or want to change what is logged, click on the start orb and type "Local", then click on Local Security Policy when it has come up (If it doesn't, go to Control Panel > Administration Tools > Local Security Policy). Next, Expand "Local Policies" > "Audit Policy", click on an object and set to either Success, Failure or both.

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(Been ages since I have dealt with this on a non domain system... I have the default settings and it logged my lock/unlock... granted it isn't treated the same way as a logon/off, but I am wondering if there are other settings somewhere - I find it weird that it would log by default a lock/unlock and not a logon/off)

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