I need to login to a Windows XP Media Center Edition computer without using a keyboard. Is there any way to do this? My initial search of the internet has only turned up "no", or "you can something, if you log in in to windows" unfortunately I can't log in.

The situation: The situation is I have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the keyboard isn't working right now, but the mouse is. The keyboard had been acting funny, the key presses were out of sync with what was going onto the screen, so I changed the battery and it hasn't worked since. I think I just need to reestablish the connection, but it seems that the only way to do it is though windows, which I cannot login.

So, is there a way to login to a Windows XP Media Center Edition computer without using a keyboard?

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The bearer of bad news. No there is no way to login without a keyboard, accept maybe trying booting into Safe Mode, which will require a ... Keyboard. I would assume you are using a password when login in. If not you can just use the mouse to click on the User Profile and it should automatically log in.

The best bet would be to find a wired or USB keyboard somewhere and use it temporarily.

  • 2
    Safe Mode doesn't require a keyboard; just interrupt a normal boot process and the next time you'll be offered Safe Mode. – grawity Feb 12 '12 at 23:28

If you can connect using an administrative account over the network, you can log in using Remote Desktop, then reattach that session to the "console".

This requires "file sharing" to be enabled and allowed by the target machine's firewall.

  1. Obtain psexec and another Windows NT machine (ideally XP or newer).

  2. Log in to the second machine. If needed, use runas /u:Administrator /netonly cmd to start a shell using the target machine's credentials (any user with sufficient privileges on the target will work.) and use the newly opened shell for all following commands. This is not needed if both machines have identical accounts.

  3. If the target has Remote Desktop disabled, enable it:

    1. Enable Remote Registry if necessary:

      sc \\mediacenter config RemoteRegistry start= auto
      sc \\mediacenter start RemoteRegistry
    2. Enable Remote Desktop:

      reg add "\\mediacenter\HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server" /v fDenyTSConnections /t reg_dword /d 0 /f
    3. Reboot target:

      shutdown -m \\mediacenter -r -t 0
    4. Allow Remote Desktop in firewall:

      reg add "\\mediacenter\HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\StandardProfile\GloballyOpenPorts\List" /v 3389:TCP /t reg_sz /d "3389:TCP:*:Enabled:@xpsp2res.dll,-22009" /f
  4. Using Remote Desktop, connect to the target using your desired account.

    • If necessary, add to the "Remote Desktop Users" group:

      psexec \\mediacenter net localgroup "Remote Desktop Users" /add targetuser
  5. Over Remote Desktop, run qwinsta to see your numeric "session ID". Your current session is prefixed with a >.

    You may disconnect afterwards, but do not log out completely.

  6. Using psexec on the second machine, move the new session from Remote Desktop to the physical console:

    psexec \\mediacenter -s tscon <id> /dest:console

    replacing <id> with the numeric session ID.

It don't think it matters if it's Windows XP Media Center so try this:

Configure Windows XP to Automatically Login

After downloading fixes from Windows Updates page or via Automatic Updates, you may notice that Windows XP no longer logs into your account automatically. This is usually caused after the installation of .NET Framework from Microsoft. It creates an additional user account called ASP.NET, which you can see in the Control Panel User Accounts applet. But, you neither need to remove this update nor delete this account. You can still configure Windows XP to automatically login using these methods:

Method 1

alt text

Click Start, Run and type CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2, and click Ok. Select the user account from the list (the account to which you want to automatically logon). Uncheck Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer option, and click Ok. Type the user account password and complete the process.

For Windows XP Home, don't try to auto-login as the built-in Administrator, as you'll receive an error message.

Method 2: Using TweakUI

alt text

Open TweakUI (Click Start, Programs, Powertoys for Windows XP). Expand the Logon branch, and click Autologon. Turn on the "Log on automatically at......" option, type your username and password, and click Ok.

TweakUI v2.00 for Windows XP | v2.10 for Windows XP/SP1 and above

There seems to be a Tweak UI version for MCE: Tweak MCE

  • It seems there is a Tweak MCE as well, I'm going to see if that will do the trick – Ivo Flipse Aug 1 '09 at 17:06
  • If you don't want to install TweakUI, you can set this in the registrty directly. – Joel Coehoorn Aug 1 '09 at 17:07
  • 1
    How will he install without being able to log in? – lexu Aug 1 '09 at 20:41
  • 2
    By plugging in a regular keyboard, which he used to post this question? – Ivo Flipse Aug 1 '09 at 20:44

To be able to enter/log from Limited user(A) to administrator user (B) do the following:

  1. In (A) right click any video or other icon and RE-NAME it with the password that you have always logged in with your [B] account.

  2. Next by right clicking copy that password and go to Start, click log-off, click Switch. It will display the Administrator icon.

  3. Click that and when asked to type the Password then right click and paste the password copied from [A].

  • 2
    How do you log in to that limited user in the first place? – grawity Feb 12 '12 at 23:29

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