Recovery console: Allow automatic administrative logon

Updated: November 15, 2012

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, policy management and security considerations for this policy setting,

Reference

This policy setting determines whether the Administrator account password must be provided before access to the computer is granted. If you enable this setting, the Administrator account is automatically logged on to the computer at the Recovery Console; no password is required.

The Recovery Console can be very useful when troubleshooting and repairing systems that cannot be restarted. However, enabling this policy setting so a user can automatically log on to the console is dangerous. Anyone can walk up to the server, shut it down by disconnecting the power, reboot it, select Recovery Console from the Restart menu, and then assume full control of the server.

Possible values

  • Enabled

    The Administrator account is automatically logged on to the computer at the Recovery Console; no password is required

  • Disabled

    Automatic administrative logon is not allowed.

  • Not defined

    Automatic administrative logon is not allowed.

Best practices

  1. Set Recovery Console: Allow automatic administrative logon to Disabled. This requires a user to enter a user name and password to access the Recovery Console account.

Location

GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

Default values

The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

Server type or GPO Default value

Default Domain Policy

Not defined

Default Domain Controller Policy

Not defined

Stand-Alone Server Default Settings

Disabled

DC Effective Default Settings

Disabled

Member Server Effective Default Settings

Disabled

Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Disabled

Operating system version differences

There are differences in this policy between Windows operating systems beginning with Windows Server 2003.

Policy management

This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.

Restart requirement

None. Changes to this policy become effective without a computer restart when they are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.

Group Policy

Setting and deploying this policy using Group Policy takes precedence over the setting on the local computer.

Policy conflicts

None.

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

Vulnerability

The Recovery Console can be very useful when you must troubleshoot and repair computers that do not start. However, allowing automatic logon to the Recovery Console can make it possible for someone to assume full control of the server.

Countermeasure

Disable the Recovery console: Allow automatic administrative logon setting.

Potential impact

Users must enter a user name and password to access the Recovery Console.