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Hi all,

I wonder where Windows Server 2008 stores information about the users, when there is no active directory set up. Is it possible to access the store location? Is it possible to manage the users using a web page interface instead of logging into the server each time?

Thank you for your help.

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Last Post by Baradaran
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In a windows infrastructure, users accounts are either stored locally on the computer (workstations or serers), or you would set up an Active Directory instance to centrally store user accounts so that you do not have to create local accounts on each computer.

when user accounts are stored in a domain model, yes...using asp.net vb/c#, its fairly easy to connect to the directory via classes that have been provided in the asp.net framework for quite some time now to connect, and work with those objects. So for example, you could build an "admin" portal, web based to connect to the domain and view/edit information about the user objects. You connect via LDAP.

For local accounts, you would not connect via LDAP. There are other methods, but the common approach is to implement Active Directory to centralize the account management.

You can do this with vbscript, powershell as well if you just needed to do batch processing.

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Thank you for your reply JorgeM. What I am actually looking for is where the information about users are stored locally on a Windows Server, e.g. information about the user "Administrator" and "Baradaran".

For instance if you create a user called "JorgeM" on a Windows 2008 server with a password and certain access policies, where does Windows 2008 store these information? In a file? In a local database? In the registry? I have tried to find a fictive user I have created, but have failed to find the store location until now.

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Password information in stored in the SAM (Security Accounts Manager) for an OS, and in AD, account info is stored in the ntds.dit file. There's no flat file or SQL type DB on the system that you can query as you would expect. It is implemented as a registry file that is locked for exclusive use while the OS is running. This SAM file is encrypted.

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Dear JorgeM,
Thank you for your reply. I understood that there is no way for me to access user information through a web-based page, but only to log in to the computer directly and access the user information there.

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