WinXP MCE Credential Manager…

Continuing the tale of BartPE…

So, I’ve been using WinXP Pro for quite some time. The wife’s new computer and the new laptop both came with WinXP MCE 2005 edition loaded on them, however. Seemed pretty nice… the laptop looks beautiful when I go to play a DVD and browse through pics/videos/etc. Really happy with that.

But what is this crap with having to type my username and password to access a network share every time? Sure, it’s not an issue if I’m accessing a share on my XP Pro box, but if I’m accessing a Samba share on my fileserver, or the print server, I have to type the password every time? Because somehow being able to save a password is considered a professional feature and not a consumer feature?

Yeah, right.

I did some googling around. Apparently it’s because the password saving is tied into the credential manager, which is tied into joining a domain. Now, I don’t bother with a domain– a regular workgroup is just fine as far as I’m concerned. But further googling lead to some even more interesting notes: not only did previous versions of MCE allow you to do this, but the support was still built into MCE, just disabled. All you have to do is enable a registry key and you’re set.

The one problem? XP won’t let you change that registry key. Now, you can go about this the long way… or dig out that BartPE disk and do things quickly.

  1. Shut system down and boot from BartPE
  2. Open a command prompt (Go > Run > cmd)
  3. copy system32\config\system c:\system
  4. Open the Registry editor (Go > Run > regedit)
  5. Click on ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE’.
  6. File > Load Hive…
  7. Browse and select C:\SYSTEM
  8. Specify key name ‘BANANA’ and click OK
  9. Expand: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > BANANA > WPA > MedCtrUpg
  10. On the right-hand side, double-click IsLegacyMCE value
  11. Change selected value to 1 and click Ok. (THAT IS NOT AN L!)
  12. Click on BANANA subkey (under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE).
  13. File > Unload Hive. Confirm.
  14. Close the Registry Editor and go back to the Command Prompt.
  15. copy c:\system system32\config\system (say yes to overwrite it)
  16. Reboot from your main hard drive and you’re done.

I’m not sure what Microsoft was thinking, but I hope this level of brain-deadness doesn’t continue into Vista (though I’ll not be surprised if it does).

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