How AutoMate Logs On And Unlocks Workstations

Applies To: AutoMate 6, AutoMate 5
Published: 7/17/06 , modified November 11, 2008

AutoMate attempts to log on a user or unlock a workstation by simulating the keystrokes a user would use when logging onto or unlocking the workstation. The keystrokes to simulate are specified in 'System' -> 'Options' of the Task Administrator under the 'Logon Keystrokes' tab and uses the same syntax as the 'Send Keystrokes' action. Three special fields can be used:

  • {USERNAME}
    Placeholder for the user name as specified by the Default User Options.
     
  • {PASSWORD}
    Placeholder for the password as specified by the Default User Options.
     
  • {DOMAIN}
    Placeholder for the domain/machine name as specified by the Default User Options.

Before a task starts executing, AutoMate first determines whether the workstation is logged on, logged off or locked. If the workstation is logged off, and the task is set to log on a user before executing, AutoMate will press Ctrl-Alt-Del, then attempt to simulate the keystrokes as specified in the "Logon Keystrokes" field of the 'Logon Keystrokes' options. If the workstation is locked, and the task has been set to unlock a workstation before executing, AutoMate will press Ctrl-Alt-Del, then attempt to simulate the keystrokes as specified in the "Unlock Keystrokes" section of the 'Logon Keystrokes' options. A typical keystroke sequence would be:

{ALT}u{USERNAME}{ALT}p{PASSWORD}{ENTER}

This tells AutoMate to press Alt-u to bring the cursor to the username field. It then types out the username. Next, it presses Alt-p to bring the cursor to the password field, and types out the password. Then the Enter key is pressed to complete the logon. (Note that the Ctrl-Alt-Del key sequence is not a part of the Logon Keystrokes).

The keystroke sequence is not bound to any specific logon window or sequence. Therefore, by adjusting the keystrokes to be sent, AutoMate can successfully logon to workstations that do not use the standard Windows logon screen, such as those running Novell.

Notes

In some circumstances the keystroke sequence may need to be modified to work properly with some workstations or when certain errors occur. Please refer to the following knowledgebase article for more details: