Controlling the Logon and Authentication Process

The purpose of logging on to Windows—providing a user name and password—is to allow Windows to authenticate you. In theory, the process of logon and authentication verifies that you are who you claim to be (because, presumably, only the owner of a user account knows its user name and its password). On the surface, the process is quite simple: Depending on how your computer is configured, you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to display the Log On To Windows dialog box, or you click your user name on the Welcome screen; you enter your password (your user name is already entered) and click OK; and a few moments later your desktop appears.

Under the hood, a lot is going on to allow this seemingly simple task to ...

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