Users, Groups, and Administrators

As you know from Chapter 2, you can't use a Windows 2000 computer without first logging on; and for that, you need a username and password. They're your keys to your Windows 2000 account.

If you work in a company where somebody else maintains all the computers, understanding accounts (and the related concepts, groups and administrative rights) isn't essential to your everyday work. But if you maintain your own small network, or if you'd like a better understanding of the "Access denied" messages that may sometimes appear when you use your PC, an understanding of these notions may prove very valuable.

User Accounts

User accounts are extremely important in Windows 2000. Your user account determines your privileges—that is, exactly what you're allowed to do on the network and even on your own PC, including which files and folders you can open, which printers you can use, and which Control Panel settings you can change. Your user account also tells Windows which user profile to use when you log on, as described in Section 17.4.

Administrator Accounts

Every Windows 2000 Pro computer comes with a special account called Administrator. If you log onto your PC as the Administrator, you can change any of its Control Panel settings, use the Computer Management tool (Section 17.3.4), install non-Plug-and-Play hardware—and, more important, you can add, delete, or change other people's accounts on this machine.

Tip

You don't necessarily have to have the Administrator ...

Get Windows 2000 Pro: The Missing Manual now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.