Installing, Testing and Diagnosing AutoLogon
Every now and then someone has problems getting AutoLogon to work. These are my recommended steps to ensure it is installed and how to test it. If after all of this it still doesn't work there is only one conclusion: AutoLogon will not work on your PC.
Please try these steps:
0. Make sure you have the very latest Macro Scheduler release.
1. Make sure AutoLogon is installed:
1.1 Exit Macro Scheduler
1.2 Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Macro Scheduler 14\ (or C:\Program Files\Macro Scheduler 14\ if on x86)
1.3 Right click on CRAutoLogon.exe and select Run as Admin
1.4 Follow the prompts to install AutoLogon.
1.5 Make sure that your PC is NOT using the CTRL-ALT-DEL screen. This needs to be disabled. See:
1.6 You may also need to disable any messages that appear. E.g. "Acceptable Use Policy" messages. If your system displays one of these and you can only log on by accepting it, then you will need to have this disabled from your system. You may need to ask your system/domain admin to do this as it could be dictated by a network/domain policy.
2. Lets verify the components are present
2.1 You should see this file in C:\Windows\System32:
2.2 In services (Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services) you should see the following service which should be Started and set to Automatic.
- Macro Scheduler Service
2.3 Just for good measure you should also see these registry entries:
If not we need to run the installer again or create manually.
3. Now we've verified that all the requisites are installed, let's do a test:
3.1 Start Macro Scheduler
3.1 Create a new macro - File New/Macro
3.2 Make it a simple one liner: MessageModal>Hi
3.3 Go into the AutoLogon tab and enter the username and password for the CURRENT USER profile - the one you are currently logged into.
3.4 Go into the Run When tab and check off ALL days and enter a start time, in 24 hour notation 2 MINUTES FROM NOW.
3.5 Save and close the macro
3.6 LEAVING Macro Scheduler running, LOCK the workstation (do not log off yet, just lock it). This can be done with Start button, then click the arrow to the right of Shut Down and then select Lock.
3.7 Wait, AT LEAST 2 minutes.
3.8 Windows should magically log in and run the macro - you'll see the message appear. Ok it and Windows will log out again.
Assuming that worked we can now test a LOGGED OUT scenario. Do the same but at 3.6 EXIT Macro scheduler and at 3.7 LOG OUT instead of lock. You might need longer than 2 minutes hence for the schedule as it can take a while to log out completely.
If it doesn't work there's only two things I can think of testing and they are:
1) Could you have a firewall or other security software blocking Macro Scheduler / the Service / the credential provider?
2) See if Named Pipes is somehow blocked on your machine. Named Pipes is an interprocess communications system and Macro Scheduler, the service and the credential provider uses Named Pipes to communicate. I would not expect Named Pipes to be disabled or blocked as it is an essential feature of windows which many other processes need to use, and I have never seen it disabled but I am aware that it can in some cases be disabled. I don't have first hand knowledge of doing so as I have never had to do it but I found these links which might help:
It is also possible that some anti-virus or other security software is blocking the credential provider or blocking the service or communication between. Consider that AutoLogon by its very nature has to add a credential provider to the Windows logon system so it would not surprise me if I was to learn of some 3rd party security software to take a dislike to it. Hell, every now and then some antivirus tool blocks Macro Scheduler because they think it is a keylogger. Keyloggers and macro recorders by necessity use the same underlying Windows features in order to do what they want so you can see why the security vendors make this mistake in the fingerprinting. It's frustrating.
All I can really suggest is if you have any security software or windows firewall try disabling the lot and then try the test above again.
Failing all that we are 100% out of options. Please understand that we have tested and verified on Vanilla, default Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 2012 setups, both x86 and x64. We cannot vouch for or support unusual configs or any that use alternative or locked down security policies. It also WILL NOT work on a virtual machine and will NOT work if you are running under a remote desktop session.