With Windows XP, it was easy to override an auto-login user account to login as yourself:
- Log off the auto-login user if it was already logged in.
- Hold Shift
- Press Enter
- Release Shift
- Type in your own user id/password.
- Voila, log in as yourself.
With Windows 7, this became a cruel game of wits — mainly you trying to outlast the system as it laughed at you when you didn’t get the timing for the Shift key exactly right. One work around is to tap (or manically beat) the Shift key in a steady rhythm after logging the auto-login user off. Unfortunately, this activates the StickyKeys prompt. Thankfully, turning it off for the pre-login user isn’t that hard.
- Login as an administrator, either locally (using the Shift drumming mentioned earlier) or remotely.
- Open regedit.exe.
- Browse to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Accessibility\StickyKeys
- Double-click on Flags and change the value to 510.
For larger installations, you’ll probably want to use a Group Policy preference (Computer Configuration) to set the registry value.
Edit: This thread contains various tips/tricks/workarounds for bypassing the auto-login account. One that I use is
shutdown -l from the auto-login account to get to the login menu.