Creating Multiple Accounts

In theory there are several ways to manage user and group accounts. The standard method for creating user accounts is to use the NT Server administrative tool called User Manager.

In addition to the User Manager for Domains there is also an NT Administrative Wizard that can be used to create accounts. This Wizard comes with NT Server 4.0. There is a known problem with this Wizard and the creation of home directories. For this reason I do not recommend the use of the Wizard.

A third, and most recommended, utility for creating accounts is the NT User Wizard. This utility allows you to import user lists and automatically set up Windows NT logon accounts, groups, and permissions. This utility can be downloaded from Microsoft's website at http://www.microsoft.com/education/k12/winnt/demo.htm.

In the past I recommended an older utility called ADDUSERS. This utility will work but the command line interface is a bit more cumbersome then the graphical NT User Wizard interface. The ADDUSERS utility uses a comma-delimited file to create, write, and delete user accounts. There are other command line programs available to create multiple accounts, like Perl scripts. ADDUSERS if fairly easy to implement and use in comparison but does not have some of the advanced functionality, like random password generation.

The fields in the text file are in the following order

Username
Full Name
Password
Description
Drive Letter for Home Directory
Path for Home Directory
Profile
Logon Script

You fields are separated by commas and if you want to leave a field blank just leave the field empty.

You need to include a header before the user information. The header [User] indicates that the information is for user accounts. There are also corresponding headers for local and global groups. So the file to create a three user accounts for the Scilnet Staff would look like this

[User]
jbesky,Jason Besky,password1,Scilnet Staff,h,\\scilnet\tech\jbesky,\\scilnet\profiles\jbesky,
bball,Bill Ball,password2,Scilnet Staff,h,\\scilnet\admin\bball,\\scilnet\profiles\bball,
sturner,Sandy Turner,password3,Scilnet Staff,h,\\scilnet\teach\sturner,\\scilnet\profiles\sturner,

After you have the comma delimited file created and saved you can run the addusers program. The syntax for using addusers to create accounts is

addusers /c [filename]

Where [filename] is the name and path of the comma delimited file.

Resource Kit 4.0 Supplement 3 has a new set of switches for the addusers program, /pl, /pc, /pe, and /pd, that enable you to specify the four account-creation options available in User Manager: UserMustChangePasswordAtNextLogon, UserCannotChangePassword, PasswordNeverExpires, AccountDisabled.

One draw back to the addusers program is that it does not support the use of variables like %username%. You should be able to work around this if you create your file using a spreadsheet.