Windows XP error: Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password

Posted on November 10th, 2011

Occasionally with Overseer, a Windows XP system is configured in such a way that accessing it with valid login credentials will throw the error “Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password”. This is particularly frustrating when you KNOW it’s the correct user and password, and sometimes it’s even a local account– which is particularly confusing, as local accounts always ‘just work’…

The problem here, is a security policy that is sometimes on for Windows XP which causes this problem. It’s called “Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts”, and is sometimes set to “Guest only – local user authenticate as Guest”. The proper setting is “Classic – local users authenticate as themselves”.

Thankfully, this can easily be changed using these steps:

  1. Start->Run and type ‘secpol.msc’ and click OK
  2. Navigate to Local Policies->Security Settings
  3. Find ‘Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts’ on the right, and double-click it
  4. Change the value to ‘Classic – local users authenticate as themselves’
  5. Reboot
You’ll now see things work as expected, for Overseer and any other connections.