windows users ?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Mathematics!, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    I am curious I have almost always worked with windows NT and higher.
    These are said to be multiuser enviroments because multiple user accounts can be created.

    I am wondering before windows NT (i.e dos , windows 3 , 95 , 98 , me ...etc)

    I have read they where single user enviroments meaning only one user account for each OS. So only one main user.

    Does this mean that only one user could use these machines at a time.
    And if multiple people wanted to use it they would have to use the same account? If this is true then anybody who used the computer would have complete control over it from a security point of view? (i.e everybody would be an administrator )

    correct me if I am wrong.

  2. rlhess

    New Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    DOS relied on a BIOS password for the machine if there was any security, as far as I recall.

    Windows 98SE had multiple users, but once inside the partitioning wasn't all that good. I think you could see others' files. I haven't seen how good that is in W7 as our XP and W7 users here at home/office all have their separate document accounts on our NAS and don't leave anything on the individual computers.


  3. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    ok, I see.

    So how would an ftp , telnet ,...etc server service
    work on those old based machines. I cann't remember correctly if they had to create virtual users or just use one account.

    As well as on these machine did the SAM file just contain on user account hash?

    I know remote desktop didn't come in for a while after in windows 2000/XP issue era.

    What I am getting at is you cann't really have multiple users logged into your machine if it is a single user based machine unless their is a way to create a user ( or have the ability to create virtual users that can be linked to a folder / enviorment) for that service .

    Wondering how the old systems did it. Cann't remember though I know I used dos , 95 ,98 ,...etc in the passed but I only use to telnet to the admin account never tried multiple users... wondering how that goes ...
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  4. AlexR

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Dos was a single user, single tasking system (only one user and runs only one program at a time) with virtually no security. Anyone could turn on the machine and run any program on it.

    The various flavours of windows, 3, 95, 98, me were single user, multitasking systems which means that only one user could login at any one time but there could be multiple user accounts on the machine.

    Some use was made of file permissions but it was poorly developed and generally if you had a login on the machine you could read and execute any file that resided on the said machine so as you say everyone was an administrator whether they needed to be or not.
  5. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    curious on these systems remote logging in could only one user remote to these machines. What happened if their was somebody using the machine and some one else trying to remote (telnet ,..etc into the machine)?

    I am just curious since it is multitasking system for windows 3,95,98 ,...etc could their also be remote users using the system while somebody was physically on/at the machine...

    It would seem if not then telnet , ftp , ...alot of services where just meant to have one person access it pretty lame.
    And computers that hosted websites could only have one user ?
  6. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    You could also have a server solution. You could have a PC running DOS with no harddisk. So inh order to get any information you had to log in with password and username. The PC was nothing more than an advanced terminal.
  7. nigelwright7557

    Senior Member

    May 10, 2008
    I remember using multi user pc's in around 1982.
    It was 8085 based MPM based machine.
    Multiple users worked but slowed down the machine a lot.
  8. AlexR

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    There was a multi-user, multi-tasking PCM operating system at around that time which was quite advanced. It even had unix style security and file permissions but then IBM made a deal with Microsoft to use MSDOS and personal computing went into major a technological decline.
  9. electronis whiz

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    i know windows 98 had a multiple user environment. however i am not for certain of win 95 howeveri asume that windows NT is because they had windows NT domain controlers.
  10. AlexR

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Both win95 and win98 were single user systems! They both allowed multiple user accounts but only one user could be logged on at any one time so both operating systems were single user.
    NT was the first Microsoft operating system that supported a multi-user environment, in other words several different users could be logged onto the system at the same time.