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Managing service account passwords

I'm investigating some products that will help me manage service accounts in my domain, and a question cropped up about passwords. Is there a way to configure a proactive notification that a password will expire in X number of days? I know that a message like this pops up when you log onto a machine interactively, but I'd rather not find out by chance. I'd like to change the service account password BEFORE it fails due to the domain password changing.
The best way to manage passwords for service accounts is to do so on a regular schedule, using whatever product you purchase -- but not have the operating system expire them. That is, for all users you can set a maximum password age in the password policy, but for each service account, in its user account property pages check the box "Password never expires." That way you won't be surprised.

This was first published in June 2003

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