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Password Portal

Password Portal - Important Information

Background on Active Directory

All USNA network accounts are accounts in an Active Directory domain on the USNA intranet. To login to an Active Directory domain user account (user@usna.edu) the user presents authentication credentials (username + password). To establish identity, these credentials are checked against a secure form of them stored in an Active Directory database on the Domain Controller, which is a server located on the USNA intranet. The Active Directory database is updated whenever a user changes their domain account password.

After a successful domain login, a local copy of the credentials are cached in secure form on the user’s local computer (e.g., Midn laptop). This allows a user to login locally to the computer using the domain account whenever the domain controller is unavailable (e.g., if a user took the laptop home). Windows uses the cached credentials in this case.

Passwords can be changed when connected to the intranet domain by using the built-in Windows CTRL-ALT-DEL method. Passwords can be changed when not connected to the intranet domain by using a proxy mechanism such the Password Portal. But note: credentials are only cached on the local machine (e.g., on a Midn laptop) as a result of a successful password change from a domain login - this is by Microsoft design and cannot be changed. If a user changes the domain account password using the Password Portal, the credentials stored on the intranet's domain controller are updated, but the credentials stored on the local machine (e.g., Midn laptop) are not updated.

This leads to the situation where the login credentials cached on the local computer (the 'old' ones) do not match those on the domain controller (the 'new' ones you just established), and confusing situations about what's a good or bad password.

What You Should Understand

If you change your password when away from the Yard using the Password Portal (i.e., your laptop is not connected to the USNA network), then while you are away from the Yard you must subsequently login to your laptop using your previous password ... but access Gmail and Blackboard using your new password. 

This will be the case until you return to the Yard, connect your laptop to the USNA network, and login using your new password: the local copy of your credentials then get updated on your laptop.

Note: you can also avoid this situation by changing your password before you leave the Yard, if you know it will expire while you are away.

Password Portal Access

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