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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

A friend has got a problem with a laptop running XP Home ... they cannot remember the password that was assigned when the machine was set up.

Normally they use their machine in auto-logon at start-up mode but somehow (the story about how this happened is a bit confused :? ) it is now starting and prompting them for a password which they don't know ...

There is advice about using the password reset disk on the Microsoft website or using an administrative account on the same machine to reset the forgotten password. Unfortunately a password reset disk doesn't seem to have been created and the account with the forgotten password appears to be the only (and therefore the administrator) account on the machine.

I see that there is a "utility" called NTAccess which claims to be able to reset Windows passwords ... has anyone had experience of using this product?

Does it work?? :?:
9 REPLIES
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

I would not use those so called password reset utilities. Although the risks on XP Home are minimal, some data is encrypted using keys that can only be obtained using the correct password.

Once the password has been reset, it does not mean that the said data is available.

Anyhow, the quickest and most pain free method is to press "F8" during boot up and select safemode.

When you get to the Login screen, you should have access to a account called "Administrator". Use this to reset the password.
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

u could always just swipe the pwd file and crack it with john the ripper Wink seein as if they are the kinda ppl that forget passwrds id bet it was a dictionary word under 8 letters.. wouldnt take more than a day
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

Thanks very much for the pragmatic reply acarr :!:

I've now seen the problem and am mystified :?

When you try to log on either in normal mode or safe mode the following messages are displayed in quick succession before you are dumped back at the Welcome screen ...

Loading personal settings
Closing network connections
Logging off
Saving your settings

I recognise all these messages but the point I'm trying to make is that these are all displayed without the desktop coming up.

I've tried using the <Ctrl-Alt-Del> salute while the above messages are displayed and sometimes you can get the Log on to Windows dialogue box up but at this stage the user is stumped and doesn't know what the password should be.

Has anyone got an idea what is going on here?

The fact that the safe mode Administrator logon doesn't work suggests to me that the problem may not just be a forgotten password ...

I've looked at the Microsoft KnowledgeBase but obviously aren't asking the right question because I can't seem to find anything to help ...
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

I seem to remember a flaw being discovered in XP last year with regards to using the windows 2000 setup disc recovery console to access XP accounts without a password. I have no idea if microsoft fixed this problem.
It could also be possible that the laptop has a virus making it login and logout.
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

well tbh what u need is Knopptix linux distro *burn to cd* *boot from cd* use NTpass to change the password in the sam file (realy easy to do) and ur sorted Smiley

check www.thebroken.org video 3 Cheesy

Buz
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

Its not a forgoten password its somthing like a screwed profile or virus causing the problem. The computer is set to restart on error so this is what you are getting.

You wil have to do a repair unless you can log in as another user if there is one(this would use another profile which may be ok). If you could get to it via a network you could copy a profile over and this may solve it.
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

Quote
well tbh what u need is Knopptix linux distro *burn to cd* *boot from cd* use NTpass to change the password in the sam file (realy easy to do) and ur sorted Smiley
Buz


It's Knoppix , just to correct a typo.
http://www.knoppix.org/
It may not work if you have used NTFS file system.
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

thanks man Smiley

and it works with both FAT32 and NTFS , all it does is rip apart the SAM file in system32 Cheesy and it rules.. all hail linux
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Resetting a forgotten Windows XP password?

tapzilla2k and mwright were certainly barking up the right tree :!:

It turns out that the userinit.exe was damaged ... I was able to repair this using the recovery console.

I could not possibly comment whether this had anything to do with the 198 viruses I then found on the laptop ... Wink

I've now downloaded and activated the Norton AntiVirus which she bought last October and never got around to setting up ...