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Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

grahambritten
Grafter
Posts: 105
Registered: 01-08-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

I have a problem at work with a non-networked laptop. The user account is a restricted one and is unable to access Windows Update and consequently the laptop is really out of date.

Problem is that no one knows the Administrator password, no problem I thought I’ll use an Ophcrack Live CD to expose the password! Trouble is it won’t boot from the CD, so I then try to go into the bios to change the boot order and then discover the bios is password protected and no one knows this either! At the moment I'm a bit stuck.

Any advice on how to get into the Administrator account would very gratefully received.

Thanks
16 REPLIES
N/A

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

There are lots of password changing utils out there but as you say you need to boot from a cd for most of them. Can you boot from a floppy as a lot of these utils work from a floppy.

You should be able to reset the bios by clearing the CMOS its a matter of finding the right jumpers.

Other than that you will have to go up to an account above admin so you can change it. To do this you need to run as system

You can do this with the AT Command. The AT command runs all it's passwords with NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM.

Get to a command prompt.
type AT /interactive cmd.exe

Example:
C:> at 1:43pm /interactive cmd.exe

Wait for time to come and a command prompt will come up. Everything from that point on has elevated privileges. Every program you run has the elevated privileges.

Once this happens if you enter this command minus the quotes

"net user <admin account name here> password"

If the Administrator Account is called Frank and you want the password blah enter this

"net user Frank blah"

and this changes the password on franks machine to blah and your in.

You can also open taskmanger and kill explorer while you have the dos prompt up and then type explorer at the command prompt and this will give you the GUI with a system account
p_w_d_stone
Grafter
Posts: 315
Registered: 05-04-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

This is really simple, and you've probably already tried it, but have you tried booting into safe mode and logging on to "administrator" with no password?

This is a "hidden" account created automatically on Windoxs XP machines.
Nick_Russell
Grafter
Posts: 553
Registered: 10-05-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

jrgrahamcov
Grafter
Posts: 160
Registered: 01-08-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

The one thing to check is if in the BIOS the hard disk is set to SATA or IDE/ATA emulation. On some boot CD's only come with IDE drivers so cannot read a SATA disk.

Hope that helps Smiley
jrgrahamcov
Grafter
Posts: 160
Registered: 01-08-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Sorry just read the bit about the bios password, go to the manufacturers website and see how to reset the BIOS to factory defaults first. It is normally a case of removing the BIOS (CMOS) battery booting laptop and then all the settings are cleared. After power off and put BIOS (CMOS) battery backin so it will save you changes in BIOS.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,020
Thanks: 540
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-08-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

But that isn't quite right is it..

Most laptops store the bios password in a special eeprom chip which is soldered onto the motherboard. You can only wipe the password by replacing the chip.

On some older lappies the battery trick works, but that really is the older ones.

Mine is about 4 years (old but still pretty powerful @ 1.8GHz, 512MB ram etc) and that has an eeprom. The battery trick didn't work on that, so I should think that all the recent laptops of the past 4 years are probably the same (including the compaq's which are almost identical to some HP's).
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Just a thought, but on my 2 toshiba laptops, if I put a bootable CD in the drive, and then restart, and keep pressing C before anything happens, the systems boot from the CD. It may be worth a try!!
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Quote
But that isn't quite right is it..

Indeed its not i agree, once a bios access or hard drive password is set on a laptop it is very hard to get it removed usually resulting in the machine going back to the manufacturers for it to be removed and you have to prove ownership too

There are a couple of tricks with the toshiba`s but even then it can still be very hard to remove once set

Most laptops ive come across apart from the much older ones don't ever remove the password with just a cmos clear it would just be too easy wouldn't it after all they are there for a reason which is why as okrzynska points out they are held in a separate eeprom chip

I know this info doesn't help you and in your shoes i would find the person who set it in the first place and torture them till they crack and remember it Wink
jrgrahamcov
Grafter
Posts: 160
Registered: 01-08-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Quote
But that isn't quite right is it..

Most laptops store the bios password in a special eeprom chip which is soldered onto the motherboard. You can only wipe the password by replacing the chip.

On some older lappies the battery trick works, but that really is the older ones.

Mine is about 4 years (old but still pretty powerful @ 1.8GHz, 512MB ram etc) and that has an eeprom. The battery trick didn't work on that, so I should think that all the recent laptops of the past 4 years are probably the same (including the compaq's which are almost identical to some HP's).



Just checked the HP Hardware service manual for HP Pavilion dv2500t CTO Notebook which is for sale on the HP website and the proceedure is in there. It is the normal remove CMOS battery proceedure. This may vary for other makes, I would check the appropriate manual.
p_w_d_stone
Grafter
Posts: 315
Registered: 05-04-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

For a really old Toshiba I once had to pop down to Maplin and get the bits to solder a parallel "wrap around" that cleared the Bios. This was in the service manual but not the user manual.
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Called a loopback and it does work in some instances not just with really old tosh laptops either

There's also a couple of utils that you can run at bootup to clear bios passwords but i wont name them here Wink
p_w_d_stone
Grafter
Posts: 315
Registered: 05-04-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Quote
There's also a couple of utils that you can run at bootup to clear bios passwords but i wont name them here


Could be argued that these are essential utilities to allow system techs to unlock machines where a user has forgotten their password, and that any illegal use is the responsibility of the user- not the programmer.

That said, I can see why you chose not to mention them by name here.

If the OP or any other forum user has a genuine need to unlock machines that are legally their property (and we won't condone anything else) then this site might be a good starting point.
grahambritten
Grafter
Posts: 105
Registered: 01-08-2007

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Thanks for all the advice. By the way the laptop is a Dell.

User is currently out on the road doing presentations. I'll get my hands on it next Tuesday and try to sort it out.

I will update this thread once I've broken it! :lol:
N/A

Xp Pro Administrator Account Help Needed

Being Dell make sit easy on the bios password look at

http://www.tech-faq.com/dell-bios-password.shtml