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    How to unlock administrator account?

    A friend of mine asked me to evaluate a Dell Latitude laptop his wife had been given, running XP Pro, and formerly on a corporate network. It only has a single user account, a Limited one. I wanted to use the password changer on Hiren's Boot CD to unlock the administrator account, but the laptop has no CD drive and no way to make it boot from my USB CD drive. Anyone got an idea about what I can do?

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    If it will boot from a USB stick you can use Rufus to turn the bootable CD into a bootable USB stick.
    To select the boot menu press F11 or F12 at power on.
    Pressing Del at power on gets you to the BIOS where you can add / change a boot device.

    cheers, Paul

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    Its easier than you think. See here

    http://windowsxp.mvps.org/admins.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    If it will boot from a USB stick you can use Rufus to turn the bootable CD into a bootable USB stick.
    To select the boot menu press F11 or F12 at power on.
    Pressing Del at power on gets you to the BIOS where you can add / change a boot device.

    cheers, Paul
    No USB devices available in the BIOS list (and Legacy USB is enabled). The choices are:
    CD/DVD Drive
    Internal HDD
    Diskette Drive
    and5 choices involving a NIC

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    Have you checked that USB devices are not disabled?
    Is it a really old laptop?

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimanco View Post
    Its easier than you think. See here

    http://windowsxp.mvps.org/admins.htm
    I can't get the "double Ctr-Alt-Del" method to work. I can't install TweakUI because the single login available is "not a member of the Administrators group." And Regedit won't let me enter a Dword value, probably again because the single user account is a Limited one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Have you checked that USB devices are not disabled?
    Is it a really old laptop?

    cheers, Paul
    The Legacy USB entry is the only thing I see that refers to USB in any way. And yes, this is a fairly old laptop, with only a single USB port.

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    It may be that the BIOS is pre USB boot and that makes life difficult. You could take the disk out and put it in a USB caddy, then run the password recovery utility from another computer - this is starting to get really complicated. Reformat and re-install is the quickest.
    I would check the Dell website for info on the boot options.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    It may be that the BIOS is pre USB boot and that makes life difficult. You could take the disk out and put it in a USB caddy, then run the password recovery utility from another computer - this is starting to get really complicated. Reformat and re-install is the quickest.
    I would check the Dell website for info on the boot options.

    cheers, Paul
    I'm about to give up on this laptop. I found out from Crucial that it has two RAM slots, each of which can handle only a 512 MB stick. Only one is in use, and Crucial still has sticks available, but they say only slot is "user accessible." I sure don't feel like paying a tech to install a second stick, and I don't like trying to run an XP machine on less than 1 GB of RAM.

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    Get Hiren's CD (free) and boot using it and there's a utility that will unlock XP ADM accounts. When I was doing PC repair, had to use it often while I was repairing customer's computers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lylejk View Post
    Get Hiren's CD (free) and boot using it and there's a utility that will unlock XP ADM accounts. When I was doing PC repair, had to use it often while I was repairing customer's computers.
    In my original post, I said I was unable to use Hiren's Boot CD because there was no CD/DVD drive on the laptop and there was no way in the BIOS to have the laptop boot rom a USB Device (I have an external CD/DVD drive).

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    If you can take the drive itself out and use another computer and slave the drive, you can then boot hiren and have it scan for the registry settings located in the slaved drive to remove admin password on that slave drive.

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    Well, someone's got to ask: have you tried asking your friend's wife what the password is?

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    You mentioned Diskette Drive listed in the CMOS boot options - does it have a floppy installed: If so, see http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ - the current version of the tool is for CD, but the author still lists an older (2008) version for floppy disk. I just d/l the disk, driver disk, and tried it on an XP machine, seemed to work!

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