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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Safe Mode Question (XP Home SP2)

    To my absolute surprise I've discovered an amazing feature of XP when operating in the Safe Mode. In the normal mode I have two user accounts set up, one is the Administrator account named "Chuck" and it is password protected. The other is one for my grandkids. When I boot up in the Safe Mode I discover two accounts: one titled Administrator and the other is "Chuck". The Administrator account is NOT password protected, and it seems to permit entry into the entire computer. Furthermore, once there I find I can click on a folder, go to properties, and there is a whole new set of options pertaining to permissions that are there.

    I discovered all of this because I ran into one folder on my computer that I was not permitted access to even when logged in as administrator. (Cocuments and SettingsAll UsersDocuments) Someone advised me to go to the safe mode and change the permissions, and that seemed to work at the time. However, it has snice reverted to the no access state.

    But I digress! My question is: Where does one find out about this "super administrator" setup within the safe mode, and how to work with all of the permissions options. The various options are very confusing. Furthermore, why does XP permit entry into this super-administrator account without a password? It looks to me like a knowledgeable person could wreak havoc on somone's computer if they knew about this security "hole."

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Safe Mode Question (XP Home SP2)

    Chuck,
    It's probable that Microsoft figures that anyone using the Home Edition wouldn't run into a situation where the non-password protected Admin account in Safe Mode would be compromised. Most users of XP Home don't know the Admin account even exists, let alone that it's only visible in Safe Mode. If it bothers you, why not just boot into Safe Mode, log in as Chuck (your own Admin acct.), then set a strong password on the Administrator account? XP Home should let you do that.

  3. #3
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    Re: Safe Mode Question (XP Home SP2)

    "The Administrator" account on XP Home can ONLY be accessed by booting into the Safe Mode. This is BY design, MS did and does NOT want the average user in there messing around where they should not have been. This method can NOT be changed, as it is by design.

    This is one of the "Basic" differences between Home and Pro.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  4. #4
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    Re: Safe Mode Question (XP Home SP2)

    Thanks for the info. I have yet to try setting a password on the "Super Administrator" (my definition) account, but I'll try. I still remain dumfounded that (1) XP would have such a massive security hole, and (2) there seems to be no documentation about it. (Although I have yet to pursue the knowledge base or other sources, as I'm up to my ears in other projects, one of which is trying to get my computer to not block my wife's computer from backing up to a shared file on my computer as it used to do.)

  5. #5
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    Re: Safe Mode Question (XP Home SP2)

    1) This is NOT a security hole, as the only way one can use this account is in the safe mode. One can not access the "Safe Mode" from the internet or network, so for a "Home" use it is one of the most secure entries to ones computer.

    2) If one was to search the internet for Home version and safe mode one will find that the information about this was out there even before the formal release of XP.

    To share a folder, I would NOT use the "Shared folder" on a local machine that is part of the OS. This was designed to be shared by the "Local" accounts on the same machine, not the network. I just share the "C" drive with write permissions and we are able to add, copy, edit and delete any file in any folder including the "My Documents" of the different accounts. To this day the only thing that is in the "XP Shared folder" are the images that come with Windows XP. We trust each other and hide nothing from each other. If we have a house full of kids that may be a different story.

    By the way, we both have external USB drives and these are shared.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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