More On Recovering/Bypassing Admin Passwords

Fred, Your response to Paul DeLeeuw who was forced to reinstall XP because he did not know the Administrator password (see " When The Admin Account Is Invisible Or Locked" http://langa.com/newsletters/2004/2004-04-22.htm#2 ) referred to Microsoft’s instructions for creating a Password Reset Disk.  While this is  a useful tool it does nothing for the user who doesn’t know the password in the first place.
 
The Administrator password problem (at least on Dell systems with which I am familiar) result from the use of Sysprep which sets a password other than the default blank.  Users who need to access Recovery Console in Windows XP Professional can bypass the password requirement by enabling "Recovery Console: Allow automatic administrator logon" in Start|Control Panel|Administrative Tools|Local Security Policy|Local Policies (under Security Settings)|User Rights Assignments|Security Options.  XP Home users can boot to Recovery Console without using the password using the floppy diskettes available at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q308402 .
 
An easier solution is to simply set an Administrative password when the computer is first set up.  See http://www.djdenham.com/New%20user%20questions.htm#Pwdchk .
 —Denny Denham

Thanks, Denny. There’s lots more info available too— it’s actually not that hard to break into the Admin account in any copy of XP to which you have physical access; which is something to think about if you’re *not* encrypting your sensitive material.

Password recovery/bypass/management info:

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.