Lost my XP Admin. Pswrd - am I hosed?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by alexis1, Nov 27, 2011.

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  1. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    Hi all -

    Yes, I've got an old XP (at least 5, maybe 7 or 10 years old), which really works fine for what I use it for - mainly browsing, word documents, creating .pdf files, etc, no gaming or other high intensity usage.

    I came across a site that recommended some security tweaks I wanted to implement (like "Disable Autoplay", "Software Restriction Policy"), and I found that I needed the admin password.

    The problem is that I have no idea what the password is/might be ... all these years I thought I WAS logging on as the administrator. I guess way back when, I probably set it up as an admin, then forgot the password since then.

    I'm guessing that there's no way to recover the password, and that I'd probably have to erase everything from the hard drive before I could log on as an admin with a new password ... which of course wouldn't be worth it. But I thought I'd check here (you guys helped me out a few months back with advice on imaging) to see if there's maybe a way to do this (log on as admin even though I've forgotten my password) without too much hassle.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    Sorry, I should have added the following to my post above:

    A little while ago I created a secondary account with non-admin access for most of my work, as a security measure (it's XP). That's one of the reasons I thought my main account was as an administrator - because I could create this other one.

    And the funny thing is that though the secondary, non-administrative account can't do certain things like run Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit which I just installed today, my primary account can. :doubt:

    Though I guess I'm probably wrong, all this makes me think that logging in under my primary account name is the same as logging in as an administrator. But why doesn't the password that I log in under work when I'm trying to make certain security settings (like in my original post, above)?

    ***** And just now I checked in Control Panel> User Accounts - I am listed as an administrator! *****

    So, if it identifies me as an administrator, and I can log on as an administrator, but it won't let me use that same log on password to make certain changes (like "Disable Autoplay", "Software Restriction Policy") - is there ANOTHER adminstrator password I need (and have forgotten)?

    Sorry for the wordiness ...

    Thanks again for any help -
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  3. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    You are using XP pro, correct?
     
  4. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    Thanks, tgell - yes, XP Professional, SP3.
     
  5. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    I'm guessing that there's no way to recover the password

    A quick fix might be to boot to Ophcrack and run it - if the password was relatively simple, it will find it for you.

    philby
     
  6. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Try booting to Safe Mode (hold or tap F8 key immediately after boot), then log in as user name: Administrator and leave the password field blank. With any luck it might work. If it does, you can change all user account passwords.
     
  7. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    As wato114 suggested you can access the Administrator Account in Safe Mode. If you find you need a password to access it, you must have added a password in the past to this account.

    These utilities will not find the password but will reset them. With either you will have to burn the iso image and boot from CD. One word of caution.

    http://www.pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

    Another good one is Trinity Rescue Kit.

    http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.p...R_YOUR_COMPUTER&front_id=12&lang=en&locale=en

    http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.php?content=0.4_RESETTING_PASSWORDS&front_id=12&lang=en&locale=en

    http://cybernetnews.com/cybernotes-reset-a-windows-admin-password-xp-or-vista/
     
  8. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    Hi folks -

    I think I am sorely embarrassed ... the suggestion for safe mode got me thinking ... so I logged in (Normal, non-safe mode) as "Administrator", left the password blank, and ... it let me in!

    Seems from this that I never actually set up a password for the Administrator ... ?? :oops:

    So I just set one now ... it didn't bring up any "reset" dialogue at all, it just asked me if I wanted to "set" one.

    So, now I have a password for Administrator. I will go and try those other things I mentioned in the 1st post now and see if I'm able to move ahead, will keep you posted.

    Thanks!

    P.S. - Kind of scary that any one can go into my computer in Safe Mode and change the admin password ... should I somehow make all my files encrypted so that if they do that they can't view them?
     
  9. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Kind of scary that any one can go into my computer in Safe Mode and change the admin password

    As your using Pro, see here.
     
  10. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    The password was not set for the administrator account when XP was installed, which is what I was banking on could be the case :)

    BTW, Philby's link is a good one :thumb:
     
  11. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    Thanks!

    I did go to Philby's link ... if I read it right, it is how to disable administrator so no one can go in via safe mode and cause mischief ... is that right?

    If so ... how will I be able to make the changes I referenced in the initial post, which seem to require answering an Administrator password challenge successfully ... or will that challenge not occur then?

    Thanks again!
     
  12. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    if I read it right, it is how to disable administrator so no one can go in via safe mode and cause mischief ... is that right?

    Yes.

    If so ... how will I be able to make the changes I referenced in the initial post, which seem to require answering an Administrator password challenge successfully

    Either by having first created a second Admin account using your name + password so that you can dispense with the default Admin account as above or by assigning a password to the default Admin account instead of disabling it.

    philby
     
  13. alexis1

    alexis1 Registered Member

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    Hi - Thank you, Philby, I've had such a 2nd admin account (with password) for a while ... didn't realize that after I disabled the "original" Admin account, when the computer challenged me, it would present the challenge using the 2nd one.

    Thank you so much again, everyone!
     
  14. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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  15. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    btw for vista and above the administrator account is disabled so if you lose you forget your password of the only administrator account you will need to use a boot disc. but at least on vista and above you can create a password reset disc.
     
  16. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    This thread reminds me of what a complete joke security on XP is. I so do not miss it. I remember helping someone get back into a laptop with XP Home on it when they forgot their password. Less than 5 minutes to do the safe mode thing.
     
  17. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    But if Xp security weren't such a joke there wouldn't be need for websites selling security software.
     
  18. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    XP is just fine, if you don't leave as Default :p

    Funny, i notice LOTS of vendors are selling/offering LOTS of solutions to Vista/W7 :p Bit of a mystery really, as they Never get infected etc :D
     
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