Rocover forgotten windows xp pro admin password
June 21, 2006 2:01 PM   Subscribe

I cannot remember my windows XP Pro password. I am an administrator. Need to install software and change to a dynamic ip address.

I have a pc that has been idle (not in use) for about 8 months. I was planning on using it again. I tried every password I have used in the past 5 years. None work. I have tried basic others like "password", "administrator", etc.

The person who built this pc for me is not reachable. He has moved with no forwarding info.

Is there a way to either reset the administrator's password, my password (I am an administrator), or upgrade the permissions of an existing user to be an/the administrator? I can login to an account that is not an administrator.

Or am I SOL?
posted by JohnnyGunn to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Back up your data, then try this which should work, but it's been awhile.
posted by geoff. at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2006

Check out the guys at LoginRecovery. I had this happen to an old computer a while back and thir service worked for me. You download a file, put in on a floppy, use it as a boot disk and then upload the encrypted password file back to their website. They run it through their gigantic server farm and email you the result back in a few days for free. If you are in a hurry you can pay like $10 for immediate service.

Btw my old password was "computer". I felt pretty stupid.
posted by sophist at 2:18 PM on June 21, 2006

There is a Linux boot disk that uses an open source utility that can reset passwords on a system. I believe this is it.
posted by jackofsaxons at 2:21 PM on June 21, 2006

jackofsaxons's solution works quite well, I've used it on several occasions. I find it's most effective if you just use it to blank the password, and then set a new one in Windows.
posted by CrayDrygu at 3:05 PM on June 21, 2006

Some of these should work
Austrumi - not the newest version, although it might, but it's different than the version I've used which doesn't have any GUI at all, but works great.

Search for Hiren's Boot disc - there are definately utilties on there that should work, but of questionable/illegal licences...
posted by TuxHeDoh at 3:09 PM on June 21, 2006

Have you tried logging in under Safe Mode? Hit F8 right after POST and before Windows starts loading; I used this to log into a disabled administrator account this weekend.

There's a couple of Knowledge Base articles on this as well:

How to log on to Windows XP if you forget your password or your password expires

How to create and use a password reset disk for a computer that is not a domain member in Windows XP

Even O'Reilly votes for F8.
posted by Loser at 3:41 PM on June 21, 2006

you should be able to reset your SAM file (where the password is stored) using this utility. i've done it before (not sure if that's the same program), and it works fine.
posted by soma lkzx at 4:02 PM on June 21, 2006

Thanks for all the suggestions. After following Jackofsaxons link, I eventually was able to swing it. Also, sophist response will work.

Much appreciated!

Btw, F8 did not work. Still need the password in safe mode.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:35 PM on June 21, 2006

Good to hear you got it straightened out!
posted by jackofsaxons at 5:26 AM on June 22, 2006

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