Lost Password Windows 2000
February 5, 2004 12:20 PM   Subscribe

How do I gain access to a Windows 2000 computer when I've forgotten the password both to my account and the admin's?

I have physical access (it's here next to me) and it has a disk shared (can't remember if it's C: or a subdirectory, and can't look because it prompts for a password). I have other Linux and Windows machines available on the same network. However, it was kept up-to-date with patches until about 6 months ago.

I remember someone, somewhere saying it's possible by booting into Linux (it boots from CD, IIRC), but I don't know how. It's a Spanish language W2000 Pro (not server). And it's not directly visible on the net (maybe I should connect it up and wait for port 31337 to open? ;o)

If I can't get in, I'll reinstall, but I'm worried I'll lose data during the install.
posted by andrew cooke to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Well, there's the commercial option, but you might not have $149 to throw at your problem. Saving your money, there are a host of other options ranging from Linux endruns to pseudo-shady hacks.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:29 PM on February 5, 2004

Thanks. That looks suspiciously googleable - sorry!

(I don't suppose anyone has personal recommendations? It seems like some of these would be great candidates for installing backdoors...)
posted by andrew cooke at 12:35 PM on February 5, 2004

Boot with a recovery CD (Bart'd Boot CD or the like). Go into windows/system32 and copy cmd.exe over to replace logon.scr

Boot the computer to console and the login screen and wait for the screensaver to start. Voila -- you've got a system command line. Reset account passwords thence.
posted by j.edwards at 1:08 PM on February 5, 2004

Bart'd should probably be Bart's there.
posted by j.edwards at 1:09 PM on February 5, 2004

sweet. burnt this to cd; booted; followed some simple instructions and i'm in.

thanks again.

[on edit - thanks j.edwards too]
posted by andrew cooke at 1:09 PM on February 5, 2004

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