" But this was an Administrator password. I cannot remember
the last time I needed mine. "
There isn't one by default, even for all the brand name computer original software installations I've come across and have worked on, so most XP installations don't have one since no one bothered to make one, BUT an institutional or business computer almost always does have one, along with only the Adminstrator user has full administrator rights, and some people make one if they have a laptop.
Because of that, it's suspicious that one would even have an Adminstrator password, never mind that they had forgotten it, if it was a computer they actually had the right to access.
However, people often assume they need an Administrator password for the Recovery Console - I certainly did when I first used it. They may try their own user password, if they have one, or admin or administrator in various case combos, etc., and find that doesn't work.
I found out about the asterisks beside Administrator Password: indicating whether there actually is a password or not only by trial and error - that's not in the official Microsoft info about how to use the Recovery Console, and it wasn't in the many third party info "hits" about Recovery Console that I found at the time when I was first puzzled by that.
Other than that, sometimes they don't actually need the administrator password.
We had one guy in a recent Topic I participated in who claimed he had forgotten the administrator password of a brand name system computer he claimed he was the original owner of that he hadn't used for years, but it turned out all he wanted to do was get rid of his personal data before he sold the computer.
The solution was simple in that case. Re-load the computer by using the Recovery disk or disk set, or use an XP CD to reload Windows, then use a wiping program to make it difficult or impossible to recover deleted data from the free space on the hard drive.
The same thing could be suggested to anyone who you suspect shouldn't have the right to access the administrator user.
There was another Topic here not long where the person's story about why he didn't know the administrator password was so detailed and bizzare that it's likely he actually did have the right to access the administrator user, so we (not I) supplied him with the info about a third party program that can change or get rid of, or possibly reveal, the password.
However, it would have been much better if that info was supplied via a PM (Personal Message) to the person who started the Topic, so that others who come across the Topic in future who should not have the right to do that cannot use that info because it isn't in the Topic text.
The info is out there on the web in any case, but they shouldn't be getting that info from this site.
You could delete the link you provided in Response 1 to prevent anyone else who shouldn't have the right to have a password revealed or changed or removed who comes across this Topic from using it. You probably already know you can edit your own posts on this site, for a limited amount of time, by clicking on Edit at the top of your posts.
If krisgopal has/had a legitimate reason for supposedly forgetting the password, isn't it quite likely he (or she) would strongly object to me suggesting this:
"The question you asked is what a thief, or someone who knowingly or unknowingly bought a stolen computer, or someone who should not have the right to access an institutional or business computer, etc., etc., would want to know. "
and would make a post stating his (her) outrage ?
In my experience, there's at least 100 to 1 odds that will never happen.
The same goes for people who want to know how to remove a bios and/or system and/or hard drive access password from a laptop.
They often claim they forgot a password themselves, or they got the computer second hand from a relative or friend who had forgotten the password, or whoever sold them the computer didn't know the password.
They're certainly not going to tell you they stole the computer, or that they knowingly or unknowingly bought a stolen computer, or that they do not have the right to access an institutional or business computer, etc.