Password initiation not recognized

Dell UNKNOWN
May 20, 2009 at 06:18:18
Specs: Windows XP Professional SP2
My neighbor has a Dell desktop running Windows XP
Professional. She uses it for personal and business
purposes (piano teacher w/10+ students). She
recently had the following experience as conveyed to
me. She sat down at her computer and for some
reason it asked or recommended that she establish a
Windows logon password which she though was a
good idea. So she followed the instructions and
entered a 17 letter password sentence and then
verified it with a second entry. And she said that at
no time was any warning given that the process was
not correct or not acceptable or that a password reset
disk be made. She rebooted the system and left for a
few minutes while it restarted. When she returned the
system was at the main screen with the five user
icons; hers being the only one with admin privileges.
She put the cursor on her icon and the password
window opened. She entered her password sentence
and the first thing she noticed was that the window
only accepted 8 or 9 entries. She tried every
combination to access her account with no success.
Her ordeal lasted 2 1/2 days before we downloaded a
third party password recovery program which removed
all the passwords on her system. Why did this
happen? Is it a Windows operating system problem or
was it human error? Was there another option that
she was not aware of?

Thanks,

Terry


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#1
May 20, 2009 at 07:02:13
Why did this happen? Is it a Windows operating system problem

I am not aware of - nor have I ever heard of - cases where Windows specifically ask user to enter a 17 letter password sentence.

i_Xp/VistaUser


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#2
May 20, 2009 at 07:12:12
I don't think spaces are acceptable as Windows account passwords. So, whatever "Sentence" she entered, only the characters before the first space would be recognized.

EEOC


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#3
May 20, 2009 at 07:25:40
Windows HELP says
Windows passwords can be up to 127 characters long. However, if you are using Windows XP on a network that also has computers using Windows 95 or Windows 98, consider using passwords not longer than 14 characters. Windows 95 and Windows 98 support passwords of up to 14 characters. If your password is longer, you may not be able to log on to your network from those computers.
NOTE -- The list of Charactors given makes no reference to Spaces.
I wonder if Malware posted for her to create a password.
Virus scans and Spyware scans work better in Safe-mode.

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#4
May 20, 2009 at 07:27:30
First thing I would do is suggest to her that she checks for spyware and Trojans.

You say the message came out of the blue?

Message probably would of raised red flags if it said
"system needs to update, please enter Ebay name and password and your SS#."

From your post I think it was a third party program trying to gain access. and if so they got 17 instead of the max 14 letters.

When you changed the passwords did it show up?

She is lucky to have a neighbor who can work through the password reset problem.

W.L.


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