Unknown password

November 19, 2007 at 11:55:14
Specs: XP PRO, Pent II/256
Doing volunteer work, I'm trying to bring up a gift computer which is supposed to be XP pro. Unfortunately, we don't have the former user's windows logon password. Is there any way to clear the existing PW.

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November 19, 2007 at 12:05:40
do a control-alt-delete a couple of times when at the welcome screen. Logon box should come up. Type in Administrator and hit enter. Perhaps they left the admin password blank.

Imagine the power if you knew how to internet search

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November 19, 2007 at 12:20:00
If it's a password to access the computer or the hard drive:

If it's a desktop computer:
Unplug it or otherwise disconnect it from live AC, open the case, remove the mboard battery, or move the clear cmos jumper to the clear position, wait at least 5 minutes, replace the board battery making sure it's polarity is correct (a coin shaped battery usually has + upwards), or move the cmos clear jumper back to it's normal position, restore the AC power, boot the computer, you will get a "cmos checksum error" message or similar, go into the bios Setup and set the time and date, save settings, it will reboot, the password(s) will be gone.
If the computer doesn't work properly at that point you may need to go into the bios Setup again and set some settings that aren't set by defaults.
OR - Some mboards have a jumper for just clearing the password(s), in which case you remove the AC power and move/move back the jumper only, but that's rare.

If it's a latop,
we need to know it's make and exact model - the exact model is often on a label on the bottom of the case, or see the manufacturer's web site for where to look. In general you can't, and even the experts can't, remove passwords unless the model is more than about ten years old - removing all power including removing the cmos battery will not clear the passwords

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November 19, 2007 at 13:08:03
I Found these instructions somewhere, can't remember where.

If any mod feels that this info should not be here then feel free to edit and pull it out of the thread. Use these instructions at your own risk.
1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (it’s assumed here that your XP CD is bootable – as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)

2. Keep your eye on the screen messages for booting to your cd Typically, it will be “Press any key to boot from cd”

3. Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files.

4. When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now

5. The Licensing Agreement comes next - Press F8 to accept it.

6. The next screen is the Setup screen which gives you the option to do a Repair.

It should read something like “If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it”

Use the up and down arrow keys to select your XP installation (if you only have one, it should already be selected) and press R to begin the Repair process.

7. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.

8. Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot. (this will happen automatically – you will see a progress bar stating “Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds”

9. During the reboot, do not make the mistake of “pressing any key” to boot from the CD again! Setup will resume automatically with the standard billboard screens and you will notice Installing Windows is highlighted.

10. Keep your eye on the lower left hand side of the screen and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10. This is the security hole! A command console will now open up giving you the potential for wide access to your system.

11. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.

12. Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you prefer. If you want to log on without having to enter your new password, you can type control userpasswords2 at the prompt and choose to log on without being asked for password. After you’ve made your changes close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).

13. Once the Repair is done, you will be able to log on with your new password (or without a password if you chose not to use one or if you chose not to be asked for a password). Your programs and personalized settings should remain intact.

Before posting try google. Backup. Use anti virus software.

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Related Solutions

November 19, 2007 at 13:52:13
Thanks to all. I tried a Safe Mode startup and somehow it loaded. Changed the PW and now all is well.

Thanks again

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November 19, 2007 at 16:09:43
clive pearce

That's interesting but it has some flaws, to do with a Repair Setup.

- If the Windows CD does not have SP2 updates included, SP2 updates already installed in Windows may not work properly when Setup has finished and will need to be installed again.

From personal experience:
- If certain Microsoft Updates have been installed, the Repair Setup can't complete 100% normally, and the files for Windows Update (some wu*.* ) will need to be re-registered in order to be able to install new Windows updates.
- I found that when I had an ATI chipset AIW card installed in MCE, the tuner is no longer found by MCE's Media Center application after a Repair Setup is finished, even if you properly un-install and re-install the ATI software - I never did find a cure. May apply to all ATI chipset AIW and tuner cards, or tuner chipsets in general.

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November 19, 2007 at 17:40:32
Tubesand wires. You are correct. The article was tested on Original XP and SP1 only. No mention made of SP2.

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November 20, 2007 at 08:06:41
Tubesandwires, I have to confess, I found it some time ago, & I have never tried it.

Before posting try google. Backup. Use anti virus software.

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November 20, 2007 at 10:32:39
Shift-F10 isn't really a "security hole" - it can used as a means of accessing an existing Windows installation while you're running a Repair Setup, or while you're running a regular Setup if enough software has already been installed, though I didn't know about it either till recently when I found some t-shooting info on the web for a problem I was having during Setup - so the procedure sounds like it would work fine.

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