Drunken Administrator Lost Password!

Compaq / Presario 4850 mod 6.5gb d...
February 6, 2010 at 22:37:49
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Version 5.1.2600 Build 2600) Compaq 686X1, 8/12/1997, 128MB -?-
Please Help! I'm a newbie (not a noob) and would really appreciate some guidance. My computer has been infected with the German Drunkenuser virus. A friend of mine used my computer and changed my administrator username and password. Unfortunately, he was drunk and now can't remember what he changed it to. Thankfully, he has since stopped drinking, yet still does not remember. The saga of how I got into this predicament in the first place is even more bizarre. I posted it in error (I'm a new member) in the DOS forum if anyone would care to view it (#17099). A really nice gent. by the name of DAVEINCAPS suggested I post it here. Meanwhile, I can no longer install or uninstall programs, etc. therefore, attempting to remove some malware on my system is proving to be problematic, if not impossible. What in the worldwideweb do I need to do to rectify this situation??? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

See More: Drunken Administrator Lost Password!

February 6, 2010 at 23:01:46
Replace your friend with Google!

Windows 7 News!

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February 6, 2010 at 23:08:51
webfoot, obviously, the best solution is to use the correct password, but I've heard (never tried it) that you can go into safe mode and get into the administrator account. From there, you can change any user PW to whatever you like.
Do you really need a PW? Simply hitting 'enter' on a blank space when asked for one will cancel the need.
Ed in Texas.

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February 7, 2010 at 00:42:29
Wasn't altogether aware tha one "could" change the default Admin account's name... but nonetheless...Possible avenues to pursue...

Get a copy of Knoppix or Ubuntu (Linux variatnts) and boot up with that. These can be downlaoded as an iso file and then burnt to CD/DVD; suggest you use a DVD as likely current versions will need its capacity...

Boot with the Knoppix/Ubuntu disk and copy "all" data you wish to preserve/save (wouldn't wish to lose...) to optical -media; verify those copies are truly accessible on another system too! Doing this first (before proceeding any further) limits damage and preserves data etc...

Then consider other options to resolve the actual problem...

Knoppix for sure has a tool that will; allow you to recover the password details (and likely the "new admin" user-name too).

Once you have it (them) create a new password and keep it simple...?


Press crtl + alt + del twice and this may bring up the standard (original?) Admin logon account? And if so then try a blank password (just press Enter).

Also perhaps try the W2K CD approach as discussed here:


Scroll down to the section:

How to Log On to Windows XP If You Forget Your Password or Your Password Expires Problem

Another possible path:


Another avenue:


This link/refernce immediately above is lengthy; but persevere and read though past the middle... There are a couple of deas there that may apply here and help you resolve it all...

A repair installation (NOT done via the Recovery Console) will possible restore the default Admin account too? In effect it's an overwrite of the current installation - and theoretically preserves data etc... But regardless of the theory re' data - FIRST copy it to optical media as above...

Repair installation routine:


(You want the XP repair install section...)

Again - ensure you "have" FIRST safeguarded data before going any further.

Presuming you finally manage to get back in as default Admin... create a second Admin account. Maybe call call it something like Admin-2 and use logon as password too - thus it's logon/password = Amin-2/Admin-2 (using same info for both means it's easier to recall/remember?).

Use the default Admin account to install and administer the system thereafter; keep the other (Admin-2) totally in the background - for emergency use only!

you may also find info in this reference useful to read as well...


Also be aware thast if you boot with Knoppix/Ubuntu... you can then go on-line ad run a freebie (full) scan at various sites... My current favourite is Trend/com - housecall. Allow it to scan everything... Anything it quarantines on the system - delete it.

You can also run the same scan from whatever logon level you manage to achieve with the OS as is; but disable system-restore option first - as in before you run the on-line (or any other) scan... Again delete anything quarantined. Once you believe the system clear/clean... reboot and re-enable system restore...

Finally... (as per Walter Kronkite in days of yore...) it seems one can truly rename the Admin account and thus lose all references to the original...? Which having discovered has me wondering "why" anyone would wish to rename it rather than simply create another account with full Admin privileges...? Also I am wondering if the Repair Installation (as above - and not via recovery console) will restore the default acount; I'm guessing it may...?

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February 7, 2010 at 01:32:55
seems a bit coincidental that you friend was drunk, and the malware you've gotten has the same name as some drunken...whatever. Youre a freakin Tool.

Rich Gu

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February 7, 2010 at 02:05:45
"Product: Compaq / Presario 4850 "

Desktop tower PII 300mhz

That's an oldie!
Is that the computer you have the password problem on ?
If so, it must run XP slow.

For some reason the Dos forum is not on the list when you click on General forums.

I clicked on webfoot's name in his first post above to find this:

His Topic in the Dos forum:

In Response 4 in that webfoot said:

"Well, I went to "my computer", then "local disk(C)", then "documents and settings" and there I found 4 seperate user account folders: 1.)'all users'~?, 2.)'guest user'~no admin., 3.)'drunk user' ~admin., 4.)'sober user'~no admin. Then, I tried to restart my computer while holding down the "F8" key and I was offered a choice of only 2 accounts: the 'drunk' administrator's account (which I have the username but not the password) or the 'sober' account (which I have both username and password, but it doesn't have admin. priveleges). "

According to your list above, apparently your friend re-named the Administrator user to drunk user.

I personally haven't found a way to reset the drunk user account's password if you have no access to any account with adminstrator rights. I had some notes I pasted in files from posts on the web about removing or resetting passwords and none of them work if you can't access any account with adminstrator priviledges.

However there was a Topic about lost passwords on this site a while back and one guy mentioned a relatively inexpensive program you can buy off the web that he has used and it worked fine for him. If you have a credit card or a Paypal account, you could buy that:
Since you can't presently install programs, it appears you can install it on another computer and make a bootable CD or DVD that you boot you computer with to reset or remove passwords.

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February 7, 2010 at 02:16:31
As earlier above... Knoppix has a built-in utility which will (after while) detect accounts/passwords various and allow them to be reset etc... And it's free!

Thus if (as in seems to be suggested via info in post-5 just above) there is an Admin account - but password not known... the Knoppix util may resolve it?

Key item here I suggest is first to safeguard data; then proceed along assorted avenues to recover a clean/working system?

I tend to agree to some degree re' the performance with XP on a P-11/300Mghrz... I have an elderly Dell with a P-11/233Mghrz... It runs "all" the M$-OS OK - if not very well - upto W2K; and I have XP on it too. The latter does run OK - albeit a little slower than on more current kit... but it does OK....

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February 7, 2010 at 08:19:37
On second thought, webfoot should email the maker of that program to confirm it would work in his situation.

No harm in trying the Knoppix way if it can actually remove or change a password in this situation.

"Press crtl + alt + del twice and this may bring up the standard (original?) Admin logon account? And if so then try a blank password (just press Enter)."

The so-called hidden user account in XP is his case is his drunk user account.
Vista and probably Windows 7 has a hidden Administrator account - in XP it's no more than a unknown-to-the-un-informed-user Administrator account. If it is there in XP, it's listed in C:\Documents and Settings\ by whatever name, usually it's Administrator unless it's been re-named, even in a limited rights user's profile - it is in the Guest user for me, so it probably is in his sober user.

I tried doing that in a Guest account, which has similar rights to his sober user account. All pressing Alt-Ctrl-Del twice does is pop up an alternative to the standard logon screen - you still have to logon and know the password.

"A repair installation (NOT done via the Recovery Console) will possible restore the default Admin account too? In effect it's an overwrite of the current installation - and theoretically preserves data etc... "

The second Repair choice in Setup - a Repair installation or Repair Setup as I prefer to call it - doesn't change the existing User passwords. It wipes some of the non-security related Windows data and re-makes it, but it doesn't change user settings otherwise.
He can't use the Recovery Console anyway if he doesn't know drunk user's password.

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February 7, 2010 at 11:52:37

Thanks for the input/confirmations etc. re' some of my thoughts...

One thought subsequently...

If he was able to boot via Knopppix/Ubuntu and then locate/delete the enter SAM info... might then a Repair installation restore the Admin account - as the original SAM data-base would be totally non-existent?

If all approaches fail in terms or restoring the Admin account, or at least rendering the current version accessible... Then a fresh install is likely the only path left?

This could be a dual-boot approach; parallel installation so as to have old and new versions of OS co-existing... Or a fresh install over the current version... But either way - again - I would first safeguard data at this time; before going down "any" path to do with re-installs, recovery routines etc... parallel installation

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February 7, 2010 at 14:23:54
"If he was able to boot via Knopppix/Ubuntu and then locate/delete the enter SAM info... might then a Repair installation restore the Admin account - as the original SAM data-base would be totally non-existent?"

I just tried searching my friend's computer I am working on that has XP MCE 2005 on it for *.SAM files.
It's Windows is set so all possible files are visible.
I don't see any *.SAM file that would have specific user info in it regarding passwords or user names for Windows user profiles. Some of the dates of them are before I initially installed the Windows installation.

Apparently you can choose to open a *.SAM file with notepad and read it, but you're advised not to set notepad to be always used to do that, and if you edit the file, it must be saved as *.sam, not *.txt .

"If all approaches fail in terms or restoring the Admin account, or at least rendering the current version accessible... Then a fresh install is likely the only path left?"

Anything other than some relatively simple way of changing the password for at least one user he can't access is a lot more work.

That I know of, yes, other than your dual boot os suggestion, or some other solution done from some other os.

Of course it would be wise for him to copy all the personal data he doesn't want to lose to somewhere other than the partition Windows was installed on, usually it's C, and if he's using certain programs such as Outlook Express or Outlook, he should follow the procedures to back up the personal data for those to somewhere other than the partition Windows was installed on, if he can with his limited user rights, which is usually the C partition.
When he has no administrator rights available for any user he has access to, he won't be allowed to copy files or folders that are specific to other passworded users in XP itself, but he should be able to do that with third party programs that don't need to run in Windows installation he has. On the other hand, he may not want to copy what is in passworded user profiles, other than his own.

"This could be a dual-boot approach; parallel installation so as to have old and new versions of OS co-existing... "

He has an OLD computer (circa 1999 or older ?) and it may not have sufficient hard drive space left to do that, if he still has the original hard drive on it which is probably ~10gb or under, and only one hard drive installed.

If he DOES have the space on the original hard drive, or can install an additonal hard drive so he has more space to install data on, he could do that.

If he has an original XP CD, and a different Product Key from the one he is using now for it (he could try using the same Key but that may cause problems when he tries to Activate the new XP installation) , and installs XP on another partition, he would have full functionality and user rights in the new Windows installation by default , and could copy stuff from the original XP installtion to it, but by default he wouldn't be able to copy a lot of files that are in passworded user specific locations on the old XP installation, including his own sober user profile, unless he removes the password for his own sober user profile in the original XP installation.
For the files and folders on the original XP installation he is Denied access to because they are for a passworded user,
he would need to run the Take Ownership procedure so he can access the files and folderson the original XP installation he can't access from the new XP installation otherwise.
On the other hand, he may not want to gain access to what is in passworded user profiles, other than his own.


If you don't have an XP CD that has a different Product Key, a 2000 CD will do, if you have the legitimate Product Key for it, and you could dual boot XP and 2000. 2000 requires more updating than XP does though, and you can't do everything in 2000 that you can do in XP, but you can do ~ 90% of the same things.

If you don't know what your present XP Product Key is, search the web for: Keyfinder , by Jellybean whatever.

It's ready to go as is, and will even run from a floppy or a USB drive or a burned CD, when you have the XP installation you want the Product Key of running. (I'm assuming you can run it with your limited user rights, of course - it does not install anything on the hard drive. If you're not allowed to download it, download it from another computer and copy it to a floppy or flash drive, use that with your computer. ) Copy down the Product Key once you know what it is, and/or make a Notepad file and have that in it, and place it somewhere other than on your present Windows (usually C )partition .
Keyfinder also finds keys for other Microsoft Products.

"Take Ownership"
When you try to access files or folders in XP that are specific to other passworded users, you will get "Access Denied" messages.
If you go the dual boot of XP (or XP and 2000) route, you will get "Access Denied" messages in the new XP (or 2000)installation for ALL passworded users on the original XP installtion, including your own "sober user", if it still has a password in your original XP installation.

How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP

NOTE: you probably have to reboot the computer before the settings you change actually take effect!

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February 7, 2010 at 15:08:55
SAM file is located at:


e.g. - c:\windows\system32\config\sam

I did a brief look-see/trawl via google using the string:

windows xp sam file

and a range of "interesting" hits appeared... all related to the SAM file... One at least is a download of SAM (edit) cracker util...


A similar trawl might be worth to do and check what comes up?

In NT days if one was to delete the SAM file and then ran a repair routine the SAM was re-established, and with fresh Admin account (no password set either...)

I think the same applies to W2K and possibly XP???

Incidentally there is backup of the original registry files on the root of the drive/partition too... Possibly that can be used to restore the system to a more normal a working state (and restore the original Admin account too...). This M$-KB allows one way to this end?


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February 7, 2010 at 20:03:34
"SAM file is located at:


e.g. - c:\windows\system32\config\sam"

Aha ! - NOT *.sam

There is also a default backup of it in %SystemRoot%\Repair

e.g. - C:\Windows\Repair\SAM

It has the same date as when I installed Windows MCE 2005 on that computer.

Presumably, you could replace the current user SAM with the \Repair SAM ??

- you can't access the current user SAM, or SAM.log, in the currently running XP user - in use or similar .
- you CAN access the ......\Repair SAM , but in Notepad it has very little text in it, and a few small square boxes - that doesn't account for the file's 24kb size.

- since my friend's XP MCE 2005 computer is set up to be dual bootable with Vista, via a third party boot manager program, I can see the XP Windows partition in Vista, so I tried booting Vista to see if I could read either SAM file - no go - Access Denied.
I can Copy them to other places in Vista, then Delete the copy. I did NOT try deleting them where they are in the XP installation in Vista, or copying one to paste and replace the other, or cutting then pasting them elsewhere.

- Since neither Windows installation has any passwords, I'm not sure whether using the "Take Ownership" procedure would work, if there is one for Vista, if you used that procedure in Vista - I would think it doesn't - to access (open) the SAM files.

So - if you can access and read the user and default SAM files in another non-Microsoft operating system,
- you could Edit the user 's SAM file to eliminate or change the password in it ?? It appears, from what I saw in the the ....\Default SAM file, that it would not be fully readable in a plain text editor similar to Notepad - you would need to use something else.
- you could replace the user that has the unknown password SAM with the \Repair SAM ??

"In NT days if one was to delete the SAM file and then ran a repair routine the SAM was re-established, and with fresh Admin account (no password set either...)

I think the same applies to W2K and possibly XP???"

I have no idea.
I know nothing about NT, other than 2000 was the successor to the last version of it, and XP is the successor to 2000 plus some other features.

"Incidentally there is backup of the original registry files on the root of the drive/partition too... Possibly that can be used to restore the system to a more normal a working state (and restore the original Admin account too...). This M$-KB allows one way to this end?"

Aha! That's where I now remember seeing SAM before ! It's in the same ...\config\... folder!

That procedure is something I've done three times, on three other people's XP installations.

Things learned..........

- you can't use the procedure unless you could access Administrator (or whatever it might have been re-named to) in Safe mode before the error happened, whether you were aware of that or not. If you can't access Administrator (or whatever it might have been re-named to), you can't use the Recovery Console features when you boot from an XP CD.

In all three of my cases, the Administrator had no password.

- you CAN get away with replacing ONLY the one file you got a message about being corrupted or missing in .......\config\... on a non brand name system XP installation that had Windows installed on it from a regular CD.

E.g. in one case, the message was about
.....\config\SYSTEM . I replaced only the SYSTEM file with the default, the computer then booted normally The only thing that seemed to be missing was the recognition of the drivers for a network adapter had been installed - I installed the drivers for it again.

- BUT you CAN'T (in most if not all cases) get away with replacing only one file on a brand name XP installation - you have to either......
- replace ALL of the files listed there,
- or, a much better choice, if you could access Administrator (or whatever it might have been re-named to) in Safe mode before the error happened, whether you were aware of that or not, run the second Repair choice (Repair Setup) after booting with the regular XP CD or the brand name's equivalent XP Recovery CD.

- If you replace ALL of the files in the article, your system WILL then boot fine, but you will have to re-install or re-set a LOT of stuff.

E.g. I replaced just SYSTEM on my sister's Sony desktop system. I then got a DIFFERENT error - System error: Lsass.exe - that prevented Windows from booting. As I recall, if I hadn't been able to access the system from another computer (or, probably, it could be done from another operating system on a bootable disk), and hadn't copied the corrupted SYSTEM file to elsewhere rather than deleting it ( the kb article tells you to copy it to elsewhere before you delete it from the user location - I used a shorter other path - I didn't like the idea of copying it to a tmp folder), I would have been screwed at that point. I couldn't get to the second Repair choice in Setup when I booted with the XP CD at that point.
I moved (copied, deleted the one in the user ) the default SYSTEM file from where I had put it back to it's backup location, and copied the corrupted SYSTEM file to the user location where it was in the first place, the original error situation was restored, then I was able to run a Repair installation (Repair Setup) from the XP CD.

I looked on the web and found that was the case with most if not all brand name XP installations.

So - you COULD replace ONLY the user SAM with the .....\Default SAM using that procedure, quite probably IF the the XP installation is NOT a brand name installation, and IF you can access Administrator (or whatever it might have been re-named to), whether you were previously aware of that or not, when you run the procedure.

Otherwise, it appears you would have to use another non-Windows operating system to do that, and even then it may NOT work for a brand name XP installation, if you try replacing ONLY SAM .

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February 8, 2010 at 10:46:38

You could try the following:

Open a command prompt and type "net users" and press <enter>.
This will list all the Windows user accounts defined on your system.

Then for each account name listed, type "net user accountname" and press <enter>. (Substitute each username for "accountname".)

The "net user" command will list a screenful of information for the userid you've entered. Look for Local Group Memberships. It should contain "*Administrators".

Also look for the Comment line. It should say "Built-in account for administering the computer/domain". This is the default Admin account.

Now you can reset the password using the Offline NT Password and Registry Editor:

Follow the instructions here to download and create a bootable CD (or floppy if you have one). This tool will allow you to change or delete the password for the userid you identified earlier. Please note that the instructions recommend deleting the password rather than changing it. I would also recommend this approach. I've used this tool for years and deleting the pw is more reliable. You should, of course, set a new password once you're back in the system.

-- kptech

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February 8, 2010 at 10:58:28

I forgot to mention...

Most folks don't have any encrypted files, and you'd probably know if you did because they don't get encrypted unless you do it.

But, if you DO have encrypted files they won't be accessable after deleting the password. The ONLY way to retreive encrypted files is to remember the password used to encrypt them in the first place.

Thought you should know, just in case...

Let us know how you come out!

-- kptech

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February 8, 2010 at 13:53:55

That info in response 13 is something I wasn't aware of - thanks for providing that.

webfoot can't access any user that has administrator rights - in his case his administrator user has been renamed to drunk user, and webfoot doesn't know the password for it. See a quote of his user info in response 5.


You can't remove or change the password unless you use net user, or net users, in a user profile that has administrator rights, otherwise the only thing you can do is to get it to list the net users.
You get "access is denied" for everything else.
Apparently you can use either net user or net users

This excerpt of a similar procedure I copied off the web works, IF you use net user in a user profile that has administrator rights.

I don't show this to anyone who posts on this site who I can't be fairly certain has a legitimate right to use it - e.g. I don't provide it to someone who could be a computer thief, or who could be someone who knowingly bought a stolen computer.

(Start - Run - type: cmd , click OK, or press Enter)

3. Type in: Net User

4. It will then show you a detailed little chart of all the User Accounts on the computer.

5. Choose which account you want to hack.

6. Say it says the user accounts are: Owner, Administrator, John, Alice, Christopher, and Guest.

7. You choose Alice (Say you wanted to annoy your wife or girlfriend, I told you this would be a useful guide ).

8. Now type: Net User Alice, it’ll give you A LOT of information about the account. This step isn’t necessary, but it gives you information on other things you can do to the account, such as set it as innactive and delete it.

9. Type in: Net User Alice * It’ll tell you to enter a password, then again to confirm it. This will both change the password or make a new one

You don't need to know the existing password to change it or remove it.

If you type in nothing, press Enter, twice, there is no password.

All the specific files and folders for the user you didn't know the password of are still there.

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February 8, 2010 at 19:53:56

I missed that webfoot knows what the admin userid is called now. (read too fast I guess). I was using "net users" and "net user userid" to identify which new userid is now the admin ID. In this case, an unnecessarly step since he already knows it. --And I would have too if I'd read his post more carefully. :-)

The Offline NT Password and Registry Editor: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ that I reference in post #12 doesn't require admin access to change the password. It's a bootable linux cd or diskette that will directly edit the .SAM files to change/delete the password for any Windows userid. You just have to tell it which ID you want to change. And it's menu driven so you don't have to manually edit the files, it's done for you.

Over the years, I've only run into a couple of systems that it didn't work on because of disk corruption. It's saved my bacon several times.

re: Encrypted files... I found this the hard way when after changing the password for clients they still couldn't access their encrypted files. At some point, the program author added a warning in the FAQ at his site. --Live and learn!

-- kptech

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February 8, 2010 at 20:07:21
This is comical, the OP hasn't even replied yet and everyone is rambling on LOL ;-)
Maybe he's the one polishing off the bottles...like in his heading.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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February 8, 2010 at 20:44:04

"The Offline NT Password and Registry Editor...."

Aha! - something actually suitable for this stuation. Thanks for that.

trvlr suggested some stuff but I didn't check out all the possibilities.

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February 8, 2010 at 21:22:09
That utility (or one very similar) is in Knoppix - and equally useful/easy to use...

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February 9, 2010 at 20:58:48
To all that have responded to my post; Thank You! I had to go out of town on some business (we've all got to make a living you know). For XP User4Real, your comment was kinda funny - and in case it even matters, I don't drink at all - but I can see your point. As far as the sheer volume of suggestions I've been given is concerned, it is somewhat overwhelming for an admitted "newbie." I'm also a new "computing.net" member. I kinda just stumbled (not the drunk kind) across the site and thought I would see if I could get any suggestions on how to correct my predicament. Boy! - Am I ever shocked to see how nice you guys are to try and help me. I really do appreciate it (I even thought Rich Gu calling me a "freakin tool" was kinda funny - I don't suppose he realized I was making a joke about the German 'Drunkenuser' virus, as far as I know, no such virus exists (though my computer has been infected with actual malware). However, in this case, it's sorta like a virus and it was caused by a drunken user... Anyway you get the picture). But I digress. Back to the advice I have been given. I sincerely do appreciate it, yet the tecnical nature of some suggestions will require a little more basic computing knowledge on my part before I attempt to execute them. If nothing else, it apparently opened a dialogue that some found interesting. After all, obstacles that inevitably arise from not being able to log on as administrator are rampant and I suppose I failed to see the gravity of the situation until I actually started encountering them. I guess I just took it for granted, since I've never been without it (admin. password) before now. Plus, there was a time there where I wasn't really using the computer very much at all...not so anymore. Meanwhile, I ran across (by accident) something called "Regwork", an application that claims to clean up spyware notices and other windows "red X" notices (I've also got something called "PestTrap" I can't seem to make go away either). Anyway, I thought I would see if I would be able to download the Regwork app. without any admin. priveleges and once I was finally sent a valid registration code ($4.95 for a 15 day trial period) via Email, I found much to my surprise, not only was I able to download the app. successfully, but I was also able to install it as well. Yet, mid-way during the scanning process, I received a message stating that "Regwork had encountered a problem and had to close." This occured on every occasion when I attempted to have Regwork try and complete subsequent scans. I finally decided to jot down the file it seem to hang up on each time and here it is: HKey_Local_Machine\software\avenue media\internet optimizer\wse\cf2 - whatever that is. Meanwhile, I submitted an Email to their tech support about it and am awaiting their reply. Ironically, now I have yet another annoying notice from Regwork telling me I need to clean up my registry! Oh brother. Anyway, I do appreciate everyone's feedback and when I have more time to devote to the situation, I will log back on to this site. I just don't want to become a nusance, do to my limited computer skills (ignorance). Well, I've got to go, I just lost sight of my taskbar at the bottom of my screen! God (and probably most of you) only knows why. Thanks Again. - webfoot -

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February 9, 2010 at 22:10:56
mmm straight off I'd obtain a Knoppix/Ubunut disk (as suggested in earlier posts) and go on-line to trend.com and run "their" freebie Housecaall util... Read the earlier post about this routine...

Also seriously consider securing/safeguarding your data at this time - again via Knoppix/Ubunut approach. Then if things go really pear-shaped... that at least is safe; and you might then feel less vulnerable if you have to actually repair - even re-install - the system one way or t'other...

Most of us avoid (like the plague) registry cleaners and similar utilities; as they generally seem to cause more problems than they cure...

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February 10, 2010 at 09:32:19
He's alive !
It's good to hear from you again webfoot !

I know nothing about the Linux boot CDs / Linux programs kptech and trvlr have posted about, but that sounds like that's your best bet to get rid of or change the drunk user password.

"HKey_Local_Machine\software\avenue media\internet optimizer\wse\cf2 - whatever that is"

Apparently it's related to spyware, that's often installed automatically without your permission.

I searched for: avenue media internet optimizer
and got lots of "hits" saying so.

E.g. this tells you about one version of it.


You may or may not have the files listed in that - they frequently change when the version changes.

If you did load it knowlingly, you don't need to load an internet optimizer that runs all the time.
E.g. the freeware TCPOptimizer has optimized settings you can select for your particular network adapter and type of internet access you're using, it backs up existing TCP settings, it only needs to run once until you reload Windows the next time, and it's not a resident program - it runs only when you run it.

A tip for you.

When one has a slow computer like yours, e.g. my 450mhz 98SE one, I recommend you search for and download and install something that you can toggle Adobe Flash on /off with. It does not need to be loaded when you access this site, most web sites are still mostly navigable with Adobe Flash switched off, and many web pages that normally use Adobe Flash, especially here of a Topic that has a lot of posts in it, will load a LOT faster.

E.g. I use the freeware FlashSwitch.
It's a tiny resident (runs all the time) startup program (it's loaded and visible in the msconfig - Startup list) that uses very little computer resources, that installs an icon in your Taskbar lower right. You click on the small white box in the center of the icon to toggle disabling Adobe Flash on / off - an X appears in that white box when it's enabled. A window appears after each time you boot, telling you whether FlashSwitch playback is presently set to On or Off (whether Adobe Flash is set to enabled or disabled) .
Caveats -
I believe it only works for IE.
You have to quit accessing the internet with IE to change whether it is toggled on or off.

Sometimes you get a nag message when Adobe Flash is disabled when you access certain web pages - that you should click here to get Adobe Flash, or a newer version if it, or a message saying this web page requires Adobe Flash, or similar .
If there are still selections available on the screen, you can still click on those - most web sites have a mix of pages that use / don't use Adobe Flash.
For some, e.g. the Asus web sites, just click on the nag message(s) to close it(them) and you'll eventually see a page or pages that don't need Adobe Flash.

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