Administrator Password changed


W

William Conway

Please help... have a child 14yo who has changed my administrator password
and given himself absolute authority over the computer and all programs
including blocking the use of my work programs.
Have tried reboot in safe mode and changing administrator password but is
not working ... cannot clear him from absolute authority.
Where do I go from here...do not want to reformat as some programs are not
available now that I use.
Thanks
 
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M

Malke

William said:
Please help... have a child 14yo who has changed my administrator password
and given himself absolute authority over the computer and all programs
including blocking the use of my work programs.
Have tried reboot in safe mode and changing administrator password but is
not working ... cannot clear him from absolute authority.
Where do I go from here...do not want to reformat as some programs are not
available now that I use.

There is no need to reinstall Windows. There is a need to deal with your
child and I'll give you some tips to secure your computer at the end of
this post. Doing the necessary work requires some level of computer skills.
You know yourself best or whether having a competent local tech come
on-site and sort things out is the better solution for you. If you go this
latter route, I don't recommend using a BigComputerStore/GeekSquad type of
place.

A. Getting into Windows - If you have forgotten your password, if you have
another user account with administrative privileges you can log into that
account and change your original user account's password from the User
Accounts applet in Control Panel. If you don't have another account like
this set up or don't have the password to it, you'll need to log into the
built-in Administrator account. In XP Home, boot the computer into Safe
Mode. Do this by repeatedly tapping the F8 key as the computer is starting
up. This will get you to the right menu. Navigate using your Up arrow key;
the mouse will not work here. Once in Safe Mode, you will see the normally
hidden Administrator account. The default password is a blank.

In XP Pro, you do not need to go into Safe Mode. At the Welcome Screen, do
Ctrl-Alt-Del twice to get the classic Windows logon box. Type in
"Administrator" and whatever password you assigned when you set up Windows.

If you reset the built-in Administrator account's password in Home or have
Pro and don't remember the password, use NTpasswd to change the built-in
Administrator account's password to a blank. Download the bootable CD .iso,
burn with third-party burning software (as an image, not as data), boot
with the media you created. You may need to change the boot order in the
BIOS or get a temporary boot order menu with a special keypress. NTpasswd
will run. Follow the instructions carefully.

http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/

Then go to the User Accounts applet in Control Panel and set passwords that
you will remember and make other desired changes. WRITE THE PASSWORDS DOWN
AND PUT THEM SOMEWHERE YOU WON'T LOSE THEM.

B. Setting security so this doesn't happen again - Any computer running any
operating system can be accessed by someone with 1) physical access; 2)
time; 3) skill; 4) tools. There are a few things you can do to make it a
bit harder though:

1. Set a password in the BIOS that must be entered before booting the
operating system. Also set the Supervisor password in the BIOS so BIOS
Setup can't be entered without it. DO NOT FORGET THIS PASSWORD.

2. From the BIOS, change the boot order to hard drive first.

3. Set strong passwords on all accounts, including the built-in
Administrator account in XP (it is disabled by default in Vista).

4. If you leave your own account logged in, use the Windows Key + L to lock
the computer (and/or set the screensaver/power saving) when you step away
from the computer and require a password to resume.

5. Make other users Limited accounts in XP Home, regular user accounts in XP
Pro. All users should be on a Standard account in Vista with an
Administrator account only used for elevation purposes.

6. Set user permissions/restrictions:

If you have XP/Vista Home, you don't have the built-in ability to create
fine-grained limitations, so use either MVP Doug Knox's Security Console or
the MS SteadyState program to set the restrictions the way you want.

http://www.dougknox.com
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sharedaccess/default.mspx
More on SteadyState: http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?t=27570
SteadyState support -
http://social.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/windowssteadystate/threads/

If you have XP Pro, Media Center, Vista Business or Vista Ultimate, you can
use Group Policy to set restrictions (gpedit.msc). Be very careful using
the Group Policy editor; it is completely possible to lock yourself out.
Questions about group policy should be posted here:

microsoft.public.windows.group_policy

Please understand that these are technical responses to what is basically a
non-technical problem and there are ways around all of these precautions.
This is a family/interpersonal issue that can't be solved by technical
means.

Malke
 
F

Fart.Soft

Please help... have a child 14yo who has changed my administrator password
and given himself absolute authority over the computer and all programs
including blocking the use of my work programs.
Have tried reboot in safe mode and changing administrator password but is
not working ... cannot clear him from absolute authority.
Where do I go from here...do not want to reformat as some programs are not
available now that I use.
Thanks

If what Make wrote doesnt work for you, download OPHcrack, record it
on a blank cd, the boot from that cd. Youll se a linux type command
line util, where youll be able to crack the win passwords. Wait till
the first admin password shows, and login to windows, (reboot).
 
M

Malke

Fart.Soft said:
If what Make wrote doesnt work for you, download OPHcrack, record it
on a blank cd, the boot from that cd. Youll se a linux type command
line util, where youll be able to crack the win passwords. Wait till
the first admin password shows, and login to windows, (reboot).

Trying to brute-force passwords is a waste of time on a home machine. It's
much simpler and far quicker to just change the password to a blank (null)
with NTpasswd (also Linux) as I previously suggested.

Malke
 
F

Fart.Soft

Trying to brute-force passwords is a waste of time on a home machine. It's
much simpler and far quicker to just change the password to a blank (null)
with NTpasswd (also Linux) as I previously suggested.

Malke

It was just another suggestion. OPHcrack woked for me (three 8 digit
passwords in less then 10 minutes)
 
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L

Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]

Fart.Soft said:
It was just another suggestion. OPHcrack woked for me (three 8 digit
passwords in less then 10 minutes)

Setting the password to null via the means Malke suggested takes far less
effort and less time as well. :)
 
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