Windows suddenly requires a password.


L

Lori2009

Hi,

My computer (Windows XP Media Center Edition, SP3) has suddenly decided that
I need a Windows password to get in. Problem is, I’ve never set up a Windows
password. I have tried several things to get around the sign-in screen, but
all have failed.

There have been a few changes and/or events recently, and surely the problem
is tied to one or more: 1) possible virus/worm about a month ago, 2)
accidentally deleted PCHealth from my computer about two weeks ago, 3) unable
to access Windows XP Help Center, and 4) I set up Symantec Identity Safe.
Here’s the timeline of events and a list of things I’ve tried. I think there
are further steps I could take re safe mode, but I’m not sure how to go about
that and need some guidance. I apologize for the lengthy message.

One month ago, when exiting AOL, a window opened up in IE7 (which had not
been running) that said at the top “about: blank†and showed a web site I had
been to a couple days before (a reputable one). This window duplicated itself
over and over. I started a scan in Ad-Aware, but the program crashed and
would not restart. I tried to open Firefox and AOL, but both opened the same
IE duplicating window. Norton, BitDefender, etc. scans were all negative.
Ad-Aware would not work anymore so I reinstalled it, but from then on
whenever I would get to my desktop from standby or restart, the Ad-Aware
program folder would be open. I also had two programs that had been working
fine, but now would not open (Ad-Aware was one of them). With both programs,
the initial screen would appear as if it was going to open, but then would
just disappear. I posted a query to the Ad-Aware user forum. The moderator
suggested Revio Software Removal tool to completely remove A-A, reinstall it,
run HiJack This, post results, and he would get back to me. Revio found no
traces of Ad-Aware, but did find a program called PCHealth. Several sites
from Google search said this was a worm or Trojan, so I deleted it. I ran
HiJack This, posted the results, but have had no response from the moderator
(three weeks). My system appears to be working fine.

Couple weeks later a routine BitDefender scan showed a file called simply
“rootkitâ€, with a message that said it had not been able to do anything to
resolve it. Symantec, BitDefender (again), F-secure, AVG, and a couple other
scans were all negative.

Two days ago I set up Symantec Identity Safe, including passwords for
editing Identity Safe settings. Same evening I noticed that I couldn't access
Windows XP Help Center (said it couldn’t find the file). I rebooted thinking
this would solve the Help Center problem, but when it came back up it took me
to the Windows log-in screen and asked for my password. As I have never set
up a Windows password, I obviously don’t know what it is. And in case you’re
wondering, yes I saved my Identity Safe passwords, but they’re in a Word
file...on my computer…as it gave no indication that it would affect the
Windows password.

Called Symantec. They said Identity Safe does not control Windows password
and I should contact Dell.

Called Dell and explained issues with Help Center and password. They said
that someone must have snuck in and changed my [nonexistent] password when I
wasn’t looking. They advised a complete reinstall of XP to factory level.

So far I have tried:
--Ctrl Alt Delete to other signon screen, signed in as Administrator, failed
as password was required.
--[Enter] to bypass password, failed as password required.
--Booted the Dell Diagnostics CD that came with my computer and everything
passed, except for CD-ROM which said “Optical drive BIST-OPU test failed.
Error Code OFOO:286Eâ€.
--Went into Setup and it shows that no Windows password is in place.
--Tried to do a repair install of XP so I could get in and change my
supposed Windows password, but I never saw the option “boot to CDâ€. Tried it
again by hitting F12, but got an error message: “Selected boot device not
available. Hit F1 retry or F2 Setupâ€.
--Went into Setup and changed my BIOS settings to boot from CD first. Tried
repair reinstall again, several times, but always receive the same error
message that the boot device was not available. Obviously I’m able to boot
from CD, so I don’t understand why I can’t access the CD to repair the
Windows install.
--Tried restoring to last know good configuration, which took me back to the
same Windows log-in screen that I can’t get past.
--Tried starting in Safe Mode. I got to the black screen, but then it
flipped over to the same Windows log-in screen, only this time there were two
users to pick from, Administrator and [me], both password protected.
--Ran Ophcrack from bootable CD (more than once) on both the main drive and
backup drive. It could not find a Windows password on either one, but on one
drive it showed the last three digits and said my passwords had been saved to
..txt file, but I could not find that .txt file.

Help. I use this computer for work and need to get it up and running.
Thanks for any advice. --Lori
 
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J

JS

Boot to Safe Mode and try using the Administrator
account. The default password is a blank (no password required).

Once your in, then:
Click Start/Run/and type in: Control Userpasswords2 and then press OK
Next click the 'Users' tab (if it's not already selected).
Now click on the user's account name.that you want to change/reset the
password for, and
Click the 'Reset Password' button located at the bottom right.
Enter the new password into the 'New password' box,
Enter the same password again in the 'Confirm new password' box.
Next click the 'OK' button and once again click 'OK'.
Finally restart your PC, and logon using the account name and password you
entered.


Also see: How to log on to Windows XP if you forget your password or if your
password expires
(This Microsoft article applies to both XP Home and Pro)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321305/en-us

--
JS
http://www.pagestart.com


Lori2009 said:
Hi,

My computer (Windows XP Media Center Edition, SP3) has suddenly decided
that
I need a Windows password to get in. Problem is, I've never set up a
Windows
password. I have tried several things to get around the sign-in screen,
but
all have failed.

There have been a few changes and/or events recently, and surely the
problem
is tied to one or more: 1) possible virus/worm about a month ago, 2)
accidentally deleted PCHealth from my computer about two weeks ago, 3)
unable
to access Windows XP Help Center, and 4) I set up Symantec Identity Safe.
Here's the timeline of events and a list of things I've tried. I think
there
are further steps I could take re safe mode, but I'm not sure how to go
about
that and need some guidance. I apologize for the lengthy message.

One month ago, when exiting AOL, a window opened up in IE7 (which had not
been running) that said at the top "about: blank" and showed a web site I
had
been to a couple days before (a reputable one). This window duplicated
itself
over and over. I started a scan in Ad-Aware, but the program crashed and
would not restart. I tried to open Firefox and AOL, but both opened the
same
IE duplicating window. Norton, BitDefender, etc. scans were all negative.
Ad-Aware would not work anymore so I reinstalled it, but from then on
whenever I would get to my desktop from standby or restart, the Ad-Aware
program folder would be open. I also had two programs that had been
working
fine, but now would not open (Ad-Aware was one of them). With both
programs,
the initial screen would appear as if it was going to open, but then would
just disappear. I posted a query to the Ad-Aware user forum. The moderator
suggested Revio Software Removal tool to completely remove A-A, reinstall
it,
run HiJack This, post results, and he would get back to me. Revio found no
traces of Ad-Aware, but did find a program called PCHealth. Several sites
from Google search said this was a worm or Trojan, so I deleted it. I ran
HiJack This, posted the results, but have had no response from the
moderator
(three weeks). My system appears to be working fine.

Couple weeks later a routine BitDefender scan showed a file called simply
"rootkit", with a message that said it had not been able to do anything to
resolve it. Symantec, BitDefender (again), F-secure, AVG, and a couple
other
scans were all negative.

Two days ago I set up Symantec Identity Safe, including passwords for
editing Identity Safe settings. Same evening I noticed that I couldn't
access
Windows XP Help Center (said it couldn't find the file). I rebooted
thinking
this would solve the Help Center problem, but when it came back up it took
me
to the Windows log-in screen and asked for my password. As I have never
set
up a Windows password, I obviously don't know what it is. And in case you're
wondering, yes I saved my Identity Safe passwords, but they're in a Word
file...on my computer.as it gave no indication that it would affect the
Windows password.

Called Symantec. They said Identity Safe does not control Windows password
and I should contact Dell.

Called Dell and explained issues with Help Center and password. They said
that someone must have snuck in and changed my [nonexistent] password when
I
wasn't looking. They advised a complete reinstall of XP to factory level.

So far I have tried:
--Ctrl Alt Delete to other signon screen, signed in as Administrator,
failed
as password was required.
--[Enter] to bypass password, failed as password required.
--Booted the Dell Diagnostics CD that came with my computer and everything
passed, except for CD-ROM which said "Optical drive BIST-OPU test failed.
Error Code OFOO:286E".
--Went into Setup and it shows that no Windows password is in place.
--Tried to do a repair install of XP so I could get in and change my
supposed Windows password, but I never saw the option "boot to CD". Tried
it
again by hitting F12, but got an error message: "Selected boot device not
available. Hit F1 retry or F2 Setup".
--Went into Setup and changed my BIOS settings to boot from CD first.
Tried
repair reinstall again, several times, but always receive the same error
message that the boot device was not available. Obviously I'm able to boot
from CD, so I don't understand why I can't access the CD to repair the
Windows install.
--Tried restoring to last know good configuration, which took me back to
the
same Windows log-in screen that I can't get past.
--Tried starting in Safe Mode. I got to the black screen, but then it
flipped over to the same Windows log-in screen, only this time there were
two
users to pick from, Administrator and [me], both password protected.
--Ran Ophcrack from bootable CD (more than once) on both the main drive
and
backup drive. It could not find a Windows password on either one, but on
one
drive it showed the last three digits and said my passwords had been saved
to
.txt file, but I could not find that .txt file.

Help. I use this computer for work and need to get it up and running.
Thanks for any advice. --Lori
 
A

Anna

Lori2009 said:
Hi,

My computer (Windows XP Media Center Edition, SP3) has suddenly decided
that
I need a Windows password to get in. Problem is, I've never set up a
Windows
password. I have tried several things to get around the sign-in screen,
but
all have failed.

There have been a few changes and/or events recently, and surely the
problem
is tied to one or more: 1) possible virus/worm about a month ago, 2)
accidentally deleted PCHealth from my computer about two weeks ago, 3)
unable
to access Windows XP Help Center, and 4) I set up Symantec Identity Safe.
Here's the timeline of events and a list of things I've tried. I think
there
are further steps I could take re safe mode, but I'm not sure how to go
about
that and need some guidance. I apologize for the lengthy message.

One month ago, when exiting AOL, a window opened up in IE7 (which had not
been running) that said at the top "about: blank" and showed a web site I
had
been to a couple days before (a reputable one). This window duplicated
itself
over and over. I started a scan in Ad-Aware, but the program crashed and
would not restart. I tried to open Firefox and AOL, but both opened the
same
IE duplicating window. Norton, BitDefender, etc. scans were all negative.
Ad-Aware would not work anymore so I reinstalled it, but from then on
whenever I would get to my desktop from standby or restart, the Ad-Aware
program folder would be open. I also had two programs that had been
working
fine, but now would not open (Ad-Aware was one of them). With both
programs,
the initial screen would appear as if it was going to open, but then would
just disappear. I posted a query to the Ad-Aware user forum. The moderator
suggested Revio Software Removal tool to completely remove A-A, reinstall
it,
run HiJack This, post results, and he would get back to me. Revio found no
traces of Ad-Aware, but did find a program called PCHealth. Several sites
from Google search said this was a worm or Trojan, so I deleted it. I ran
HiJack This, posted the results, but have had no response from the
moderator
(three weeks). My system appears to be working fine.

Couple weeks later a routine BitDefender scan showed a file called simply
"rootkit", with a message that said it had not been able to do anything to
resolve it. Symantec, BitDefender (again), F-secure, AVG, and a couple
other
scans were all negative.

Two days ago I set up Symantec Identity Safe, including passwords for
editing Identity Safe settings. Same evening I noticed that I couldn't
access
Windows XP Help Center (said it couldn't find the file). I rebooted
thinking
this would solve the Help Center problem, but when it came back up it took
me
to the Windows log-in screen and asked for my password. As I have never
set
up a Windows password, I obviously don't know what it is. And in case you're
wondering, yes I saved my Identity Safe passwords, but they're in a Word
file...on my computer.as it gave no indication that it would affect the
Windows password.

Called Symantec. They said Identity Safe does not control Windows password
and I should contact Dell.

Called Dell and explained issues with Help Center and password. They said
that someone must have snuck in and changed my [nonexistent] password when
I
wasn't looking. They advised a complete reinstall of XP to factory level.

So far I have tried:
--Ctrl Alt Delete to other signon screen, signed in as Administrator,
failed
as password was required.
--[Enter] to bypass password, failed as password required.
--Booted the Dell Diagnostics CD that came with my computer and everything
passed, except for CD-ROM which said "Optical drive BIST-OPU test failed.
Error Code OFOO:286E".
--Went into Setup and it shows that no Windows password is in place.
--Tried to do a repair install of XP so I could get in and change my
supposed Windows password, but I never saw the option "boot to CD". Tried
it
again by hitting F12, but got an error message: "Selected boot device not
available. Hit F1 retry or F2 Setup".
--Went into Setup and changed my BIOS settings to boot from CD first.
Tried
repair reinstall again, several times, but always receive the same error
message that the boot device was not available. Obviously I'm able to boot
from CD, so I don't understand why I can't access the CD to repair the
Windows install.
--Tried restoring to last know good configuration, which took me back to
the
same Windows log-in screen that I can't get past.
--Tried starting in Safe Mode. I got to the black screen, but then it
flipped over to the same Windows log-in screen, only this time there were
two
users to pick from, Administrator and [me], both password protected.
--Ran Ophcrack from bootable CD (more than once) on both the main drive
and
backup drive. It could not find a Windows password on either one, but on
one
drive it showed the last three digits and said my passwords had been saved
to
.txt file, but I could not find that .txt file.

Help. I use this computer for work and need to get it up and running.
Thanks for any advice. --Lori


Lori:
It's difficult, if not impossible from this distance, to tell why you're
experiencing this password problem. We'll assume that in some unexplained
way a password was created for your administrator's account and that
accounts for the problem you're experiencing. And that there's no other
software/hardware issue involved here other than the existence of an unknown
password.

There is a freely-available program that many users employ to get over this
hurdle by resetting the administrator's password to a blank. You may want to
give it a try in case you've found no other way to resolve this password
problem.

I'm assuming, of course, that you have available another PC connected to the
net so that you can download the necessary program.

Download the file to reset your password from
http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/
1. On the top of the webpage click on the "Bootdisk" button.
2. In the "Download" section toward the bottom of that page click on the
cd080802.zip file and download it to your Desktop. Note it's a ZIP file so
the contents of that file will have to be extracted.
3. I assume you know how to do this by merely right-clicking on the ZIP
file, click on Extract All, Next, Next, Finish.
4. A folder will be created on your Desktop titled "cd080802".
5. Inside that folder will be the cd080802.iso file. It's this .iso file
that allows you to create a bootable CD from that .iso image.
6. Hopefully, you have a CD-burning program, e.g., Nero, Roxio, etc., that
allows you to merely double-click on the .iso file and the program will open
and create a bootable CD from that .iso image. If you don't have such a
program perhaps you have a friend or acquaintance who does and he or she can
help you with creating the bootable CD. There are other programs available
on the net that allow you to do this as well - one popular program is the
freely-available ISO Recorder program - see
http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

Now that you've created the bootable CD that's designed to reset your
password, insert the CD in your optical drive and boot to it.

The following are step-by-step instructions for using the program. The
example involved is a single-partitioned HDD, but the basic steps are the
same for any size HDD, except where the drive is multi-partitioned. If the
latter is the case the steps will be slightly different but they will not be
unduly complicated or substantially different under those circumstances.

As you progress through the screens the information provided and steps
involved may look more complicated than they really are. In virtually every
step during the process the user will simply be pressing the Enter key or
some other simple keystroke. So don't be intimidated by what appears to be a
lengthy & complicated process. It really isn't.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Case is important when responding to the prompts so ensure
you enter the correct lower or upper case.

1. Hopefully your PC is set up so that it will boot to a bootable CD. If
it's not, change the motherboard's BIOS boot priority setting so that the
CD-ROM (optical drive) is first in boot priority.

2. Boot to the password reset CD. At the first screen you will see the
"boot:" prompt. Press Enter.

3. "Step ONE" is to select the drive on which the Windows OS is installed.
If the drive has been multi-partitioned all the partitions will be listed.
The prompt ("Step ONE") will be "Select: [1]".
Press Enter assuming [1] is the boot partition. Otherwise enter the correct
number of the partition containing boot system.

4. The next prompt ("Step TWO") will be "What is the path to the registry
directory? (relative to windows disk) [WINDOWS/system32/config]:".
Once again, press Enter.

5. The next prompt will list a number of options of which [1] is "Password
reset...".
Press Enter.

6. The next prompt at "Step THREE: Password or registry edit" will list
three options. The default prompt "[1]" will reflect the first option, "Edit
user data and passwords". Again, press Enter.

The next prompt will ask for the username listing the default
[Administrator]. Enter your username (ensuring that you enter the proper
case, e.g., LORI), and press Enter.

The "User Edit Menu" will display listing various options. The first option
is to "Clear (blank) user password" so enter "1" at the prompt. The
confirmation "Password cleared!" message should appear.

7. At the next prompt enter "!" (exclamation mark) to quit the "User Edit
Menu".
Press Enter.

8. At the next prompt enter "q" to quit the process.

9. At "Step FOUR" enter "y" to write changes. Press Enter.

10. At the "EDIT COMPLETE" message, press Enter to confirm ending the
process.

11. The "#" prompt will appear indicating termination of the process. Remove
the CD and reboot.

Hopefully your Administrator's password has been reset to a blank password
and you should gain access to your system.
Anna
 
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J

ju.c

See if my password tutorial can help you:

Resetting a Forgotten Password Tutorial


NOTES

- The built-in Administrator account is found on the Welcome
screen only if there are no other accounts available, other
than Guest, or when the computer is booted into Safe Mode.

- To make the Administrator account available as a user on the
"Welcome Screen" make sure that there are no accounts logged
in.

- The built-in Administrator account can create and change
passwords for all users, but cannot restore a forgotten one.

- When a password is changed, that account will lose all
encrypted files, personal certificates and stored Internet
Explorer passwords or network resources.

- Press "CTRL-ALT-DEL" twice to get the classic Windows logon
box. Enter in the logon box: "Administrator". If this account
has a password then enter it, otherwise leave the it blank.

- Recovering a password is much more difficult. Using a
cracking program can take weeks!


RESET A PASSWORD USING THE ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT

1. Boot into Safe Mode.

2. Log on using the built-in Administrator account.

3. Open: 'Control Panel-->User Accounts'.

4. On the Users tab, select a user name, click on "Change
my password" or "Remove my password".


RESET A PASSWORD AT THE LOGON SCREEN WITH THE COMMAND PROMPT

At the logon screen, press Shift+F10 to open a Command
Prompt with adminisrative priviledges and type:

net user {username} {password}

{username} = The Account's User Name
{password} = This will be the new password


RESET A PASSWORD USING MICROSOFT'S ERD COMMANDER

1. Download a 30 day trial from here:

Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 5.0 64 MB
(Trial only, no longer sold)
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Back-Up-and-Recovery/Diagnostics-and-Recovery-Toolset.shtml

2. Install it, run it then burn the image to a CD.

3. Boot the CD and run the Locksmith Wizard, found under
'Start-->System Tools'.

4. The Locksmith Wizard is very easy to use, just select an
account and input a new password. Too easy!


RESET A PASSWORD USING "Offline NT Password & Registry Editor"

Bootable CD 3 MB or floppy 1.5 MB (Freeware):
http://home.eunet.no/pnordahl/ntpasswd/bootdisk.html

- This disc can set, reset or unlock the password of any
user account.
- You do not need to know the old password to set a new one.
- Works with Windows NT/2k/XP/Vista.


RESET A PASSWORD USING "NT Password Hack"

This will blank the Administrator password 4 MB (Freeware):
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/tools/ntpassword/ntpasswordhack.zip


RECOVER A PASSWORD USING THE "Login Recovery" WEB SERVICE

Login Recovery is a service to recover passwords for Windows NT,
2000, XP, 2003 and Vista (Fast = $30, 3-day wait = Free):
http://www.loginrecovery.com/index.php


LINKS

How to reset the Administrator's password:
http://www.petri.co.il/forgot_administrator_password.htm

EFS, Credentials, and Private Keys from Certificates Are
Unavailable After a Password Is Reset:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290260/en-us

Administrator and User Passwords in Windows XP:
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/win_xp_passwords.htm


ju.c
 

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