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A client uses Windows 2000 Professional on a machine for about six years. It is configured to startup without password prompt. Today we needed to transfer files to another machine, so I connected the cable and configured the network.

After a reboot the machine suddenly prompts for an administrator password while it was configured to login automatically. We do not know the administrator password, so now we can not login anymore. Does anyone have a thought about how this could happen and how we get access back to the system. The client does not have an install cd either.

I though it might be possible to boot an Ubuntu live cd and transfer the files to another machine, but I am not sure if I can access the disks form Ubuntu.

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possible duplicate of WinXP administrator password recovery –  mailq Oct 21 '11 at 20:22
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3 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Look into downloading a bootable password recovery / cracking utility like Ophcrack

Download that iso and burn it to a disk and make sure the server 2000 machine is set to boot from it's CD ROM and it will load into the utility. I've used this utility before with great results.

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Thanks! Should I use the XP or Windows Vista one? –  osi Oct 21 '11 at 18:01
    
The Windows XP one –  DKNUCKLES Oct 21 '11 at 18:15
    
Ok I will try, thanks! –  osi Oct 21 '11 at 18:29
    
It turned out the cd could not recover the passwords, they are said to be blank but I can not logon with a blank password –  osi Oct 22 '11 at 20:26
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you can use ERD Commander. with this bootable cd you cannot crack password but you can set a new one

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Agreed. For unknown reasons blanking the pswd or resetting the pswd to a new value works at different times on different machines so try both options. –  Ed Fries Oct 22 '11 at 21:39
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The client managed to get in touch with the system administrator who installed his computer 8 years ago and he could remember the password. Thanks for the help!

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protected by Iain Nov 16 '12 at 18:10

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