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Old Nt Laptop


Jamo
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Hi, I just got an old company NT Laptop, which has been untouched since 2004.

So It has NT4 SP6 installed. Only problem is, that the password I have doesn't work. I was told to throw it to trash if I cant do anything with it..

Could I somehow crack that password.

Other thing is that there is no CD/DVD drive, it has just an old floppy drive.

Could I somehow get some sort of linux installed to that.

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Being from 2004, this should have some USB ports on it and be able to boot off of a thumb drive or even external USB CDrom drive, just need to check the BIOS if it supports it. The other option is network boot of some manner over pxe. You can use tools to reset the NT password, but you have to be able to boot off something, and I don't know about the floppy, although, you could boot off a windows 98 floppy, I don't think it will have networking capabilities within the win98 floppy. You would then need to find some sort of network drivers that you can make run from dos off an additional floppy, along with an NT plugin to read the NTFS system. Windows NT4 from what I recall, is not the same NTFS file structure of Windows 2000, XP, 2003, etc, so not sure what you could do there.

My best bet is to boot off a thumb drive with something like UBCD4WIN with NT reset tools and go from there, but I would just wipe NT4 and install something else if you can boot off a thumb drive or external CD/DVD rom. If you want Linux, check the slackware archives. They used to have them all on floppy, but you can use a linux floppy to boot and install it from the network as well I think.

Some links that might be useful for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preboot_Execution_Environment (I think you'll need a tftp server as well for this to do the install over the network)

http://www.bootdisk.com/

http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=links#floppy

http://www.linux-boot.net/Boot/FD/

http://bengross.com/smallunix/

Edited by digip
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I maneged to get BIOS password reseted. I checked hdd, its from Oct 1998.

That laptop has USB port, but it seems, that it doesn't support booting from USB.

You could use a floppy boot but not sure what drivers will show the USB ports. Maybe you can do a BIOS update to enable booting from external media.

edit - How did you check the HDD? If you could mount it on another system and install what you want there, then all you will have to worry about is drivers once placed back in the laptop, but if the hardware is from 1998, you probably won't even have enough memory to push it further than Windows XP or Damn Samll Linux.

Edited by digip
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You could use a floppy boot but not sure what drivers will show the USB ports. Maybe you can do a BIOS update to enable booting from external media.

edit - How did you check the HDD? If you could mount it on another system and install what you want there, then all you will have to worry about is drivers once placed back in the laptop, but if the hardware is from 1998, you probably won't even have enough memory to push it further than Windows XP or Damn Samll Linux.

To reset BIOS password I had to open that laptop. So I located, where HDD is, and got it out the right way.

So I dont know what that HDD is, Its not IDE nor SATA, So I cant mount it using my IDE/SATA to USB thing. HDD is amazing 6Gb big.

That laptop is Compaq armada 7400

Im not sure, If I want to install linux it, or use it as its now, NT installed.

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Well, being NT4, its probably going to get compromised fairly quickly and your surfing experience will be sad to say the least. You would probably be safer with windows 2000 or just go with a really small footprint Linux distro. XP alone with SP3 will eat about 4GB of HDD space, and you might not even have enough memory to get it running stable anyway. I can't imagine this thing having a whole lot of RAM or CPU power if it was from 1998 with NT4 on it, let alone GPU horsepower. At best, its an older Windows 95/98/NT4/2000 spec machine you could use for DOS games and surfing the web. I don't even care for Damn Small Linux, but might be better for just horsing around online while being a bit more secure. You wont have a whole lot of memory left to install things after the OS itself is running, so think about what you want to accomplish before trying to install something that won't even fit on the HDD or be able to run in the limited amount of RAM.

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Yea, Iv read, that its easy to crack or change that password, but my problem is, that I even have physical access to that hdd, but I cant connect it anywhere else that to that laptop.

And I can boot that laptop from usb. It has a floppy drive, which can be changed to cd drive, if I had one that fits.

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DOh! I forgot about Konboot - http://www.piotrbania.com/all/kon-boot/ Scroll down to the bottom of the page, they have a floppy booter for bypassing the login (NT4 isn't listed, so might not work for NT4 though as its probably not got the right kernel or NTFS structure as XP and Server 2003 but worth a try). Search for "Floppy image: DOWNLOAD" in the page.

Edited by digip
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Iv thought konboot, but I just saw those USB stick and cd versions.

Now I just need to use old almost dead computer to put that image to floppy...

Ill try this next weekend and report if I got it working.

Thanks for help.

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