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Unlocking a windows xp user account


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As it says in the subject really-my friend, me, and a load of other people were going to use his laptop to watch films (via a projector) at this weekend away recently. Unfortunately, he couldn't remember the capitalisation combination on his password, tried his password too many times, and is now locked out. He bought the laptop second hand and therefore doesn't know of an administrator account (or perhaps the account he is using (as it's the only one on the computer that was created previously) is the administrator account, I would imagine). Is there any way he can unlock the account without resorting to formatting?

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did you try loging in using the administrator acount? It might not have a password set.

One would assume the username is administrator, with no password, but I think this failed, if I recall correctly.

he cna use a liveCD to boot into the computer and copy the SAM file and then just crack the administrator password.
I know Harrison went over a similar situation in one hak.5 episode, where the user had 'forgotten' the windows password, but I think this situation is different in that after a certain number of times the account appeared to 'lock out.' My friend actually remembered the exact password after a while but windows wouldn't let him log on.
Get a copy of hirens boot CD. Its got a bunch of different utils for changing or removing XP passwords and works like a treat.


(might have to google about for an actual download link but this should get you started).

Removing the password seems to be the best way to go. I'll advice/assist my friend on this, and report back when/if he performs this.

Thanks all for the help so far :).

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There's a number of ways of getting the admin account to show, one involves registry modifying, and I think safe mode is indeed another method. However, I'll see how he handles that simple step-by-step guide, and if he demonstrates himself to be a monkey, then I'll just go over and do it first hand.

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