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Please help - Administrator password XP Media Center

Old 12-18-06, 06:57 PM
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Please help - Administrator password XP Media Center

This is crazy, but when I started my PC tonight it booted as normal to the login screen. I clicked on Administrator and typed my password and it was rejected. I know beyond any doubt that the password I typed was correct and my caps lock was not on. How could this happen?? Is it a weird random glitch or was my PC hacked? How do I get back in? HELP!

Luckily I had the guest account enabled so I could get online to search for help.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:08 PM
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Go here and follow the instructions. If you don't want to pay they'll do it free within a couple of days.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Go here and follow the instructions. If you don't want to pay they'll do it free within a couple of days.

Thanks, X. I googled and found many alternatives to fixing my problem, but I didn't want to go around tinkering with the PC in ways that I didn't necessarily understand. Also, it's hard to tell how old some websites are and which security loopholes might have been fixed by Microsoft.

So have you used this website before and you reckon they are legit? Also, any ideas how it could have happened?? Ever heard of this before?

Thanks very much for your advice.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:22 PM
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I'm embarrassed to say I've used it a couple of times and it worked fine.

They only know your email address and provide your password, which you can immediately change, on their site. So they don't get into your computer at all. Their program just reads out the encrypted passwords which you send to them.

As for how it happened? I have no idea. Possibly a virus or trojan?
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Old 12-18-06, 07:38 PM
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Thanks X, I will give them a try.

I've never heard of anyone's password just changing on them. Noone else used this PC and it was turned off all day (worked fine this morning). I'd love to know what caused it, but I haven't been able to find anything by searching google. I run AVG virus protection and haven't ever had a problem yet.
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Old 12-18-06, 08:01 PM
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check your caps lock

and try a few more times. i've mistyped passwords at work and thought i was fired a lot of times
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Old 12-18-06, 09:42 PM
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Well, I tried LoginRecovery and it failed. What else can I try?
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Old 12-18-06, 09:43 PM
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If you don't trust a third party with your Windows passwords, and you aren't using Windows's file system encryption features, then give the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor a shot. Among other things, it can reset your Administrator password.

I've used it a few times on clients' PCs when they inevitably lose the password, and it does the trick.
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Old 12-18-06, 09:47 PM
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Depending on how technical you are, the password utility helped me a lot. I *think* it was PasswordPro.

http://www.ubcd4win.com/
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Old 12-18-06, 09:52 PM
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THanks guys ... which one of these is the easiest to try first? Which one runs the least risk of trashing my data? If I wind up not being able to recover the password, will I be able to access the data that is on my hard drive?
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Old 12-18-06, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by c-moon
Well, I tried LoginRecovery and it failed. What else can I try?
What do you mean "it failed"?
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Old 12-18-06, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by X
What do you mean "it failed"?

It returned the status of "failed"

Here are the descriptions from the website:

The meanings of the status codes:

Status Meaning
pending The password is waiting to be decrypted
progress The password is being decrypted
blank The password is blank
failed The password could not be decrypted
partial The password was partially decrypted
success The password was successfully decrypted
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Old 12-18-06, 10:17 PM
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What do you think about this method?

http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/p...cle.asp?ID=305

EDIT: Actually, the more I read it, the more the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor looks like it might do the trick. So what's the worst case scenario on trying that? Hose the system entirely?

Again, if all else fails, I want to be able to get to my data. How can I accomplish that if I can't get to the Administrator account? Can I connect the hard drive as a secondary to another machine and access it that way? WOuld the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor jeopardize that?

Thanks again all for the assistance

Last edited by c-moon; 12-18-06 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 12-18-06, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by c-moon
It returned the status of "failed"

Here are the descriptions from the website:
You use some kind of really complicated password?

If not, I think your machine may have been taken over by a trojan that generated a complex random password.

It was able to recover a couple of mine that had letters and numbers but were fairly short, like 8 chars or less.
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Old 12-18-06, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by c-moon
Can I connect the hard drive as a secondary to another machine and access it that way?
That's the way to do it.
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Old 12-18-06, 11:02 PM
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Thanks, X. I am going to try the Ofline NT Password program. I assume the data would be unharmed, even if the registry got corrupted.

My password was 8 digits -- 4 letters and 4 numbers. Nothing complex.
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Old 12-19-06, 12:05 AM
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Success!

OK, the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor did the trick. I have no earthly idea how it got screwed up though. I ran AVG and 2 other online scanners (Panda and Housecall) and none of them detected anything. I guess I know how to fix it next time it happens, though.

Thanks again for everyone's help
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