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Assuming you are talking about logging in to Windows XP here are some things you can try:
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional in a workgroup loadTOCNode(3, 'whattotry'); 1. Log on as an administrator. a. Restart the computer, and then after the Power On Self Test (POST), press the F8 key. b. On the Windows Advanced Options menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER. c. Select Microsoft Windows XP edition, and then press ENTER.
Note In this step, edition represents the correct Windows edition. d. On the To begin, click your user name screen, click Administrator, and then type the administrator password. e. Press ENTER, and then click Yes. 2. Reset the password. a. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. b. Click User Accounts, and then click the name of the user account that you want to reset the password for. c. Click Change the Password, and then type a new password. Note If you do not want to use a password, click Remove password, and then continue to step "e." d. Click Change Password. e. Restart the computer, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.Reference: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321305
If that doesn't work, there is a more drastic way to do this:
you can easily change or wipe out your Administrator password for free during a Windows XP Repair. Here’s how with a step-by-step description of the initial Repair process included for newbie’s. 1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (it’s assumed here that your XP CD is bootable – as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)
2. Keep your eye on the screen messages for booting to your cd Typically, it will be “Press any key to boot from cd”
3. Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files.
4. When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now
5. The Licensing Agreement comes next - Press F8 to accept it.
6. The next screen is the Setup screen which gives you the option to do a Repair.
It should read something like “If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it”
Use the up and down arrow keys to select your XP installation (if you only have one, it should already be selected) and press R to begin the Repair process.
7. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.
8. Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot. (this will happen automatically – you will see a progress bar stating “Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds”
9. During the reboot, do not make the mistake of “pressing any key” to boot from the CD again! Setup will resume automatically with the standard billboard screens and you will notice Installing Windows is highlighted.
10. Keep your eye on the lower left hand side of the screen and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10. This is the security hole! A command console will now open up giving you the potential for wide access to your system.
11. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.
12. Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you prefer. If you want to log on without having to enter your new password, you can type control userpasswords2 at the prompt and choose to log on without being asked for password. After you’ve made your changes close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).
13. Once the Repair is done, you will be able to log on with your new password (or without a password if you chose not to use one or if you chose not to be asked for a password). Your programs and personalized settings should remain intact.
I tested the above on Windows XP Pro with and without SP1 and also used this method in a real situation where someone could not remember their password and it worked like a charm to fix the problem. This security hole allows access to more than just user accounts. You can also access the Registry and Policy Editor, for example. And its gui access with mouse control. Of course, a Product Key will be needed to continue with the Repair after making the changes, but for anyone intent on gaining access to your system, this would be no problem.
And in case you are wondering, NO, you cannot cancel install after making the changes and expect to logon with your new password.
Cancelling will just result in Setup resuming at bootup and your changes will be lost.
Ok, now that your logon problem is fixed, you should make a point to prevent it from ever happening again by creating a Password Reset Disk. This is a floppy disk you can use in the event you ever forget your log on password. It allows you to set a new password.
Here's how to create one if your computer is NOT on a domain:
Start your computer and at the logon screen, click your user name and leave the password box blank or just type in anything. This will bring up a Logon Failure box and you will then see the option to use your Password Reset disk to create a new password. Click it which will initiate the Password Reset wizard. Insert your password reset disk into your floppy drive and follow the wizard which will let you choose a new password to use for your account.
Posted on Jun 14, 2008
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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Here are the step by step instructions:
Log on as an administrator to reset the password
If you did not create a password reset disk, you may be able to log on as an administrator to reset a forgotten or expired password. The steps to do this differ if the computer is a stand-alone computer or a member of a workgroup of two or more, or a member of a domain. Select the appropriate set of steps from the following to try to log on as the administrator to reset the password.
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional
To log on to a computer as the administrator to reset a password, try the following steps.
1. Log on as an administrator.
a. Restart the computer.
b. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE two times, and then type the name of the administrator user account.
c. In the Password box, type the administrator password, and then click OK.
Note If the administrator password is set to a blank password, do not type a password before you click OK.
2. Reset the password.
. Click Start, and then click Run.
a. Type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.
b. On the Users tab, click the name of the user account that you want to reset the password for, and then click Reset Password.
c. Type a new password in the New password box, and then type the password again in the Confirm new password box, and then click OK.
d. Restart the computer, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.
If you can log on as an administrator to reset your password and you can now log on successfully, you have resolved the issue, and you are finished.
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