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Removing Xp Password Troubles


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#1 Jonesie

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 06:34 PM

This is my first post. I'm not a geek yet but I'm trying.

Trying to help a friend, she had to keep entering a Windows password to get in. She said it was a pain. There are two users defined on her computer, Administrator and Owner, both have full priveleges. She uses Owner. When she boots up she gets the Welcome screen with Owner on it, puts in her password, gets in. I found instructions as follows:

Start, Run, type control userpasswords2, Uncheck the box that says Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer, Click OK.

Did this, but on Restart, at the Welcome screen displayed a message that said something like, could not log on to Administrator because of password restriction. (had never seen that before, we weren't trying to log on as Administrator) :thumbsup: Clicked OK, then the Owner login appeared on scren, she still had to enter a password like before, but at least she got in.

So I went back in thru Run like I did before and rechecked the box, thinking that would restore the situation to what she had before I started dinking around with it. Not so, there was no change at all. I love your site name, that's just what I was saying to myself. Well, almost.

Then (DUH~~) I found simple instructions: Control Panel, User Accounts, click on account name, choose Remove My Password. That worked as far as letting her in without a password. But the computer's still giving us the Administrator error message, and clicking OK at the error message is as much a pain as entering the password was. Plus it's making me look bad.

Please tell me there's something simple I can do.

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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:16 PM

Use Windows System Restore to restore your operating system's system state to a date from before you ran userpassword2.

To do this:
click start/programs/accessories/system tools/system restore

A calendar will open giving you the choice of several dates - pick one from before you first ran userpasswords2.

After the System Restore functions go to the control panel/user accounts and remove the need for passwords again.

By the way, if this computer is used to surf or get email you should create a third account - one that is a limited account.

Why you need a limited account for use while on the internet:

You should actually have two accounts (in this case, three) even if you are the only one using the computer -

One account with administrator rights, and one limited user account.

An account with administrator rights should never be used for surfing the internet as any malware that may be accidentally or inadvertently downloaded while using an account with administrator rights will then have the unlimited rights of that account to infect your computer.

Gaining administrator rights enables malware to change settings, run all programs, install or infect all software and access all data including passwords and financial records.

Setting up and using limited user accounts in Windows XP will keep some spyware at bay because XP's limited user accounts do not have permission to
install new software or do anything else that a limited account cannot do.

Why you should not run your computer as an administrator:

Running Windows 2000 or Windows XP as an administrator makes the system more vulnerable to Trojan horses and other security risks. The simple act of visiting an Internet site can be extremely damaging to the system. An unfamiliar Internet site may have Trojan horse code that can be downloaded to the system and executed. If you are logged on with administrator privileges, a Trojan horse could do things like reformat your hard drive, delete all your files, create a new user account with administrative access, and so on.

You should add yourself to the Limited Users group. When you log on as a member of the Limited Users group, you can perform routine tasks, including running programs and visiting Internet sites, without exposing your computer to unnecessary risk. As a member of the Power Users group (Windoes 2000 Pro only), you can perform routine tasks and you can also install programs, add printers, and use most Control Panel items.

If you need to perform administrative tasks, such as upgrading the operating system or configuring system parameters, then log off and log back on as an administrator.

If you frequently need to log on as an administrator, you can use the runas command to start programs as an administrator.

To start a program as an administrator
1.In Windows Explorer, click the program executable file that you want to open.
2.Press SHIFT and hold, right-click the program icon, and then click Run as.
3.To log on using an Administrator account, click The following user.
4.In User name and Password, type the Administrator account name and password that you want to use.
Notes
Use this procedure if you want to perform administrative tasks when you are logged on as a member of another group, such as Users or Power Users.

If you want to run a program as a domain administrator, in User name, type the name of the domain followed by the administrator account name. For example:
DomainName\AdministratorName
Use of Run as is not limited to Administrator accounts.
If you try to start a program, such as an MMC console or Control Panel item, from a network location using Run as, it could fail if the credentials used to connect to the network share are different from the credentials used to start the program. The credentials used to run the program might not be able to gain access to the same network share.
If Run as fails, the Secondary Logon service may not be running.
You can also use Run as from the command prompt.

To create a shortcut using the runas command
1.Right-click the desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut.
2.In Type the location of the item, type runas and the command parameters you want to use. See examples in the following table.

To create a shortcut to A command prompt with administrator credentials
Type:
runas /user:ComputerName\administrator cmd
The title bar of this window will indicate the credentials under which it is running.

#3 ThorXP

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:38 PM

Forgotten Admin or User's Password = Win NT/2K/XP

http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/

#4 Herk

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 10:54 PM

I had a problem similar to this about a week ago. It certainly is frustrating. I tend to avoid passwords on my own machine because I know that if something gets corrupted, I'm locked out. Anyway, I did the same thing you did, and wound up at the can't login because the admin account is locked. I tried putting it back and it still wasn't quite the same. I did manage to get the machine to log straight into the account without problems, but here's what I think the problem is: when you're doing the ctrluserpasswords thing, make sure that the correct account that you're working with is highlighted! The admin account is highlighted by default, and you find the machine trying to log into that after changing it.

#5 Jonesie

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:45 AM

So, Herk, exactly what did you do to get your computer to take you straight in?

I do think doing a restore back to the day of the change is a good option, and I'll do that if no one has a fast and easy fix, but I did a bunch of spyware cleaning etc. that I don't want to have to redo unless I just have to. Also she has gone in and updated some reports in ExCel and I'm not sure if a restore is going to allow keeping changes shes made since then.

#6 Enthusiast

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:03 AM

System restore will not alter data ie Excel (at least it is not supposed to), but it will make you have to redo your spyware removal.

#7 Herk

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:21 PM

IIRC, I got it to go straight into the account by highlighting the correct account first in control userpasswords2. Check this out.

#8 Jonesie

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 07:10 AM

Thanks Herk. I may give this a try.

And thanks to everyone else who replied. You've given me lots of good advice.

I found this site by accident and haven't had time to read the tutorials, but that's in my plans. Looks like there are some real experts here.




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