IT 101; Windows XP Password Reset

It’s been a crazy month, no really. I have so much to do it’s not even funny. I don’t know what it is about the month of august, but things in my neck of the woods start going crazy. My network room is climate controlled, but during the summer I can’t keep it near as cold as the rest of the year. I guess a little extra heat goes along way as I’m busy with Hard Drive replacements. Acutually, it’s as if a time delay has caused a rash of HD failures across the board. I’ve had many contacts about data recovery on dead hard drives in the last few week.

August is always a hectic time of the year for any computer geek; family and friends are headed back to school and have typical back to school related tech questions. I’m looking forward to white stuff on the hills.

A client contacted me the other day, they were frantic. Seems she had changed her password on her laptop and promptly forgot it. As with most clients, it was a small business, no centralized management of IT resources so not your typical call the helpdesk and reset it.

Now, someone needing a password reset is onething, and in itself not worthy of a post. However what she proceeded to tell me I could not believe. When she realized that she had written down the password wrong, she called her normal IT person. As I understand it, a part-timer they have. They suggested the user plop in the windows install disk and start over.

Oh you have to be kidding me! what a joke…. hmmm…

So realizing that they would lose all data, she didn’t want to do that and wanted a second opinion. She called an external consultant of somesort. What they told her was similar; “the operating system is lost, you’ll have to reinstall XP. however we could take the harddrive out and pull off some of your documents before doing that.

She was fine by that, annoyed but fine. except she needed it now! (doesn’t everyone?)

Somehow she was referred.

When I met her, she extracted the laptop from the case sat it on the table and proceeded to to give me a dissertation on the matter. Based on the info from both of the “I.T. people” she talked to; she wanted me to remove the HD, recover the data, reinstall the HD, reinstall windows, restore the data and get her to the meeting in an hour.

note: I’m quick. but not THAT quick. that is if I did the whole run around.

I thought every IT geek worth their caffine could reset a windows XP password in under 5 minutes blindfolded and holding a Dr. Pepper.

I thought it might take the full 5 minutes, but it was Windows XP home, not pro.

Just incase the “I.T. guys” that work for her read this; here my lame friends are the steps to reset a XP home password.

I turned on the computer, hit F8 chose “safe mode.” Once the logon screen appears click “administrator” then you’ll notice you have admin rights to the computer. Oddly enough, administrator has the right to change passwords. change it, you’re done.

wow…. that was hard.

Now, if the user knows about the lack of a password on the administrator account then they may have gone in and put one on it. otherwise this works much faster than any other way of resetting a XP home password.

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