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WinXP repair install without an admin password?


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#1
unfoix

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Hey all.

We're trying to repair a pc here.
On startup, the user accounts have disappeared, and a cnt-alt-del to logon wont recognise any of the passwords. We've tried doing a repair install off the win cd, but it asks for the admin password, which it says is invalid.

So it seems like the sam file is corrupted?

Is there any way to bypass the repair install password prompt? Any ideas about recovering the sam that doesnt involve booting windows?

We're trying to get some files off it quickly, which are in a desktop folder. Trying to access the desktop from a second, working computer wont work as the desktop folder is protected by the same .sam in question here. Most heinous!

Thanks in advance.
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#2
peterm

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Hi Unfoix
Have you tried the password as blank - just press enter when asked for password.
Have you tried starting the computer in safe mode or last known good configuration.
When you start the computer start tapping F8 for both these options.
If the data is needed in a hurry then you can make the drive a slave in another computer and take the files.
You say you are trying to fix a computer what is wrong with it - any error messages?
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#3
unfoix

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Hello.

Yes, we've tried a blank password, no luck.
Have also hooked it up as a slave, but the folder we need access to is c:\documents and settings\user\desktop\folder , which winxp wont let us access (or reports the folder is empty), I guess because of password/user account problem (ie this folder is not the my documents of the current active user, so it disallows access...)

Booting into safe mode is no good - we are still presented with the user login screen, and of course there are no user accounts visible to select.
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#4
peterm

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Ok with the drive as a slave you need to take ownership of the folder
Take ownership

Cheers
Peterm
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#5
unfoix

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Allright, the taking ownership approach looks like its on the right track.

BUT there is no Advanced/Security tab in the folder properties!

Huh?
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#6
unfoix

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Alright - nevermind.
*wipes drool off chin*

Its working now.
Cheers lads.

Edited by unfoix, 05 November 2006 - 05:02 AM.

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#7
Kurenai

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Slave it to a machine with a *nix based OS, or just boot from a linux live CD on the machine you already have it slaved on, and copy the data the hard way. Windows permissions mean nothing in ext3.
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