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I tried to re-set the passwords of Win XP3 install both admin and a user that is admin (both forgotten with chntpw. Even though chntpw reports to have re-set the password to empty and re-enabled the account, the user still cant log in.

Since all solutions I have found quite a few solutions, all are quite dated (as date of publication), so I am asking for tools(live CDs, ubuntu tools) that will 100% with XP SP3.

Other solution might be proposal what I might doing wrong with chntpw.

PS I know similar questions were asked, so please consider the differences before merging it:)

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possible duplicate of How can reset Windows administrator password? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 29 '12 at 15:35
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have not used this in a while, only drawback is you have to do a repair install of XP.

  1. Place your Windows XP CD in your CD-ROM and start your computer (You need 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

Password reset CD's (I prefer Offline NT)

You can also look for "ERD Commander 5.0" This is a Microsoft product that is a boot CD with many valuable tools including a password reset function, not released to the public though, but can be found.

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:) I found this, I hope this still works with SP3 :) – deckoff Mar 29 '12 at 16:42
as far as I know they never patched the Shift+F10 security hole in repair setup. – Moab Mar 29 '12 at 20:21
Offline NT reset disc would be easier method. – Moab Mar 29 '12 at 20:22
I used OFFLINE NT utility ( your answer contains at least 3 methods ;) A few things I couldn't/didn't do in my previous attempts: 1. Clean shut down (from login menu) XP twice 2. Reset all locked users, not only the one I needed. 3. Double-checked changes are saved. Since chntpw and Offline NT are based on the same code (I assume), probably these were the reasons the tool worked this time – deckoff Apr 15 '12 at 8:35

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