XP Pro admin password

By dexterdoo
Apr 19, 2004
  1. When I installed XP Pro, since the administrator password was optional, I don't think I entered one. If I didn't enter one, will that come back to haunt me at a later date? Can I set myself up as administrator now?

    Is there an easy way to verify whether or not I entered a password? I read that since I setup the file system as FAT32, it's easier to get the password but after a lot of reading, (Search is my friend :) I still haven't found out how to do that yet. Any help is much appreciated!

    P.S. if I sound clueless, it's cuz I'm new to XP! :)
  2. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    If I'm not mistaken, the user account that is created during XP install is an administrator, so you could just change password to the user called administrator.

    Hint: During the last stage of XP installation, when XP asks about the username(s), if you hit reset, it won't ask again, and you'll get only the administrator account.
  3. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    The actual Administrator account might not have a password at all. At the login prompt you can just hit Ctrl+Alt+Del twice to get a username/pw window - where you can try typing in Administrator for the username and no password. Then you can set a password for your self by hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del and selecting Change Password. Hope that works out for you - give us a yell back if it doesn't.
  4. dexterdoo

    dexterdoo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    That's what I was lookin' for ! I'll give this a try and report back later. Thanks Much, Guys!
  5. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Re: XP Pro admin. password

    Only if this computer is attached to a network, or sits in an unsecured location.
  6. Slash_TheTexan

    Slash_TheTexan TS Rookie

    I got hit with a virus (while AVG was running!). It disabled TM and MSCONFIG and REGEDIT. I believe it changed the administrator PW, too (as I didn't have one . . .). It did not change the admin account I use, and it's not PW-protected either (this is a home PC).
    I remember seeing something, somewhere about being able to change the admin PW, from another admin account, but I can't find the info now.
    Any ideas?

    Ooops . .well, I found it on another thread. Thanks, anyway!

    BUT . . .that was easy! Couldn't a virus do the same command I did to change the PW to whatever it wants, thereby locking me out of the admin account? How do I prevent un-authorized access to the admin account?
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,156   +598

    YES! Login, go to Control ->User Accounts -> change account.
    Make sure it's an Admin account and then change the password.

    Surprise, there's another hidden account too;

    Shutdown and reboot; as the hardware starts the POST info in VGA, start tapping F8.
    This will present Save Mode boot. Click on the Administrator id and hit enter (ie no password).
    Get the machine All the way up and repeat the first paragraph above; ie change the
    Administrator password too :)

    While you're here, create a Limit Account ID, set that password and reboot.

    Login to the new Limited Account to allow it to create the profile for that user.

    Major security tip:
    Use this account for everyday stuff and only use the Admin account for maintenance :)
  8. Slash_TheTexan

    Slash_TheTexan TS Rookie

    Are you saying change the admin PW from Safe Mode? That there's another admin account in there?

    I used my own account (which is admin level) and changed the admin account PW. I also have a User level account for my wife and kids when they (rarely, if I can help it) use my PC (they have their own).

    I was kinda surprised by this attack. I've had virus hits before (rarely, though!), and this one seemed the same as the others: AVG popped up a window saying I'd been attacked and asked what to do. I selected "heal" and went on about my business.
    Then the desktop wallpaper went red and a message appeared saying malware was detected and I should get some anti-spyware.
    I ran Spybot and it found and deleted the stuff. I rebooted, but something was still there, the wallpaper was still red with the malware detected message, and I still couldn't access TM or the registry.
    I eventually had to go back to the registry save from the day before.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,156   +598

    yep! When the system was first loaded and you logged in, that account became an admin account. However, there is an actual (hidden) account named Administrator. If that account is not PW protected too, then anyone who knows how can use reboot into Safe Mode and get into your system!
    All well and good. You should NEVER access the Internet using an admin account,
    and if you need to (eg Microsoft Update), make it brief and disconnect/logoff asap.
    Day-to-day, run as a Limited User and you will avoid 90% of the grief :)
  10. towman

    towman TS Rookie

    remove this post asap

    remove this post
  11. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Enthusiast Posts: 229

    Laugh if you want to but that was one of the little known beauties of Vista's User Account Control that people are making so much fun of. Especially since a few lines of malicious code can change the administrator password before you can "bill gates", regardless of who's logged in. That's one of the reasons that the seperate web browsing account just isn't THAT effective anymore....not bashing anyone for using multiple accounts.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,156   +598

    Agreed :) That part the (finally) got right.
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