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Need to set dirty flag - No admin pwd and xp unbootable

By Spike
Mar 31, 2006
  1. Ok, firstly I should mention that one solution to this problem would be to plug the HD into my machine and use fsutil to reset the dirty flag. However, I'm a stubborn person, and know that there must be a way of doing this easily without taking my machine to bits. If I do it in what is for this occasion the hard way, I will be able to save a little time in the future should the situation arise again.

    I've been asked to fix an unbootable computer. I had intended to boot into the recovery console, to issue chkdsk/r, fixboot, and fixmbr commands. Unfortunately, I the admin password for the installation isn't available (it's been forgotten :rolleyes: ), and so I can't log into it.

    I used the offline NT password & registry editor utility, but because the drive is flagged dirty (improper shutdown no doubt), It won't change or blank the password.

    So I got out my trusty NTFS4DOS CD and booted into DOS, taking a copy of FSUTIL with me which, as expected, doesn't work under DOS. Hoping that the password was something simple(ish), I grabbed a copy of the SAM and Systemf files from system32/config, and tried cracking the administrator password. It seems that the password is at least 8 characters, and so will take an age to crack.

    This leaves me with the option of resetting the dirty bit on the volume, so that I can reset the admin password to blank, boot into the recovery console, and repair windows, but I see no fsutil equivelant for DOS (probably because NTFS was never meant for DOS. lol). It occurs to me though that there must be some utility or other that'll do it, or failing that, various linux flavours have NTFS support and should be able to do it - or possibly some sort of live/recovery cd for windows.

    Any ideas anybody? All this for the sake of a single BIT of info on the hard drive. A simple 1 or 0. It's outrageous lol
  2. OpTiMuSpRiMe

    OpTiMuSpRiMe TS Rookie Posts: 149

    Auditor Security cd from remote-exploit.org is what you need my friend very handy for cracking admin passwords. just boot to it and you are gold. don't know if you are familiar with this collection cd and if not they have the instruction pdf on the site for download as well. it will crack a 8 letter and asterick password in probably ten to twenty minutes..my admin pass is 15 unprintables and asterick characters and it cracked it with the incremental option on the sam file. took alot longer than it should for your current issue..just an idea mate
  3. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,009

    I have been using admin pak 5 very successfully ,but I'll grab that sucker to add to my bag'o tricks
    sometimes if you do a hard F8 and multi alt cntrl del you can by pass some admin's
  4. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,122

    Yes - very nice piece of kit for the toolbox is that :)

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