Ask the Expert

How can you change a former admin's password?

I am an administrator of a small network in our company. We don't know the password of the previous administrator that was here before me. Is it possible to change the password for a new administrator?

There are programs that you can purchase that will attempt to replace the current password on the system with one of your choosing, or with a blank password. These programs are operating system dependent, and most often are directed at the local administrator password, not the domain administrator password in active directory. Two potential sources to check out are:

http://www.lostpassword.com/windows-xp-2000-nt.htm

http://www.iopus.com/password_recovery.htm

I cannot vouch for any specific software, or process or recovery service, these are just a starting point for you. I suggest a web search on the words password recovery, password crack and so forth, to find additional programs. Please do check out the companies -- and their software or services before making a purchase.

This was first published in January 2004

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