Password cracking, network rights and Windows Firewall expert advice

Our experts share advice on cracking Windows passwords, managing folders and permissions in Windows and how to manage Windows Firewall in the top expert advice from 2007.

Every Windows installation is different. Sometimes, no matter how much advice you get or how many tips you read, you'll find that some things just won't work in your unique Windows shop.

For that reason, we have compiled a list of our top 10 "Ask the Expert" questions from 2007. Our own Windows security experts, Kevin Beaver, Brad Dinerman, Wes Noonan and Jonathan Hassell, answer questions every month from our readers about their specific Windows network problems. How can I crack passwords in our Windows shop? How can we granularly manage user rights in our network? What is the best way to manage Windows Firewall? Find the answers to these questions below.

If you have a question about your own Windows network, don't hesitate to ask. Our experts are waiting to hear from you!


Cracking a hard drive password
I need to crack a hard drive password to get some information off of it. My Windows software is expired though, so I cannot boot from it. I bought a USB connector for it but when I click my user name, which is password protected, it won't allow me to enter a password. How can I crack my hard drive password?


Windows XP folder permissions management
I have 50 Windows XP users on my network. We have folders that everyone can access via a shared drive and I need to know how to manage permissions on these folders. We have the problem where users are accidentally moving folders around by simply dragging them. I want the users to have as much access to these folders and the files beneath them as they need but I do not want them to move the folders. Is there a way to prevent this from happening, either by a security setting or a special prompt?


What can cause Windows Firewall to automatically shut down?
My Windows Firewall is getting turned off whenever my system reboots. Sometimes, even when I do not reboot, it seems to turn off at random. What can do this?


Restricting user permissions in folders
I have a domain on which there is a shared folder. In this folder is a subfolder in which I want to deny users permission to delete files. Is there a way to do this but at the same time still allow them to rename folders and subfolders under that object?


How to use GPOs to deny folder permissions
How can I control folder permissions to prevent users from writing files on their combo drives? Can this be done with a Group Policy Object (GPO)? I want them to have read access only.


Tools for storing passwords
What's your recommendation for a password storage tool in a corporate enterprise MS Windows desktop environment? I looked around and only found a few vendor solutions, only one of which seemed to fit a corporate environment. Most solutions had either a lack of enterprise support or were not fully compatible with FIPS security requirements.


Hack into a multiple hard drive system
We need to crack a system with two hard drives. We received a "locked hard drive" error message and cannot access the machine. The operating systems are Windows 98 and Windows XP. How can we crack the hard drive and boot into Windows XP and recover the data on that drive?


Prevent copying files from shared folders to remote computers
At our company, users may open/mount ISO files in Windows Server 2003 R2 standard fileserver, but they are not allowed to delete, modify or copy ISO files to remote computers. How can I prevent them from copying files from shared folders?


Managing multiple firewalls
I am currently running AOL 9.0 SE and it keeps telling me that I have multiple firewalls installed and recommends uninstalling Norton Internet Worm Protection. I did not think I had any Norton Software installed on my system. How can I remove this error?

Locked out of Windows 2000 computer
One of my computers has become locked. We are running Windows 2000. Upon startup, the machine says that the user has been locked out and to contact our network administrator. Each computer is standalone and not on a network. What could be causing our user to be locked out of his Windows 2000 machine?

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