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We have fallen heir to a laptop

by Savanagh / December 13, 2008 7:02 PM PST

Hi there

I have fallen heir to a laptop which was hooked up to my husbands business network and I only want to add some software (bt broadband) but it won't allow me as I am not an adminstrator (the OS is Windows 2000 professional) I only have user access. The administrator who worked on the pc unfortunately died and took with him any information regarding this. Is there any way around this? and if not would I have to have the hard drive re-formatted? and how would I do this.

Would appreciate any help whatsoever. Thank you very much.

PC is a SAMSUNG (around 2 years old and would have been very up to date at that time) I don't actually have it in front of me, it is at my daughters.

Kind regards

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Re: administrator
by Kees Bakker / December 13, 2008 7:28 PM PST

If there's no regular way to logon as a user with administrative capabilities, there are 3 irregular ways to do so:
1. Boot into Safe Mode, and see if the secret administrator account has a password. Most often, it's still the default (no password).
2. Use ntpasswd from to reset it.
3. Clean install of XP. For a laptop, use the System Recovery disks if possible, because it saves you the trouble of locating all drivers or make a backup of them to a CD (using wdrvbck1 from

Of course, as soon as you succeed, forget the other points.


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by Savanagh / December 13, 2008 8:31 PM PST
In reply to: Re: administrator

Thank you very much Kees, will get back to you when I have tried your suggestions out.

Kind regards

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Kees, Windows 2000 does not have ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 14, 2008 1:59 AM PST
In reply to: Re: administrator

the "secret" Administrator account - that started with XP.

The other two options you listed are good but since it was apparently part of a business domain the clean install is the best option.

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(NT) Thanks for the addition. Always learning here.
by Kees Bakker / December 14, 2008 5:28 AM PST
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I agree a fresh install is best. But.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 14, 2008 2:01 AM PST

I use NTPASSWD when people forget the administrator password.

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