It’s the one of the worst things you can do, and it makes
you feel like a complete idiot. You forgot the password for the Administrator
account of your Windows 2000 Pro system. If you’ve just finished the install,
check for an innocent mistake before you jump out the window or reinstall—enter
the password in uppercase in case the Caps Lock key was on when you created the
Didn’t do it? Hopefully you have another account that is a
member of the Administrator’s group. If so, just log on with that account and
change the Administrator password. If that doesn’t do the trick and you can
afford to lose any other accounts contained on the system (likely with a
workstation but unlikely on most servers), delete the SAM hive. On a FAT
system, boot the computer with an old DOS or Windows 9x boot disk and delete
the %systemroot%\System32\Config\SAM file (or rename it). On an NTFS
system, you can use the Recovery Console to access and delete the file, but
only if you have configured the Recovery Console for automatic administrative
logon through the local security policy or through the inherited domain
Another option is to back up the system, reinstall Windows
2000, and then restore the system. As when deleting the SAM, you’ll lose your
accounts, but at least you’ll have the system back with all your other settings
intact. And if you absolutely don’t want to lose your accounts, check out http://www.winternals.com/ for utilities
that will enable you to reset the administrator password.
Miss a column?
Check out the Windows 2000 Professional archive, and catch up on all the W2K Pro columns.
Want more Win2K tips and tricks? Automatically sign up for our free Windows 2000 Professional newsletter, delivered each Tuesday!
Subscribe to the Microsoft Weekly Newsletter
Be your company's Microsoft insider by reading these Windows and Office tips, tricks, and cheat sheets. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays