Question

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Blank Adminstrator password

By bbusk ·
Any time I got a new computer or installed or reformatted a hard drive that required installing the OS (Windows 95, 98 SE, ME, 2000, XP Home, XP Pro) I always left the administrators password blank and the OS aceepted that and when I turned on my computer or rebooted I never had to enter a password because there wasn't one. I recently got a message on my Dell OPtiplex 745, shipped to me by my employer (I work at home) that my password would expire in 2 days. I went to the control panel and checked the "password never expires box. The next time I rebooted the machine, I was asked for a password. I didn't evere enter one so I just pressed enter and the computer told me "wrong password". Did Microsoft make a change that won't allow blanks? I finally discovered a "hole" in the system that allow me access to User Accounts in the Control Panel where I could enter a password. It also required me to have 3 of 4 types of characters in the password. The four were upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters. I have procedure to change forgotton Administrator passwords that requires an XP pro installation disk. It worked and only a few things were changed when I got it up and running. Why can't you have a blank admin password? I think, if you create another account on the computer, blanks are allowed.

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All Answers

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First of all, you shouldn't use Administrator as standard

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Blank Adminstrator passwo ...

It is built-in to the OS so that if YOUR ID gets corrupted in any way, there is a fall-back ID available.

Passwords, by their very nature, are designed to restrict access. If a ne'er-do-well stumbles across your system, he/she will use what little mental gravy they possess to attempt to by-pass your password. The very first thing they will try is the old blank-password trick. Then move on to the rest of their password hackers repertoire.

If you really can't be bothered with the tedium of typing out the password you should create a use ID that doesn't have a password, but then of course - it wouldn't be protected, would it? (Just like a blank password!)

If you are at all interested in a modicum of computer security you don't want to leave the gates wide open, do you?

Would you rather have a cash machine card without any PIN ?

Or a front door to your house without any locking mechanism ?


<Edited for clarity>

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Corrupted passwords

by bbusk In reply to First of all, you shouldn ...

Old Mycroft, You emphasized my point in your first sentence; "if YOUR ID gets corrupted in any way". That's what happened to me. The administrator's password was corrupted. My computers are in a secure space and although it would not be imposible for that security to be breeched, it would be highly unlikely. Plus, my computers are on 24/7. If anyone gained access to them they wouldn't need to do anything but turn the monitors on. I do aggree with everything else you said about the importance of security, especially in the case of laptops that are easily stolen. All that being said , I was able to find a number of procedures on the web that offered ways of recovering or changing the admistrator's password. Most of them didn't work, but one worked perfectly and quickly. If I could do it, so could anyone else. I just think it should be my decision to enable security, not Microsoft's.

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Be assured, the 'procedures on the web' won't work, if...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Corrupted passwords

You were to enable a boot password. Any attempt to use a password bypass CD would then be thwarted as CD access is on the other side of the boot password.

Enjoy your life in your concrete bunker.

I personally live above ground, so I'll stick with passwords.

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You may have already gotten the answers elsewhere...

by shardeth-15902278 In reply to Blank Adminstrator passwo ...

But just in case not... Assuming the settings are not mandated by the companies group policy, go to start > control panel >administrative tools > local security policy and look under account policies > password policy. Look specifically at "Max Password Age", "Min Password Length", and "Passwords must meet complexity requirements."

One good strategy (assuming the system is physically secure is to set the admin password to blank, and then disable the account. In this way it is not at risk from remote attacks, but if you should need it for any reason (such as a password problem with your normal account), you can simply reboot to safe mode, and login as admin (even though it is disabled, it will work in safe mode).

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