How to enter the Recovery Console when the Admin password is not accepted?

By padterp ·
Hi, I am trying to restore a friend's computer. I thought at first it was just a problem with the mouse and keyboard (see other post). However, I have since determined that I can not get XP to load in any fashion. I can access the hard drive if I connect it to another machine as the slave drive. I can also load the Recovery Console. But, I am at an impasse. I have blanked the administrator password several times, but I think I have a situation that is described in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 308402. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get passed this password. I have used several password changing utilities and all say that the password has been blanked, but the Recovery Console does not think so!

I can get to partitions. I have never played around with partitions. I have always been able to do a repair install. I do not have that option given to me. I have seen someplace where one can install XP in a new partition to repair the system that way. But, would this not destroy the data that is currently saved on that disk?

This a Dell Dimension 8200 running XP Home Edition SP3.


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Reset the local admin password on that drive

by markp24 In reply to How to enter the Recovery ...

not sure what you used to reset the local admin password, but you can boot with TRK (trinity rescue kit) or offline password reset utility and reset the local admin password,

or since its in you machine already and you just want the data off of it, boot your system with UBCD4win or TRK or any live linux CD (knoppix is a good one) then transfer the files off that drive to another one or cd, or even image the whole disk with Driveimagexml (on ubcd4win) or one of the tools in trk.

anyway i recommend you make an image of that disk before attempting anything on it.

Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by padterp In reply to Reset the local admin pas ...

Hi, I have used Stellar Phoenix's Password Recovery and Login Recovery. Both have said the password had been cleared, but when I started the Recovery Console, I still was not able to log in. I do have a copy of Knoppix, but I am not really sure how to use it effectively. I do have some freeware to make an image disk. I have only used that to make a startup disk but not a full disk image. I do have the Dell recovery disks.

I am about resolved to just reinstall XP on the second partition. (This machine only has two partitions.) I know it would wipe the machine, but as much time as I have spent on this machine, I am getting tired and frustrated with it. I have tried to do a recovery install, but that option did not come up. Or, maybe I did not dig deep enough as I just got to the partitions screen. Some of my screens did not match what I have seen on some other websites.

Thanks for your help.

Collapse -

If you can try this

by markp24 In reply to How to enter the Recovery ...


if you cant image it then at leaast try booting from knoppix (it has a GUI like windows) or ubcd4win, and use it to browse the windows hard drive and then copy the data (ie \documents and settings\username folder, and any othe r locations where there is user data) to a DVD or external hard drive. (if you can grab the drivers too)

then go along with formatting and reloading the system

Collapse -

Admin password

by shahdan In reply to How to enter the Recovery ...


If you ever had problem with administrator password, i would like to suggest you to use Hiren BootCD and reset from there.. Check here, hirensbootcd.org/images/screenshots/win-13_passwords_keys-2.png select NTPWEdit. Make sure you change the drive letter. Check the administrator, unlock account and (the most important part) change the password. YOU MUST PUT PASSWORD for Administrator. DON'T JUST BLANK it as it won't work.
I hope this info will help.

Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by padterp In reply to Admin password

Thanks for your suggestion. I wish I had received it a couple of days ago. I went ahead and formatted the hard drive and reloaded XP. I will keep your suggestion in mind if this happens again. I am now in the process of loading some updated drivers and there seems to be a minor problem with nvmctray.dll file at the moment. So, I am running sfc /scannow to correct the problem.

Collapse -

That's an nVidia driver tray app, so SFC may not fix it.

by seanferd In reply to How to enter the Recovery ...

Get a fresh copy of the driver package and reinstall.

If the dll is present, you might try
regsvr32 nvmctray.dll
to make sure it is registered if necessary.

Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by padterp In reply to That's an nVidia driver t ...

After running sfc /scannow I did find that it did not fix it. So, yes, I had to reload the driver package again even though I had just downloaded it. Apparently there was a problem with the source file from on that particular server. Everything is fine now, and I can now return the PC back to the owner. What a month!

Related Discussions

Related Forums