Can I get into Windows XP after changing the administrator password to something I don’t know?

by on August 24, 2009

Q: I’m trying to fix a friends computer and I was attempting to turn on the automatic log on function in Windows XP. At run I entered “control userpasswords2”, cleared the “users must enter a username and password to use this” however I left the password blank for Account Administrator. I clicked apply, OK etc.

When I tried to restart the Welcome Screen comes up and a box to enter a password. I get a message that says “unable to log on because of an account restriction”. When I hard reboot, I cannot access the setup menu, I cannot boot into safe mode or anything else. It just goes to the log in screen.

I’ve managed to lock myself out completely. Is there any backdoor methods to get round this? Can I take the hard drive out and set it up as a slave drive in my computer and change anything to get access? I have tried starting it with my Windows ¬†XP c.d in but it just boots up normally. Any help would be Greatly appreciated.

3 Responses to “Can I get into Windows XP after changing the administrator password to something I don’t know?”

    Here is Microsoft’s KB entry on this issue as it sounds like what you’ve run into: it might help you avoid this problem in the future.

    You really should be able to get in via safe mode. It’s F8 right after power on self test, in the unlikely event you were hitting the wrong key.

    You can try booting from this Emergency Boot CD, it has some windows password reset stuff that might be helpful


    Also, try using TweakUI from microsoft for an easy way to do windows autologin:

    Picked as best answer

    HI again mark. Thanks for your answers. I have managed to get into safe mode and fix the problem. The reason I couldn’t access safe mode earlier i’m guessing is because I was using a usb keyboard. once i plugged in my old keyboard pressing f8 worked no probs. this also allowed me to run my boot c.d and repair my windows. previously when it said “press any key to boot from c.d” I couldn’t get any keystrokes to register. This is why im guessing it was a problem with the usb keyboard. Anyway thanks again for your time and help.