how secure are XP passwords?

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

If a person steals my computer, but doesn't know my password to get into XP
pro, is there any way he can access the documents on my hard-drive?

thanks
14 answers Last reply
More about secure passwords
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Canaray wrote:
    > If a person steals my computer, but doesn't know my password to get
    > into XP pro, is there any way he can access the documents on my
    > hard-drive?

    Physical access to a PC and time - be it a Windows, *nix, whatever OS -
    means a person *can* access anything on it - given the proper skills/tools.

    --
    <- Shenan ->
    --
    The information is provided "as is", it is suggested you research for
    yourself before you take any advice - you are the one ultimately
    responsible for your actions/problems/solutions. Know what you are
    getting into before you jump in with both feet.
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    If someone is determined, it's only a matter of time. That's true of any
    computer running any operating system.

    Ted Zieglar

    "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    news:exsxd.3543$Y72.1501@edtnps91...
    >
    > If a person steals my computer, but doesn't know my password to get into
    > XP pro, is there any way he can access the documents on my hard-drive?
    >
    > thanks
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    If your XP computer is stolen and they person who gets it
    uses the Windows XP installed on the computer to try and log
    on, and you have a secure password, it is very difficult.
    That is if your logon password and the hidden default admin
    account are both are password protected with something
    like.... w%klk4659-3Tp21 instead of yellowbird.
    But if they install a second cheap hard drive with Windows
    XP and boot from that drive and use the procedure to take
    ownership of the files and folders, then the issue is did
    you encrypt and password protect the files and folders
    themselves.

    If the FBI/CIA has your computer or a thief had their tools,
    the data can be read using an electron microscope, bit by
    bit.


    --
    Merry Christmas
    Have a Safe and Happy New Year
    Live Long and Prosper
    Jim Macklin
    "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    news:exsxd.3543$Y72.1501@edtnps91...
    |
    | If a person steals my computer, but doesn't know my
    password to get into XP
    | pro, is there any way he can access the documents on my
    hard-drive?
    |
    | thanks
    |
    |
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    No.
    See #3 on this link:
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/archive/community/columns/security/essays/10imlaws.mspx
    If you lose physical control of the computer, the data now belongs to
    whoever controls the computer.

    An exception may be encryption.
    But if improperly used, you may permanently lose access to the data:
    http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/encrypt.htm

    --
    Jupiter Jones [MVP]
    http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/


    "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    news:exsxd.3543$Y72.1501@edtnps91...
    >
    > If a person steals my computer, but doesn't know my password to get into
    > XP pro, is there any way he can access the documents on my hard-drive?
    >
    > thanks
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    He can easily reset the password with a simple password hacking program that
    is readily available for free download.

    --

    Harry Ohrn MS-MVP [Shell/User]
    www.webtree.ca/windowsxp


    "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    news:exsxd.3543$Y72.1501@edtnps91...
    >
    > If a person steals my computer, but doesn't know my password to get into
    > XP pro, is there any way he can access the documents on my hard-drive?
    >
    > thanks
    >
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    If a person comes into possession of your PC, they can easily own whatever
    is contained within.


    Ron Chamberlin
    MS-MVP

    "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    news:exsxd.3543$Y72.1501@edtnps91...
    >
    > If a person steals my computer, but doesn't know my password to get into
    > XP pro, is there any way he can access the documents on my hard-drive?
    >
    > thanks
    >
    >
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Thank you all for your perspectives.

    I was thinking more around the scenario of a "common thief" who wants to
    turn around and make a buck off what he steals. More along the lines about
    how easy it would be for the "average" person to hack into. I guess most
    people who would buy a hot computer may not be "average" anyways.

    My current password is a combo of 3 letters and 3 numbers - just to make my
    logging in less of a headache. but, like some of you have said, if a
    "window password hack" is easily downloadable, it ma not make any difference
    to invent a really cryptic password anyway.

    would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities that applies an
    extra password layer to your log-in?


    thanks!
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    It all depends on what you're trying to secure. If you care
    about those emails from Grandma that talk about your potty
    training and your cute Underoos. If you have your family
    life and banking/tax history you need more. If you are
    planning a bank robbery or a terrorist attack, you should
    check with the FBI for free web storage.


    --
    Merry Christmas
    Have a Safe and Happy New Year
    Live Long and Prosper
    Jim Macklin
    "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    news:LrJxd.8775$nN6.8431@edtnps84...
    |
    | Thank you all for your perspectives.
    |
    | I was thinking more around the scenario of a "common
    thief" who wants to
    | turn around and make a buck off what he steals. More
    along the lines about
    | how easy it would be for the "average" person to hack
    into. I guess most
    | people who would buy a hot computer may not be "average"
    anyways.
    |
    | My current password is a combo of 3 letters and 3
    numbers - just to make my
    | logging in less of a headache. but, like some of you have
    said, if a
    | "window password hack" is easily downloadable, it ma not
    make any difference
    | to invent a really cryptic password anyway.
    |
    | would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities
    that applies an
    | extra password layer to your log-in?
    |
    |
    | thanks!
    |
    |
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    It is likely that the reseller (the person who buys the system from the
    thief) will wipe the drive and probably reinstall an OS of some sort to make
    the hot system more attractive for resale. However if the thief hopes to
    check your system out for files, information such as credit card numbers or
    other data he/she can take advantage of then they will either hack it
    themselves or find someone who can hack the system for them.

    --

    Harry Ohrn MS-MVP [Shell/User]
    www.webtree.ca/windowsxp


    "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    news:LrJxd.8775$nN6.8431@edtnps84...
    >
    > Thank you all for your perspectives.
    >
    > I was thinking more around the scenario of a "common thief" who wants to
    > turn around and make a buck off what he steals. More along the lines
    > about how easy it would be for the "average" person to hack into. I guess
    > most people who would buy a hot computer may not be "average" anyways.
    >
    > My current password is a combo of 3 letters and 3 numbers - just to make
    > my logging in less of a headache. but, like some of you have said, if a
    > "window password hack" is easily downloadable, it ma not make any
    > difference to invent a really cryptic password anyway.
    >
    > would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities that applies an
    > extra password layer to your log-in?
    >
    >
    > thanks!
    >
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Canaray,
    > would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities that applies an
    > extra password layer to your log-in?>

    If it makes you feel a bit safer, you can go into the BIOS and set a boot
    password up. Problem is that you'll have to use it every time you boot the
    machine.


    > thanks! >
    You're welcome.

    Ron Chamberlin
    MS-MVP
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Harry,
    Most thieves only want what they can steal for a fast turnaround. They only
    look forward to a fast buck for a quick fix in the arm, up the nose et al.
    I doubt this category will be surfing the files.

    The occasional more sophisticated (tho I use that term with abandon here)
    perp would try to 'get rid of the evidence' with a rebuild of the unit.

    A white collar crook determined to get your personal stuff probably will,
    especially if he has physical control of the box.

    Ron Chamberlin
    MS-MVP

    "Harry Ohrn" <harry---@webtree.ca> wrote in message
    news:uMwR0tv5EHA.3616@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
    > It is likely that the reseller (the person who buys the system from the
    > thief) will wipe the drive and probably reinstall an OS of some sort to
    > make the hot system more attractive for resale. However if the thief hopes
    > to check your system out for files, information such as credit card
    > numbers or other data he/she can take advantage of then they will either
    > hack it themselves or find someone who can hack the system for them.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Harry Ohrn MS-MVP [Shell/User]
    > www.webtree.ca/windowsxp
    >
    >
    > "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    > news:LrJxd.8775$nN6.8431@edtnps84...
    >>
    >> Thank you all for your perspectives.
    >>
    >> I was thinking more around the scenario of a "common thief" who wants to
    >> turn around and make a buck off what he steals. More along the lines
    >> about how easy it would be for the "average" person to hack into. I
    >> guess most people who would buy a hot computer may not be "average"
    >> anyways.
    >>
    >> My current password is a combo of 3 letters and 3 numbers - just to make
    >> my logging in less of a headache. but, like some of you have said, if a
    >> "window password hack" is easily downloadable, it ma not make any
    >> difference to invent a really cryptic password anyway.
    >>
    >> would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities that applies
    >> an extra password layer to your log-in?
    >>
    >>
    >> thanks!
    >>
    >
    >
    >
  12. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    "Ron Chamberlin" <ronchamberlin@msn.msn.com> wrote in message
    news:O75Ys%23K6EHA.3840@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl
    > Canaray,
    >> would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities that
    >> applies an extra password layer to your log-in?>
    >
    > If it makes you feel a bit safer, you can go into the BIOS and set a
    > boot password up. Problem is that you'll have to use it every time
    > you boot the machine.
    >
    >
    >> thanks! >
    > You're welcome.
    >
    > Ron Chamberlin
    > MS-MVP

    And that is also relatively easy to get around.

    --
    Frank Saunders, MS-MVP, IE/OE
    Please respond in Newsgroup only. Do not send email
    http://www.fjsmjs.com
    Protect your PC
    http://www.microsoft.com./athome/security/protect/default.aspx
  13. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Ron,
    I agree. I think what you've said expands on what I was alluding to.

    --

    Harry Ohrn MS-MVP [Shell/User]
    www.webtree.ca/windowsxp


    "Ron Chamberlin" <ronchamberlin@msn.msn.com> wrote in message
    news:uuqBxBL6EHA.3336@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
    > Harry,
    > Most thieves only want what they can steal for a fast turnaround. They
    > only look forward to a fast buck for a quick fix in the arm, up the nose
    > et al. I doubt this category will be surfing the files.
    >
    > The occasional more sophisticated (tho I use that term with abandon here)
    > perp would try to 'get rid of the evidence' with a rebuild of the unit.
    >
    > A white collar crook determined to get your personal stuff probably will,
    > especially if he has physical control of the box.
    >
    > Ron Chamberlin
    > MS-MVP
    >
    > "Harry Ohrn" <harry---@webtree.ca> wrote in message
    > news:uMwR0tv5EHA.3616@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
    >> It is likely that the reseller (the person who buys the system from the
    >> thief) will wipe the drive and probably reinstall an OS of some sort to
    >> make the hot system more attractive for resale. However if the thief
    >> hopes to check your system out for files, information such as credit card
    >> numbers or other data he/she can take advantage of then they will either
    >> hack it themselves or find someone who can hack the system for them.
    >>
    >> --
    >>
    >> Harry Ohrn MS-MVP [Shell/User]
    >> www.webtree.ca/windowsxp
    >>
    >>
    >> "Canaray" <dristo@misy.com> wrote in message
    >> news:LrJxd.8775$nN6.8431@edtnps84...
    >>>
    >>> Thank you all for your perspectives.
    >>>
    >>> I was thinking more around the scenario of a "common thief" who wants to
    >>> turn around and make a buck off what he steals. More along the lines
    >>> about how easy it would be for the "average" person to hack into. I
    >>> guess most people who would buy a hot computer may not be "average"
    >>> anyways.
    >>>
    >>> My current password is a combo of 3 letters and 3 numbers - just to make
    >>> my logging in less of a headache. but, like some of you have said, if a
    >>> "window password hack" is easily downloadable, it ma not make any
    >>> difference to invent a really cryptic password anyway.
    >>>
    >>> would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities that applies
    >>> an extra password layer to your log-in?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> thanks!
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    >
  14. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Frank,

    <And that is also relatively easy to get around.>

    'Twas why I prefaced the remark with "if it makes you feel a little bit
    safer..." :)

    Ron


    "Frank Saunders, MS-MVP" <franksaunders@mvps.org> wrote in message
    news:Oak7M1Q6EHA.2600@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > "Ron Chamberlin" <ronchamberlin@msn.msn.com> wrote in message
    > news:O75Ys%23K6EHA.3840@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl
    >> Canaray,
    >>> would it make any difference to buy one of those utilities that
    >>> applies an extra password layer to your log-in?>
    >>
    >> If it makes you feel a bit safer, you can go into the BIOS and set a
    >> boot password up. Problem is that you'll have to use it every time
    >> you boot the machine.
    >>
    >>
    >>> thanks! >
    >> You're welcome.
    >>
    >> Ron Chamberlin
    >> MS-MVP
    >
    > And that is also relatively easy to get around.
    >
    > --
    > Frank Saunders, MS-MVP, IE/OE
    > Please respond in Newsgroup only. Do not send email
    > http://www.fjsmjs.com
    > Protect your PC
    > http://www.microsoft.com./athome/security/protect/default.aspx
    >
    >
    >
Ask a new question

Read More

Windows XP Microsoft Hard Drives