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Locked Out of XP

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 24, 2009 4:37:55 AM

Hey guys,

P4 2.4Ghz
768MB Ram
40GB HD
XP Home SP3, Activated

Here is my situation. I was trying to fix my buddies computer because he said it was slow. So I did a disk defrag, disk cleanup, got rid of unnecessary startup programs, and removed unused programs. All was fine. Then internet explorer 7 wasn't working. It would not open. Even Internet Connection would not work. So I did a system restore from 2 days earlier, same thing. Would not work. I fiddled around with the DSL/Router but that did not work. Tried the default security settings in IE but no luck. So I popped in the XP CD, and I thought that I could run a repair install, essentially deleting the old windows files and installing new ones. So thats what i did. Turns out now when I boot up and put in the log in password, it says I need to activate Windows. Cannot get into safe mode either because it too says I need to activate windows. What I thought was odd was when it was repairing the files, it said it was installing on drive E:. So I guess it made another copy of Windows onto another partition??? How because I never created a new partition on the C: drive. Thats the only drive on the system. So now I am locked out of my computer. And I dont have the XP Key that was on the sticker on the computer case. The original installation was activated, because it said your windows is activated. All I want is to backup all the files onto my external USB HD. Then I would be happy. I know the files are still there because I did NOT partition or format the C: drive.

So how do I solve this problem???? Can I just pop in the Windows XP cd and delete the E: partition?? Then I would still have the C:. I haven't checked to see if the E: partition even exists, but Im sure it does.

Thanks

More about : locked

May 24, 2009 3:07:33 PM

Quote:
And I dont have the XP Key that was on the sticker on the computer case.
Did someone remove the sticker?

Since you have a Windows XP CD, use BartPE (http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/) to create a bootable CD. Then you'll be able to backup your data, etc.
May 24, 2009 3:45:59 PM

Easy fix.

If you have your machine still running, find the program Keyfinder.

It will be a small zip file. Run it & it will instantly find your product key on your machine.

Then WRITE IT DOWN!

Problem solved.
Related resources
May 24, 2009 3:51:16 PM

The problem is that he can't log in to run KeyFinder.
May 24, 2009 4:21:42 PM

That's right. I have no way of logging into Windows, Safe Mode doesn't work because I need activation.
May 24, 2009 4:42:08 PM

When it displays that activation is required, is there a way that you can activate over the Internet? I'm asking because I never had that issue with XP (I use a version available to resellers and it doesn't require activation).
May 24, 2009 4:47:46 PM

"I was trying to fix my buddies computer"

I was under the impression that HIS system was still operational though
May 24, 2009 5:09:07 PM

GhislainG said:
When it displays that activation is required, is there a way that you can activate over the Internet? I'm asking because I never had that issue with XP (I use a version available to resellers and it doesn't require activation).


The option to activate over the internet is there, but when I click on it and it checks for internet connectivity, it says that its unable to find an internet connection.

I was just thinking about phoning the Microsoft Customer Service number and punching in that Installation ID code. I dont think it would be a problem explaining the situation to the person because I did have a valid activation before.
May 24, 2009 5:19:03 PM

Do exactly that. Tell them there was a hardware failure and that you replaced the hard drive & they (should) give you an activation key to put in.

Don't do it too many time though.

Good Luck!
May 24, 2009 5:44:41 PM

GhislainG said:
Quote:
And I dont have the XP Key that was on the sticker on the computer case.
Did someone remove the sticker?

Since you have a Windows XP CD, use BartPE (http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/) to create a bootable CD. Then you'll be able to backup your data, etc.


Ok I burned the ISO image and now i booted the BartPE cd. Now how can I backup the files that I want. I can't just plug in a external USB HD and drag files to it. It doesn't recognize it. Just want to know how I can backup files to another sourse.
May 24, 2009 5:51:51 PM

Did you connect the USB drive before the system booted BartPE? Unlike a normal XP installation, USB drives are not hot-pluggable. They have to be connected as soon as it starts booting from the BartPE CD.
May 24, 2009 5:54:56 PM

No I plugged it in while its was on. Ill restart with it plugged in.
May 24, 2009 6:01:27 PM

It is working. I am backing up all the important files onto the USB external HD. Then i am going to double check to see if I got all the files by plugging the USB Ext HD into my Windows laptop. After that, I will either call Microsoft Customer Service and try to get them to activate it or just format the disk and reinstall. I will need a valid key though so I dont know if I will do that just yet.
May 24, 2009 7:20:48 PM

Let us know the outcome.
May 24, 2009 7:28:49 PM

I was reading some articles on how to retrieve your XP Key when you can't boot into Windows. Here is what I found:

Magical Jelly Bean Software - Keyfinder 2.0
Q: Can I retrieve the product key from a non-booting Windows installation?
As long as both Windows versions are 2000, XP, 2003, or Vista, you can use the Load Hive function. You will have to slave the drive and point the Keyfinder to the non-booting Windows directory.

So I just change the jumper on the HD to slave, but how do I point the Keyfinder to the non-booting Windows directory? A little confused on how to get this tool running.
May 24, 2009 8:48:24 PM

Quote:
So I just change the jumper on the HD to slave, but how do I point the Keyfinder to the non-booting Windows directory?
What was meant is that you can install the hard disk in a working system as a slave drive. That has nothing to do with IDE or SATA.

Since you are booting from BartPE, you could try it as follows:

- Run KeyFinder as Administrator (you might not have to do that)
- Click Tools and select Load Hive
- Select the WINDOWS folder on your hard disk.

I have no clue if it will work or not in your environment.
May 24, 2009 8:56:45 PM

GhislainG said:
Quote:
So I just change the jumper on the HD to slave, but how do I point the Keyfinder to the non-booting Windows directory?
What was meant is that you can install the hard disk in a working system as a slave drive. That has nothing to do with IDE or SATA.

Since you are booting from BartPE, you could try it as follows:

- Run KeyFinder as Administrator (you might not have to do that)
- Click Tools and select Load Hive
- Select the WINDOWS folder on your hard disk.

I have no clue if it will work or not in your environment.


I tried that and it didn't work. I have backed up all the files I need. I guess formatting the hard drive is the next option.Unless someone has any other suggestions.
May 25, 2009 3:39:44 PM

I googled it as well because I can't log into mine either.

Restore your system to last successful logon to your system by using "Last Known Good Configuration."
Run Windows Setup from the product CD.
Run "Recovery Console"
Restore your system to previously saved configuration

or

http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm

or

Partition recovery software?
May 25, 2009 3:49:51 PM

I'm really confused about all of this now Greg. Which system is not working? Yours or your friends?

I'm guessing you have at least one good machine because you are able to reply.

Magical Jelly Bean Software - Keyfinder 2.0
Load the hive information from Tools: Load Hive : Drive

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.

If you have a way to IM me, I'm on ICQ.
May 25, 2009 6:24:49 PM

Greg :hello:  Forgot Windows XP Administrator / Logon Password???

Can't Log On to Windows XP?

If thats your only problem, then you probably have nothing to worry about. As long as you have your Windows XP CD, you can get back into your system using a simple but effective method made possible by a little known access hole in Windows XP.

This method is easy enough for newbies to follow. It doesnt require using the Recovery Console or any complicated commands. And its free.


Your sole problem is the inability to logon to Windows due to a forgotten password. Heres how to solve this using the Repair function of xp cd with a step-by-step description of the initial Repair process included for newbies.
1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (its assumed here that your XP CD is bootable  as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)

2. Keep your eye on the screen messages for booting to your cd Typically, it will be Press any key to boot from cd

3. Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files.

4. When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now

5. The Licensing Agreement comes next - Press F8 to accept it.

6. The next screen is the Setup screen which gives you the option to do a Repair.

It should read something like If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it

Use the up and down arrow keys to select your XP installation (if you only have one, it should already be selected) and press R to begin the Repair process.

7. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.

8. Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot. (this will happen automatically  you will see a progress bar stating Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds

9. During the reboot, do not make the mistake of pressing any key to boot from the CD again! Setup will resume automatically with the standard billboard screens and you will notice Installing Windows is highlighted.

10. Keep your eye on the lower left hand side of the screen and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10. This is the security hole! A command console will now open up giving you the potential for wide access to your system.

11. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.

12. Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you prefer. If you want to log on without having to enter your new password, you can type control userpasswords2 at the prompt and choose to log on without being asked for password. After youve made your changes close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).

13. Once the Repair is done, you will be able to log on with your new password (or without a password if you chose not to use one or if you chose not to be asked for a password). Your programs and personalized settings should remain intact.
I tested the above on Windows XP Pro with and without SP1 and also used this method in a real situation where someone could not remember their password and it worked like a charm to fix the problem. This security hole allows access to more than just user accounts. You can also access the Registry and Policy Editor, for example. And its gui access with mouse control. Of course, a Product Key will be needed to continue with the Repair after making the changes, but for anyone intent on gaining access to your system, this would be no problem.

And in case you are wondering, NO, you cannot cancel install after making the changes and expect to logon with your new password.

Cancelling will just result in Setup resuming at bootup and your changes will be lost.

Ok, now that your logon problem is fixed, you should make a point to prevent it from ever happening again by creating a Password Reset Disk. This is a floppy disk you can use in the event you ever forget your log on password. It allows you to set a new password.

Here's how to create one if your computer is NOT on a domain:

Go to the Control Panel and open up User Accounts.
Choose your account (under Pick An Account to Change) and under Related Tasks, click "Prevent a forgotten password".
This will initiate a wizard.
Click Next and then insert a blank formatted floppy disk into your A: drive.
Click Next and enter your logon password in the password box.
Click Next to begin the creation of your Password disk.
Once completed, label and save the disk to a safe place
How to Log on to your PC Using Your Password Reset Disk

Start your computer and at the logon screen, click your user name and leave the password box blank or just type in anything. This will bring up a Logon Failure box and you will then see the option to use your Password Reset disk to create a new password. Click it which will initiate the Password Reset wizard. Insert your password reset disk into your floppy drive and follow the wizard which will let you choose a new password to use for your account.

Note: If your computer is part of a domain, the procedure for creating a password disk is different.

Lockeyp
May 26, 2009 1:47:35 AM

This problem is for a FRIENDS computer that I cannot activate, hence I am locked out. I did manage to get the Windows XP CD from him with the CD Key. It is a genuine copy. The seal has not been broken on the package so it good to go.

I will format the hard drive and start from scratch. The computer needed to be formatted anyways. I do appreciate all the help. Learned a lot in the past 2 days. Thanks again to everyone.
Anonymous
November 1, 2009 12:26:57 AM

871198,20,382461 said:
Greg :hello:  Forgot Windows XP Administrator / Logon Password???

Can't Log On to Windows XP?

If thats your only problem, then you probably have nothing to worry about. As long as you have your Windows XP CD, you can get back into your system using a simple but effective method made possible by a little known access hole in Windows XP.

This method is easy enough for newbies to follow. It doesnt require using the Recovery Console or any complicated commands. And its free.


Your sole problem is the inability to logon to Windows due to a forgotten password. Heres how to solve this using the Repair function of xp cd with a step-by-step description of the initial Repair process included for newbies.
1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (its assumed here that your XP CD is bootable  as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)

2. Keep your e
Anonymous
November 1, 2009 12:26:59 AM

Lockeyp said:
Greg :hello:  Forgot Windows XP Administrator / Logon Password???

Can't Log On to Windows XP?

If thats your only problem, then you probably have nothing to worry about. As long as you have your Windows XP CD, you can get back into your system using a simple but effective method made possible by a little known access hole in Windows XP.

This method is easy enough for newbies to follow. It doesnt require using the Recovery Console or any complicated commands. And its free.


Your sole problem is the inability to logon to Windows due to a forgotten password. Heres how to solve this using the Repair function of xp cd with a step-by-step description of the initial Repair process included for newbies.
1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (its assumed here that your XP CD is bootable  as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)

2. Keep your eye on the screen messages for booting to your cd Typically, it will be Press any key to boot from cd

3. Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files.

4. When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now

5. The Licensing Agreement comes next - Press F8 to accept it.

6. The next screen is the Setup screen which gives you the option to do a Repair.

It should read something like If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it

Use the up and down arrow keys to select your XP installation (if you only have one, it should already be selected) and press R to begin the Repair process.

7. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.

8. Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot. (this will happen automatically  you will see a progress bar stating Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds

9. During the reboot, do not make the mistake of pressing any key to boot from the CD again! Setup will resume automatically with the standard billboard screens and you will notice Installing Windows is highlighted.

10. Keep your eye on the lower left hand side of the screen and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10. This is the security hole! A command console will now open up giving you the potential for wide access to your system.

11. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.

12. Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you prefer. If you want to log on without having to enter your new password, you can type control userpasswords2 at the prompt and choose to log on without being asked for password. After youve made your changes close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).

13. Once the Repair is done, you will be able to log on with your new password (or without a password if you chose not to use one or if you chose not to be asked for a password). Your programs and personalized settings should remain intact.
I tested the above on Windows XP Pro with and without SP1 and also used this method in a real situation where someone could not remember their password and it worked like a charm to fix the problem. This security hole allows access to more than just user accounts. You can also access the Registry and Policy Editor, for example. And its gui access with mouse control. Of course, a Product Key will be needed to continue with the Repair after making the changes, but for anyone intent on gaining access to your system, this would be no problem.

And in case you are wondering, NO, you cannot cancel install after making the changes and expect to logon with your new password.

Cancelling will just result in Setup resuming at bootup and your changes will be lost.

Ok, now that your logon problem is fixed, you should make a point to prevent it from ever happening again by creating a Password Reset Disk. This is a floppy disk you can use in the event you ever forget your log on password. It allows you to set a new password.

Here's how to create one if your computer is NOT on a domain:

Go to the Control Panel and open up User Accounts.
Choose your account (under Pick An Account to Change) and under Related Tasks, click "Prevent a forgotten password".
This will initiate a wizard.
Click Next and then insert a blank formatted floppy disk into your A: drive.
Click Next and enter your logon password in the password box.
Click Next to begin the creation of your Password disk.
Once completed, label and save the disk to a safe place
How to Log on to your PC Using Your Password Reset Disk

Start your computer and at the logon screen, click your user name and leave the password box blank or just type in anything. This will bring up a Logon Failure box and you will then see the option to use your Password Reset disk to create a new password. Click it which will initiate the Password Reset wizard. Insert your password reset disk into your floppy drive and follow the wizard which will let you choose a new password to use for your account.

Note: If your computer is part of a domain, the procedure for creating a password disk is different.

Lockeyp

!