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XP Recovery Console - Admin password forgotten

The XP recovery console is useful to restore the default or factory settings of the Dell Optiplex laptop. The XP Recovery console requires an admin password. In case the admin password is lost or forgotten, it can be recovered through the process of repairing the Windows XP operating system. The XP Windows Operating System provides a shortcut to the administrator and user accounts which can be accessed by pressing a combination of keys during the Windows XP repairing procedure. The settings in the accounts can be changed accordingly to recover or reset the lost or forgotten admin password.


A while back I bought a Dell Optiplex 210L on Ebay. It's been great until recently when the system crashed and it will not boot again. I tried to use the XP recovery console but it wants an admin password which I do not have. Is there any way to access the recovery console without the password? I see that there are fixes to this if you have access to the computer, which of course I do not. Any help would be appreciated.


Please follow these instructions below:
  • Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (assuming here that your XP CD is bootable as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)
  • Keep your eye on the screen for messages for booting from your CD: typically, it will be "Press any key to boot from CD"
  • Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files
  • When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now
  • The Licensing Agreement will come next - Press F8 to accept it
  • 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.
  • Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.
  • Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot (this will happen automatically and you will see a progress bar starting). Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.
  • Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you wish. 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 a password. After you have made your changes, close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).

Here it is!!


Thanks to dev jain for this tip on the forum.

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

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