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Posted Sep 16, 2011
6:01:45 AM
Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

I have a five plus year old HP desktop PC with XP Media Center Edition (SP2).  Yesterday, the wifey noticed that no web pages were loading.  Once in a great while, I have had to restart the PC to remedy this issue.

 

I had an errand to run, so I told her to restart the PC.  I got a cell phone call from her and she stated that some screen came up, wanting a password.

 

I came home and it was a Windows login screen.  There was a user account (one I must have created) and Administrator.  I have never had to log into windows like this before (maybe since I bought it).  I tried the user one (we'll call it "dhpc") but the icons, background and such were not what I had been using.

 

So, I must have always ran the PC in administrator mode.  I do not ever recall having an admin password but I sure can't get into the admin user.

 

So, how is the best way of cracking, resetting or deleting this admin password?  One free tool from MS requires SP3 which I don't have.

 

Many of the free tools that I have seen here, require a boot CD being made.  Is there any other free way of cracking, resetting or deleting the admin password?

 

Thanks!

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Sep 20, 2011 7:11:39 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by dhascall on Sep 20, 2011 at 7:15:08 AM

Nan2007 wrote:

Assuming you already guessed and it didn't work (pw could be your name, the spacebar and enter, or admin)

 

Is your user account an administrator account? If you just need to recover shortcuts, you can find them in C:/Documents and Settings.For reach user, there should be a favorites folder (you can open it to check what the favorites are) and copy that to whatever user account you are using.  (that is for the internet favorites). There is a desktop folder where you can copy the desktop shortcut icons. 

 

If you don't see these folders, you might need to enable vewing hidden files. (Control Panel, folder options, View, Show hidden files & folders.


I tried a real generic "abcd" type of pw and it worked.  I do not ever recall setting it but I tried that and within minutes I was back to my old desktop, faves and such.   Apparently my main account used is the admin.   Thanks for all of the great suggestions.  

 

I honestly believe that my wife must have invoked a setting by cleaning the keyboard that reared its ugly head on restart.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 16, 2011 6:30:49 AM
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Expert
Did you just try leaving the password blank? See if it will let you log on that way.

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Sep 16, 2011 8:22:58 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by dhascall on Sep 16, 2011 at 8:23:51 AM

SomeJoe7777 wrote:
Did you just try leaving the password blank? See if it will let you log on that way.

Thanks.

 

Yeah I tried that and got the balloon "did you forget your password?" lol.  No Windows, I did not forget it as I never remember establishing one, lol.    

 

I told my wife that she may have to deal with a spartan PC until I can reset / delete/ etc. the admin password.  I do like the clean look of the "dhpc" account but many of the wife's shortcut icons are irreplaceable.  I know that they are still there, once I can log back in as admin.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 16, 2011 9:28:31 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by Computer-Joe on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:31:29 AM

It is not running in safe mode? You've rebooted I presume. You could reboot, with F8 and choose "Last known good configuration"

 

 EDIT: and once it's up and running, update it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 __________________________________________________________
How can you be in two places at once, when your not anywhere at all?
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I really want to become a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
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There are three kinds of people, those that can count, and those that can't.
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“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them.

Bertrand Russell

                               neon_sign.jpg

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 16, 2011 9:49:33 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by dhascall on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:50:12 AM

Computer-Joe wrote:

It is not running in safe mode? You've rebooted I presume. You could reboot, with F8 and choose "Last known good configuration"

 

 EDIT: and once it's up and running, update it. 

 

 

 


Thanks CJ.  No, not in safe mode.  I tried doing a restore point and it stated that it restored but went right back to requiring a login.

 

I did see that I could stop it from requiring a login (start > run > control userpasswords2....) but I still need the admin PW, lol.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 16, 2011 10:17:44 AM
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ACE - Master

The reason I asked about safe mode is because normally the "Adminitrator" login is only exposed in safe mode.

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________________________________________
How can you be in two places at once, when your not anywhere at all?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I really want to become a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are three kinds of people, those that can count, and those that can't.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them.

Bertrand Russell

                               neon_sign.jpg

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 16, 2011 10:32:43 AM
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ACE - Master

Computer-Joe wrote:

The reason I asked about safe mode is because normally the "Adminitrator" login is only exposed in safe mode.

 

 

 



It hink if you have that checkbox marked a certain way, it will ask you to logon to a user account.  In my case, the two to chose from are "dhpc" and "Administrator."  The reason that I'm sure that I have always been on as administrator is, that right under the administrator login box, it said something like "500 unread messages" (LOL) and that is how many I have in Outlook Express (Double LOL). 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 16, 2011 10:38:32 AM
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Mentor

Assuming you already guessed and it didn't work (pw could be your name, the spacebar and enter, or admin)

 

Is your user account an administrator account? If you just need to recover shortcuts, you can find them in C:/Documents and Settings.For reach user, there should be a favorites folder (you can open it to check what the favorites are) and copy that to whatever user account you are using.  (that is for the internet favorites). There is a desktop folder where you can copy the desktop shortcut icons. 

 

If you don't see these folders, you might need to enable vewing hidden files. (Control Panel, folder options, View, Show hidden files & folders.

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Sep 16, 2011 11:02:29 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by dhascall on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:03:22 AM

Nan2007 wrote:

Assuming you already guessed and it didn't work (pw could be your name, the spacebar and enter, or admin)

 

Is your user account an administrator account? If you just need to recover shortcuts, you can find them in C:/Documents and Settings.For reach user, there should be a favorites folder (you can open it to check what the favorites are) and copy that to whatever user account you are using.  (that is for the internet favorites). There is a desktop folder where you can copy the desktop shortcut icons. 

 

If you don't see these folders, you might need to enable vewing hidden files. (Control Panel, folder options, View, Show hidden files & folders.


Thanks.  I will try this weekend to crack or delete the admin PW.  If not then I may do that.  I am so used to the way that my PC looked /acted / worked before, if I can just get back to that, I (and the wife "more importantly") would be happy.  I could do what you suggest, import favorites, find old emails and such but will try that first.

 

User account (dhpc) is not an admin.

 

The biggest concern is how did this happen (ie where the PC now requires a login on restart).  The only oddball thing is, that the wife cleaned the Logitech keyboard.  Wonder if she invoked something?  Who knows.  Thanks again, y'all.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 16, 2011 12:19:14 PM
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Mentor

dhpc not being an admin account is going to be a problem.

 

Well, now would be a good time to back up all those photos etc onto cds or dvds.

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Sep 16, 2011 12:32:40 PM
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ACE - Master

Nan2007 wrote:

dhpc not being an admin account is going to be a problem.

 

Well, now would be a good time to back up all those photos etc onto cds or dvds.



I think that i will be able to reset or delete the admin PW but MS sure doesn't make it easy.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 17, 2011 7:39:39 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by Computer-Joe on Sep 17, 2011 at 7:42:19 AM

dhascall wrote:

 

The biggest concern is how did this happen (ie where the PC now requires a login on restart).  The only oddball thing is, that the wife cleaned the Logitech keyboard.  Wonder if she invoked something?  Who knows.  Thanks again, y'all.



A couple things come to mind. In the screen saver config you can set it to require a password to return to the desktop, and in the power config you can set it to require a password to to come out of standby or sleep/hibernate modes. Neither of these settings should have affected the start-up login, although I'm unsure of the result of enabling those settings when you have a blank password.

 

There's also the possibility that if you never saw the login before. that you weren't using either the dhpc or the administrator accounts. I forget which one (Dell or HP) creates the user "Owner" that normally becomes the default user. Log in with your dhpc account and go to "C:\documents and settings" and see if there are any other user accounts listed besides dhpc.

 

 

 

 

 

 __________________________________________________________
How can you be in two places at once, when your not anywhere at all?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I really want to become a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are three kinds of people, those that can count, and those that can't.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them.

Bertrand Russell

 

                               neon_sign.jpg

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 17, 2011 8:48:25 AM
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Employee
You may be able to "f8" (f'n key 8) during the boot, then select the rollback feature.
I'm not near an XPMC system, but I think rollback is one of the options (along with safe mode, command prompt, command prompt w/ network, etc.)
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Sep 19, 2011 8:28:14 AM
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ACE - Master

If worse comes to worst, you could reinstall Windows, creating a new Admin user.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 19, 2011 8:36:45 AM
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Expert

Try running a Windows Repair with the disc in place?

 

I still have my old The Mother of All Windows (95); I'll see if there's anything in there about a solution.

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Sep 20, 2011 7:11:39 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by dhascall on Sep 20, 2011 at 7:15:08 AM

Nan2007 wrote:

Assuming you already guessed and it didn't work (pw could be your name, the spacebar and enter, or admin)

 

Is your user account an administrator account? If you just need to recover shortcuts, you can find them in C:/Documents and Settings.For reach user, there should be a favorites folder (you can open it to check what the favorites are) and copy that to whatever user account you are using.  (that is for the internet favorites). There is a desktop folder where you can copy the desktop shortcut icons. 

 

If you don't see these folders, you might need to enable vewing hidden files. (Control Panel, folder options, View, Show hidden files & folders.


I tried a real generic "abcd" type of pw and it worked.  I do not ever recall setting it but I tried that and within minutes I was back to my old desktop, faves and such.   Apparently my main account used is the admin.   Thanks for all of the great suggestions.  

 

I honestly believe that my wife must have invoked a setting by cleaning the keyboard that reared its ugly head on restart.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 20, 2011 9:52:20 AM
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Glad to hear you were able to recover it! 

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Sep 21, 2011 10:19:27 AM
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Thanks.  Still has issues on restart

 

It gives an error on start up about not being able to log in and then I am greeted with the screen to select users.  Not bad since I know what the password is but I want it to auto log in.

 

I will copy that error down or snap a photo.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 21, 2011 2:53:03 PM
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Employee

It may have been the House manager when she was cleaning the kepboard or the computer just changed a 0 to a 1 in the Password Admin field on a startup. Glad you kind of got it fixed.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Sep 21, 2011 4:34:20 PM
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ACE - Expert

The only way I have been able to get a computer to auto login is to only have one user.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 21, 2011 5:37:12 PM
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ACE - Master

RCSMG wrote:

The only way I have been able to get a computer to auto login is to only have one user.


I thought it was a single user PLUS the administrator.  Again, I am probably wrong as accounts on Windows PC's are a foreign topic to me.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 21, 2011 5:39:23 PM
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ACE - Expert

No.  I made the single user an administrator.  My desktop pc auto logins because there is only one user for it.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 22, 2011 12:43:14 PM
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You can make a PC with more than one account auto-login, but it requires a registry edit.

See:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315231

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Sep 22, 2011 12:53:46 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by dhascall on Sep 22, 2011 at 1:12:26 PM

SomeJoe7777 wrote:
You can make a PC with more than one account auto-login, but it requires a registry edit.

See:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315231


I will check that out, SJ.  Thanks.

 

But, riddle me this.  Can XP shut down without logging a user off?  i.e. What is the normal shut down (or restart) sequence for XP?  I did a restart after all of this happened and I paid more attention to the screens.  I noticed that it said something like "logging off" or "logging off user" and then "windows is shutting down."  I'm not sure if I ever saw a that "logging off" screen before.  If so, that may be part of the issue.


 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 22, 2011 9:47:47 PM
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ACE - Expert

The "Logging off" prompt has always popped up on my computers whether I had a single user or multiple users.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Help Needed XP machine now requires me to logon

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Sep 23, 2011 11:48:19 AM
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No, XP (and all NT-based OS's, including Vista and 7) all must log off the current user (or users) to shut down. All of these OS's actually boot up with no one logged in, then they log a user in. To shutdown, the user is logged out, and then the OS shuts down.

When a user is set to auto-login (either because that's the only user set up on the machine, or the registry change above has been used), then the boot-up and login process run together and you won't notice that they're actually separate functions. Same with logout and shutdown processes.

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Sep 23, 2011 12:49:23 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by dhascall on Sep 23, 2011 at 12:57:22 PM

SomeJoe7777 wrote:
No, XP (and all NT-based OS's, including Vista and 7) all must log off the current user (or users) to shut down. All of these OS's actually boot up with no one logged in, then they log a user in. To shutdown, the user is logged out, and then the OS shuts down.

When a user is set to auto-login (either because that's the only user set up on the machine, or the registry change above has been used), then the boot-up and login process run together and you won't notice that they're actually separate functions. Same with logout and shutdown processes.

Thanks.  I will try to snap a picture of the error box that pops up and hopefully someone can guide me from there.  Again, I know how to log in (now that I know the pw for the main admin account), but I don't want to have to worry the wife with logging in. 

 

OR maybe I could remove that "dhpc" user account.  How do I do that? See below!

 

EDIT: OMG, I think I know what happened!  I tried to install VPN software.  It required a login to the admin account and since I didn't know that pw at the time, I created the "dhpc" user to try it from there and now the autolog-in won't work as there are two accounts.  Bada-bing!

 

So I can

1. Delete the "dhpc" user (not sure how)

or

2. Follow SJ's link to fix the registry.

 

Which one is easier?

 

Thanks again, Nan007, RC, SJ and everyone else!

 

Dave

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 23, 2011 1:09:03 PM
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Expert

Now just don't do that again!  j/k  :smileyvery-happy:

 

What I found in my old Windows book was to delete the password file and do a regedit hack, but keys are probably different in XP.

 

Glad you found the source and got it fixed.

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Sep 23, 2011 2:01:16 PM
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Expert
You don't need to do the registry settings to fix auto-login if there's only one user account. I think once there is only one user account it might auto-login to that one on it's own, or there may be a way to do it in the control panel.

For now, delete the "dhpc" user and see what happens after that.

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Sep 26, 2011 6:37:41 PM
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Observer

You have a few options

1) boot into safe mode and see if the hidden administrator account has a password set or not (alot of people forget to set it). once you get in you can create yourself a new user.

2) An ERD disk would work if you have one.

3) If you have an install disk you can also do a repair install which will ask you for a new admin password but won’t delete the other programs on the machine.

4) downloadable crack programs like those listed here

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