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Windows 7: Stuck w/o Admin password or ability to connect to domain

16 May 2012   #1
getyourgeekon

Several different versions
 
 
Stuck w/o Admin password or ability to connect to domain

I have a laptop that has been attached to a domain that is no longer available.

It will not let me logon any other way but a non admin / non domain user account.

Admin password is lost.

Can I use something like Nordahl to access that admin account? Domain or not?

Thanks for any input!

Get Your Geek On!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2012   #2
richnrockville

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

It is called Format C:

Your best bet is a complete re-install of the OS. Otherwise your in for a lot of aggrivation.

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #3
event3horizon

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit SP1
 
 

you may strike lucky and try safe mode. Press f8 right after the BIOS screen, sometimes no password is set and will let you in, other than that, there are tools out there that will reset password but i'm not sure how good they are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2012   #4
kennyidaho

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

There are plenty of tools out there to reset passwords for local accounts. If the local admin account is disabled you might even be able to enable it. I know spotmau can; Microsoft's DART might be able to as well. Some quick googles should find you a few free ones too.

Spotmau.com - Computer Service
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #5
getyourgeekon

Several different versions
 
 

@Richnrockville: Hmm, Fdisk, format, re-install, doo dah, doo dahhh .....eh? Well..that is what I'm trying to avoid. Ya see, the LT belongs to a client and her IT dept has the snap of a wet French Fry (sorry, "IT dept" ...no hatin', ok?) ... but I was looking for something a little more creative than that.

The laptop was just purchased and "set up" by her IT peeps and then turned over to me to install other software and configure her Exchange, VPN etc.

After my usual mini speech on the pitfalls of running around nekkid with a sadly unsecure Admin account, I was allowed to create a secondary and limited User account.

And that's when the fun started.

I didn't realize that she was not already connecting to her home office / domain.

When I logged out of Admin to create the User account...that was all she wrote: Dear John...I've sent your saddle home!

Ahem....no more Admin because: no more login.

The Admin account cannot authenticate against the server / DC.

The User account cannot "enable" the "real" Administrator account in safe mode.

Sooooo...back to my original question: Maybe use Nordahl utility to reset password?

Will a password reset tool like Nordahl also release the Admin account from the Domain binding?

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #6
getyourgeekon

Several different versions
 
 

@event3horizon ... The problem is that the "real" Administrator account has to be enabled before you can reboot into Safe Mode. A standard user cannot do this. The only visible Admin account is bound to the domain and will not allow access ...even with the correct password ... becauzzzz the machine cannot connect to the domain anymore.

I want to get around this without a full destructive reformat....if possible.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #7
kennyidaho

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Okay obviously you skipped right past my post, I'll try to make it a little more clear. Anytime you install windows there is a local account created called Administrator. This account is local to the machine and has ZERO to do with the domain. However most "IT Peeps" will have Group Policy disable this account for security reasons. It has no "bindings" etc. If this is confusing to you then you probably should research the difference between a local account and a domain account.

So what you need to do is use a tool that can enable the local administrators accounts and reset it's password. Yes like NORDAHL.

Also make sure you trying to log into the machine correctly. If the computer is attached to a domain it might be trying to log in via the domain. If you want to log in via the local account you need to type the user name as so:

Code:
COMPUTERNAME\USERNAME
To switch back to logging into via the domain you do the same thing except:
Code:
DOMAINNAME\USERNAME
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #8
getyourgeekon

Several different versions
 
 

@kennyidaho : I knnnnew I should've mentioned your name as well, Kenny ... Nope..I didn't skip right past your post..I read every word. But..

I was on ltd. time and hoped that the things I mentioned in my follow up would "include" all parties.

Also, your first post really only mentioned basic things like pw resetters and acct enabling ...and not Nordahl which I requested and am more familiar with. I am not familiar with the ones you mentioned but when I have time I'll ck 'em out; thanks!

Your follow up post was more informative but...stuff I'm already hip too. Thanks though!

The weird deal is, I tried the usual, "computerName\username" , and ...no dice.

Seriously though, thanks for even bothering to respond! Just discussing the matter with like minds helps a lot.

Along the way (with this discussion) I think the bottom line is what I had hoped for in the first place: reset the password and or release the domain.

Some of this is so much (fun) peer to peer academia while I anxiously await getting my mitts on the laptop again!

But NOW what I'm reeeaallly interested in is how you made those nice little boxes to show off your example of computerName vs domainName! Pray tell?

Is HTML allowed here? Did you just do it on the fly?

Ok...thanks again ...I'll repost an update / outcome later ....just in case anyone is interested.


Remember: To err is human ....to moo? Bovine.
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