Saved Again

I said last night that I would talk about the other way that Linux helped us out on Monday.

Here it is…

This is probably a pretty common situation on business computers. We had just finished setting up our new Active Directory domain and we needed to make some configuration changes on all of our Windows 2000 and Windows XP workstations.

Normally, this is no big deal, just log on as the local Administrator and make the changes. Unfortunately, I didn’t set up all of the computers in the district (or maybe I should say thankfully). So for a lot of the computers, I didn’t know the Administrator password.

Here again it came down to possibly reloading Windows unless we could find a tool that would let us go in and reset the Administrator password. And again, a Linux tool saved the day.

A guy named Petter Nordahl-Hagen (I’m guessing he’s not from around here) came up with a handy boot disk called the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor. You can download an image for either a boot floppy or CD.

It’s a nice little script that walks you through the process of booting up Linux, mounting the hard drive, and then clearing the Administrator password. We’ve used it on about 40-50 computers so far and it’s worked on every one of them.

This is a very hand disk to carry around in the laptop case.