I can’t tell you the number of people that come up to me and ask if I can retrieve their password. For certain devices I can either reset the password or I can figure out a way to reset the password. Several websites give options to reset your password. Several Instant Messaging programs give the option to reset your password. I’m really just trying to see how many times I can type “reset your password”.
So here’s the lowdown on what can be reset, and a mostly “how-to” do it:
Mac OS 6.* – 8.5: If you set up a password you’re a fool. The OS doesn’t support native passwords and is a single user OS. You set one? Reformat and start from scratch. Or just live with it.
Mac OS 8.6 – 9.*: Read above. The OS was meant to be a single user Operating System, but somewhere along the line someone decided it would be a good idea to include basic password login protection. Usually a reboot will yield an “auto login” situation where you can change the preferences of a screen saver password. Otherwise you’ll have to reformat once again.
Mac OS X.*: Here’s the really easy part – Apple has included the utility to reset the password for you. It’s on the Apple Installation Disc. Don’t have the disc? You’ll have to download or buy one then. Have the disc? Boot off of it (press and hold C while turning on the computer), and then when you see a menu at the top of the screen click on Utilities. You’ll now see a “reset password” option. You can get the rest from there.
Windows 95/98: Press ESC instead of trying to login.
Windows ME: Burn your computer and that crappy Operating System and buy a new one.
Windows 2000/NT/XP/2003/Vista: Find a linux boot disc (knoppix should work) that can edit SAM files and reset administrator passwords.
Ubuntu: Press ESC at the grub prompt, Press E for edit, Select the line that begins with Kernel and press E, Go to the very end of the line and add “rw init=/bin/bash” without the quotes, Press enter and then B to reboot. This will give you full root shell access, so then type “passwd
A lot of people work in corporations with Active Directory Microsoft Windows computers. Here’s a couple things that people should know:
1.) Administrators do NOT know your password for your login to the computer. We can reset it, but we can’t retrieve it (with normal means)
2.) Administrators do NOT know your password for your personal chatting application. We, like EVERY OTHER PERSON, can go to the provider’s website (ie yahoo.com/aim.com/msn.com) and have them send a reset password email to the registered email address.
3.) Administrators do NOT know the POP server or IMAP settings to your personal email. I actually block access to POP and IMAP so I don’t have to hear this one daily.