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    Donated computers with NT


    I work for a non-profit childrens organization. A company has donated 30 computers which are almost brand new! This is great news for us, but we have one problem - we have no passwords for these machines.

    We have the Microsoft CD with the OS for each machine, but we are unable to get pass the log-in screen.

    How do I reinstall the software so I can set our own passwords?

    Thanks in advance for the help, I need it.
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Do a search on google, (you can read something here http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,53822,00.asp) but my personal advice would be to drop Windows and install Linux. It is stable, free (forever) and has NO VIRUSES. (No antivirus expenses), you can have browser, email, office suite, database, image manipulation, scanning, OCR, scientific/educational programs for free, and also free support from the community.
    That's much more than hardware&software for free!!!
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    Wow, I am really surprized they didn't erase the drives before giving them to you. My suggestion would be to fdisk and re-install.
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    The story is the company went out of business before they could use the computers. They are "clean" except for the OS on them.

    I am prepared to do a full install, but if I wipe the hard drive, how do I get access to the CD drive to load the software. I usually have something to start with.

    Maybe I just dont get this NT thing. If it was DOS, I would stick the disks in one at a time and be done with it.
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    Devshed Intermediate (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    you can boot directly from the cd drive if the cd you popped in there is bootable. no need for any starting os's or diskettes.
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    Just go into BIOS and make sure that it boots from the CDrom first. Put the CDrom in and reboot and it should work fine, with both NT or Linux. (I would opt for Linux or FreeBSD over Windows aswell by the way)

    If that doesn't work (it can happen) you have to use the NT bootdisk, or a windows 9x bootdisk and execute the installation file. If it's NT and not windows 2000 you're going to install, I would suggest launching smartdrv.exe first for a quicker install.

    If you want Linux/BSD and the CD doesn't work, you just make a linux installdisk and boot up. Easyer actually....


    /Fjodor
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    No viruses on Linux?
    Are you MAD?
    Of cause there's viruses on Linux, just they can't do as much damage (unless you're root) and you're expected to sort it out yourself (and not be so damn stupid).

    Also, you can get pretty good anti-virus for nothing for windows.

    There's plenty of good reasons for using Linux, but there's also problems:
    1) You're going to find it tough if you can't re-partition a hard drive to get rid of a Windows installation
    2) You've already got NT CDs, so that's free too!
    3) Stability isn't an issue, as the computers probably won't be up for more than 24 hours (it's not me )
    4) You can get free support for windows - this forum for example
    5) You havn't used Linux before, and you (and the other users) have probably all used Windows, so why change.
    6) You might not want to download linux

    Just thought I ought to give the other side of the argument.

    Anyway... Sorting out passwords in NT.
    If you can get in at all (try guest?) try to rename spoolss.exe to spoolbak.exe and copy usrmgr.exe to spoolss.exe.
    Now run the new spoolss and you will be able to change the admin password (be sure to change the names back afterwords or you might find it hard to print )

    If you can't get into the system at all (and there's nothing on it you want) just boot from a win98 boot disk http://www.drd.dyndns.org/cgi-bin/do...gi?FileID=5124 and use it to start the machine. Select "without CD-ROM support" and when it eventually gets you to a prompt, type fdisk and press enter. Use that program to delete the windows NT partition (it's down as "other") and then restart the machine and re-install windows NT.

    Alun Harford
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    Thank you all for the help. I was able to boot from the CD-Rom as suggested and I am all done.

    As to the Linux supporters - I am not yet ready to make that plunge. But, someday I will when my games run under "open source".

    Thanks again.

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