troubleshooting Question

Administrator Locked Out

Avatar of intelliwyse
intelliwyse asked on
SecurityWindows XPOS Security
6 Comments1 Solution7037 ViewsLast Modified:
Here's a fun one:

I've got a Neoware C50 Thinclient computer running Windows XPe (embedded). Basically, this is a very stripped down PC that boots a VERY basic version of XP off a 512mb flash card.

In XP, there are 2 users. One is Administrator and the other is "User". Now "User" is configured as basically a "kiosk" account, in that a very secure group policy has been applied to the account so that all you can do is interact with an RDP client and IE, however you cannot make any changes to the operating system enviroment, or even write to the disk. You cannot run any applications, or access the Task Manager.

For some dumb reason in the late night hours while I was configuring one of these devices, specifically the owner of this company's device, I made a really dumb mistake. I got the bright idea to run TweakUI while I was logged in as Administrator, and make TweakUI log in as "user".

What I forgot is that when you log off, TweakUI logs you right back in as the user it's set to log you in as, and since that happens to be an account which I can't make ANY changes to the OS enviroment with, I basically have a fairly useless computer here. I need to get in as Administrator. I know the passwords, but can't get to the logon screen to enter Administrator and the password because TweakUI keeps popping me back in as "user".

Here's what I've tried to work around this:

1. Boot in safe mode - can't get safemode. I think XP Embedded has it disabled.
2. Access the computer via the network, for instance \\\c$ and try to modify settings via the network - can't, no access to the device. C$ isn't shared. Probably wouldn't even matter if I could access to the file system via the network anyway though.
3. Try to connect to the registry remotely - can't
4. Try to RDP into the device directly, then log in as administrator - can't, I get an "an account restriction does not permit this" error message
5. Try to boot off a floppy and run NT crack to the change the password of "user" from dos - while I've got a USB floppy drive handy, it won't boot. Probably have to access the bios of the device which none of the online documentation has.

Anyone have any other suggestions?
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