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Recover Lost Server 2003 web edition Administrator Password

Zeon100
Zeon100 asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
We are a small web hosting company whom use windows 2003 and plesk control panel to offer hosting services to our clients. After years of having to login to each customer's webspace via their own FTP accounts to upload websites we wanted to move to a single login we could use as administrators to access all websites rather than separate username/passwords per customer.

So, one of the juniors went about configuring an account for full FTP access (anything but straightforward on windows). So in his haste he set the administrator account with a home directory. After logging off and coming back in the next day we found the administrator account had lost all read/write permissions outside of the home directory he set.

I attempted to use command prompt to change/remove his home directory settings but it didn't really work and the profile reverted to c:\dcouments and settings\TEMP. I used command prompt since the account had lost all read/write access through windows explorer including accessing MMC panel to remove the home directory via the GUI.

Anyway I must have made a mistake somewhere in my commands because now I have logged off I cannot log back in with the account using its username/password (it throws up standard system cannot log you in error). It seems we are going backwards and have lost virtually all administrator access to our server (although it continues to run fine for our client's hosting accounts).

I was running commands such as:

net user administrator /profile path:"c:"


This is critical and seems to be a massive oversight from Microsoft if we can't reset the administrator account.
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Thanks for the info guys. Unfortunately that administrator account is the only member of the administrators group so I need to recover the password. But in saying that when I get access back how should I go about restoring administrators permissions to the entire computer?
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Basically the issues began revolving around the administrator not having access to anything outside of their "home directory". This was set in an effort to get FTP going for the adminstrator user to e:\folder

However as part of that process the administrator lost access to the entire c:\ drive (ie it gives permission denied when trying to explore to c: ) and this disabled the MMC from which I could remove the home directory.

So I tried to run the command:

net user administrator /profilepath:c:

However it didn't fix it and now it seems I've changed the administrator password.

Thanks

Author

Commented:
In regards to system state I'm not sure if I have that backed up as such. I do have acronis installed and have a backup from 2 weeks ago efore this began happening but I don't want to lose any data.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Unfortunately none of the users have access to C: or MMC windows. I think this is because they all have been assigned home drives to a position on the e: drive and the same problem that was happening with the administrator account.

Update: I have found another user admin account I had made in Plesk last year that has access to MMC! I can use it to reset the administrator password. However it gives me the warning attached (Please see attached file). Is it safe to proceed?



pic1.jpg
pic2.jpg
warning.jpg
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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All solved! I was able to successfully reset the administrator password and deleted everything in the home directory field. Administrator account now has full access again.

Thanks guys!
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