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mark_D74
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Server 2003 administrator password problem

I have a machine running Server 2003 Standard.  Yesterday, this went down and failed to boot back into windows and a member of staff did some kind of repair install using the Server 2003 disk.  Now, we cannot log into it as none of the user/password combinations for domain accounts work (including the machine's own administrator account).  I have reset the actual machine's administrator password (using sysinternals ERD disk) and can log in using directory services restore mode. But, windows immediately insists that it must be reactivated. When I click 'yes' to reactivate, nothing happens.  There are steps from MS on how to resolve this by logging in in safe mode.  But for some reason, in safe mode, the same password will not allow me in at all.  Has anyone any idea whats going on here and how I can log in in safe mode?
Windows Server 2003

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Michael Ortega

8/22/2022 - Mon
Michael Ortega

Sounds like this is your Domain Controller. Yes? The DSRM password is separate from the actual Domain Admin login. Do you have any other DC's?

MO
mark_D74

ASKER
@mgortega Yes, this is the domain controller and there aren't any others.  
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Michael Ortega

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James Murphy
Michael Ortega

That's a good link too dstewartjr. In that link you'll find another link specifically for domain admin password reset - http://www.petri.co.il/reset_domain_admin_password_in_windows_server_2003_ad.htm

MO
mark_D74

ASKER
@mgortega That looks perfect, but allthough DSRM accepts my password, windows insists on being re-activated before allowing me to log on.  The trouble is, when I click "yes" to re-activate now, I get an hour glass for a few seconds with a little HDD activity, but nothing actually  happens.
mark_D74

ASKER
As this network comprises only a handful of clients, it proved easier just to re-install with a new domain.
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Michael Ortega

I hear that. Sometimes it's makes more economical sense to just wipe the slate clean and start over, rather than determining what the issue actually is.

MO