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Windows XP – How to log in as administrator

So I installed a Windows XP VM the other day with a corporate ISO file. The initial login screen showed the administrator account and another corporate specific account. I logged in as administrator and applied the latest patches. Upon rebooting the system, only the corporate specific account was available. I was unable to find a way to log in as administrator and I did not know the password for the corporate specific account.
How could I log in as administrator?

While this is probably common knowledge to most, I had never experienced this issue before. Luckily, I found the following Microsoft KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321305. It stated:

Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional
To log on to a computer as the administrator to reset a password, try the following steps.

  1. Log on as an administrator.
    1. Restart the computer.
    2. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE two times, and then type the name of the administrator user account.
    3. In the Password box, type the administrator password, and then click OK.Note If the administrator password is set to a blank password, do not type a password before you click OK.

1b states that pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE twice will allow you to enter and log into the administrator account. Upon trying this, it worked as expected! Something so simple that I was unaware of. Hopefully someone else finds this as useful as me.

© 2010, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

Published inSystem Administration

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