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How can I recover a lost password on Win XP Pro?

I bought a computer running Windows 2000 Pro from a flea market. The password has been set up but I don't have it. Since I don't have start-up disks or Windows 2000 disks, what alternative do I have? Will my XP Pro startup disks work?

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There are a few possibilities. You can purchase a copy of Windows 2000 and use that (sealed, licensed copies can sometimes be had cheaply from companies that do liquidation of corporate assets). You could also use a program to recover the password for the machine (see www.lostpassword.com), or simply use the Windows XP Pro startup disks to wipe the system clean and start anew with Windows XP Pro. The last option may be the best, because that way you're not dealing with too many unknowns.

This was first published in January 2004

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