Drives, dongles and passwords
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Thread: Drives, dongles and passwords

  1. #1
    Senior Member JonnyFrond's Avatar
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    Drives, dongles and passwords

    Hi guys,

    Not sure where this question should go, so I went here. Sorry if it is the wrong place dear administrative friends.

    I would also like to point out that I am not interested in trying to get into other peoples computers or doing malicious things in any way, but I am not a keen censor, and think of restrictions as a necessary evil.

    I have been curious for a few days now on the whole topic of the Admin password thing, particularly in windows xp. Due to finding this site, and also because of some spyware and or adware I found on my computer, I thought once as clean as I could be, maybe a change of password might not be a bad idea (who knows if any of what I had was a keylogger) and all the research I have done seems to point out that it is pretty much a done deal in that if you forget your password then you are stuffed. Now I am guessing that this is just a done deal with everyday chaps like myself, and even more advanced peeps perhaps, but one thing is clear, unless you know someone who can get through, it is not that easy to find out how to do it on the web, which in my mind is a good thing.

    Now what has come to light here after searching this site and googling, is that first of all, DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSWORD, and if you think you will, then make password recovery disc as this could prevent many tears and high cortisol levels in the bloodstream.

    My question is this: I don't have a floppy drive on either my laptop or my desktop, I have a cd drive on both one of which is a burner the other just a drive, but what I do have which is my preferred data carrying type thing is a 1Gb dongle which sits on my keyring. Can this be used like a floppy? could I make a password recovery dongle? is it easy to write a self executing program which would run a program from a dongle as soon as it was connected? and is it possible that these little devices will become, or already are, the next little hacker tool.

    I am interested partly because out of all my friends, I seem to be the one most aware of security for a personal computer, and I am increasingly finding myself trying to help and educate people with their nightmarishly unaware web surfing habits.

    If this is the case, I suddenly becomes worth getting one of the smaller cheaper dongles that are around.

    I am interested in your thoughts people.


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    Jonny
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  2. #2
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    Well you can certainly create a windows password recovery disc, all you do is, in your control pannel select User Accounts and click on the account you want to create the disk for, then on the left hand side there will be a option to "prevent a forgotten password" click this and if you have no floppy drive installed it will tell you to insert a blank disc into drive C: (yes drive C ) click ok, then type in the password for the account, click next and it will inform you that it is in progress. When its finished just click ok.

    Now browse to your C drive and you will see a password backup file called "Userkey", copy this to a data storage meduim of your choice!!

    //this is assuming you have XP though!

    As for making it auto-boot of a usb key, im kind of interested in if thats possible myself so I is off to search!
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  3. #3
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    Here's a link for making your USB key a bootable drive...PCSTATS ...
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

    "When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats."
    Claude Swanson

  4. #4
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    If your using Windows XP Home Edition, you can always use the default admin account to change the password of the account of which you forgot the password to...
    I am the uber duck!!1
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  5. #5
    The forgotten password wizard in XP requires a floppy; it won't let you use a CD or USB key instead.

    Without such a disk, forgetting one password means logging in as an administrator and resetting it. Forgetting all the administrator passwords means reinstalling or searching for utilities that we won't discuss here.

    If you have Windows XP or 2003 in its default config, it's worth noting that blank passwords don't work over the network. Setting an account's password to blank makes it impossible to use over the network (but trivial to access once at the keyboard).

    As an alternative, in a home environment, seriously think about writing your login password down somewhere. If some random person is in your house and sitting at your computer, having your password written down and hidden somewhere is probably the least of your worries. Of course, that doesn't apply so well if you're trying to guard against nosy siblings. Ditto in a corporate environment.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    As an alternative, in a home environment, seriously think about writing your login password down somewhere
    Well, I generally write it with a laundry marker (heat resistant ink) and tape it under one of the drives. Just create a new "working account" with admin rights.



    Incidentally Jonny what you are referring to is a USB ot "thumb" drive. A "dongle" is an old fashioned physical applications access control device. They were used to enforce the number of concurrent licenced users.

    You installed the software on the relevant machines and got a dongle for each concurrent user licence you paid for. Only machines with a dongle plugged into them could actually use the software, so you could share them amongst your users as required.

    This was before the days of licence management software.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
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  7. #7
    Senior Member JonnyFrond's Avatar
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    Thanks, noce lot of info here, I'm all thumbs at the moment, thanks for the definition, I knew about what a dongle was cos you used to have to use one in recording studios for cubase and the like I seem to remember, but didn't know what to call the thing I have, and frankly "super USB flash pen drive" makes me feel a bit like a nerd. Dongle is just a funnier word in general and has more conotations for comedy. Thumb is good though

    So what other interesting things can be done with a thumb?

    Jonny the Thumb Frond
    Sarcasm is a way of life

  8. #8
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    So what other interesting things can be done with a thumb?
    I use it for a handy dandy tool kit, I place all of my useful programs I use to troubleshoot other PC problems, I also use it to browse the web with Firefox..Portable Browser.

    The one I use also has an encryption utility for protecting any files I want to put on it, in case I were to lose the key.....(I use the SanDisk Micro Cruzer)http://www.sandisk.com/ ....
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

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  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    My Dearest Jonathan,

    You, an English Gentleman. Ask about the use of the thumb? Ack! Phttt! (Bill the Cat gobs everywhere )

    Well you can give the "thumbs up" or the "thumbs down" I suppose? Italians like that sort of stuff...........errrr they don't understand their old language, but are at least "politely embarassed" when you translate for them. The Greeks are much more impressed in my experience.........I only have minimalistic modern Greek so I could only translate the old stuff into modern English........I did tell them that they could not have the Elgin Marbles back, as I had not finished playing with them yet

    You can certainly "**** a snoot"

    And the thumb can be used in boxing?



    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by @tt!tud3
    The forgotten password wizard in XP requires a floppy; it won't let you use a CD or USB key instead.
    Originally posted here by Nokia
    Well you can certainly create a windows password recovery disc, all you do is, in your control pannel select User Accounts and click on the account you want to create the disk for, then on the left hand side there will be a option to "prevent a forgotten password" click this and if you have no floppy drive installed it will tell you to insert a blank disc into drive C: (yes drive C ) click ok, then type in the password for the account, click next and it will inform you that it is in progress. When its finished just click ok.

    Now browse to your C drive and you will see a password backup file called "Userkey", copy this to a data storage meduim of your choice!!
    Ive attached a wee video to show you what I mean!
    Drugs have taught an entire generation of kids the metric system.

    http://tazforum.**********.com/

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