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Chapter 11. Creating and Managing User A... > Breaking Through to a System That Ha...

Breaking Through to a System That Has Lost Its Way

If you work with Windows NT-based domains long enough, it'll eventually happen…Someone will bring you a system, protected with NTFS. The system was previously a member of the domain but has a long-forgotten local administrator password and no other local accounts. Somehow, either through computer account corruption or improper user interaction, the system is no longer accessible. The ensuing conversation usually goes something like this:

User: I need this system working in 10 minutes for a critical presentation to the board. I can't log in.

You: So what did you do?

User: Nothing.

You: Riiiight. Anyway, so what do you want me to do about it?

User: Get me all my files back.

You: No problem, I'll just load the system drive in another machine, take ownership of the files, burn them to CD, and you'll have all your data. I should be able to have that for you in about 3 hours.

User: No, now I only have 9 minutes. Did I mention that I'm the VP of the Department of People Who Can Fire You for Not Fixing My Problems?

You: No, you hadn't mentioned that. Get out of my cube so I can perform my miracle.


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