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Things That Bug Me About Windows: Question #1

This is a discussion on Things That Bug Me About Windows: Question #1 within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. While it's true that you never truly "arrive" at being a Computer Tech, at some point I think one develops


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Old 05-07-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
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While it's true that you never truly "arrive" at being a Computer Tech, at some point I think one develops an inner confidence that, while you may not know what the problem is, you are confident that at the end of the process, you will not only understand the problem but fix it. And I think I have that confidence.

Except for.

Except for certain nagging islands of "who the heck knows what this is all about??" that make me feel like a complete idiot and arrogant newb. Situations that talk to me, and say "You have no business messing with this stuff. It's complicated, and you might make things worse. Best to leave this to a professional."

But, erm excuse me but I figured that the fact that people pay me money to fix this stuff is what makes me a "professional", right? Then the second thought hits: "Then how come you still don't understand THIS?", and that's what I'm about to write about.

So, the O/S will not boot, there's obvious problems with the file system, and what's needed is booting to Recovery Console off of a generic "Windows Something" disk, and after it goes through all the motions of getting ready to install something, it gives you the option to press "R" for Recovery Console, and expectantly I wait for the DOS looking C-prompt thingie so I can type in "chkdsk /r/x" or "fixboot" or "fixmbr" or whatever, but THEN

It says "Choose the Operating System you would like to log on to." Okie Dokie, I toggle "C:\Windows" like I'm supposed to and THEN it says

"Please enter the Administrator Password for this account" (or whatever the exact language is).

Only there isn't an "Administrator Password", nor any other password. And not only that, but sometimes it doesn't even ask the question. But if it does, that's the kiss of death for this attempt at repair because I have never not once got past this stupid asking for a logon password in Recovery Console.

Usually this means I have to remove the hard drive and install it as a secondary on another computer, or something equally creative, but each time this happens I get a -1 on my Confidence Scale and a +2 on my Sense of Inadequacy Scale.

So why does it do this, but only sometimes. Does it matter if I use XP Home vs. Pro? OEM vs. Retail? Is there a method to this madness? Is there a universal, one-size-fits-all password that only the cool kids in school know about ? Am I the only idiot in this class, or is someone else Recovery Console Password Challenged?
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:36 AM   #2
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OK, first off, you will learn something new every day. but take comfort in knowing that you know more then Joe Email and that is why people pay you to fix computers.
Any who, If there is no built in Administrator password assigned, then leave it blank, and it will go into the Recovery Console. Of course if there was an Admin password assigned by the person who installed XP, then you will need to provide that.
OEM discs don't usually require an Admin password for the Recovery Console, but Retail versions do.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:04 AM   #3
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Moving from XP to an area where discussion would bring more opinions.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:33 AM   #4
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Some things your better at than others it is the nature of the beast and where forums can be a great resource, since you can learn something even from a Idiot you certainly have the chance to learn more in this environ,Sometimes not knowing the answer is not so much a of a worry but knowing how to ask the question is the part you need know, that and using less than a wall of text to do it as folks don't seem to have the attention span any more.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:38 AM   #5
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You aren't paid for how much you can memorize. You're paid for your ability to quickly and accurately troubleshoot the problem, figure out how to fix it, implement the fix, and test to see whether your fix worked. Knowing exactly what the solution was before you've been given the problem is NOT a requirement; Google is a tech's best friend and right hand.

Further, the more experience you get, the easier these things become. The answers to your questions come naturally, over time, by putting your hands on the technologies you support. And, frankly, your failures help you learn just as much (if not more) than your successes.

So... don't pick apart how much you don't know. The more you learn, the more you will realize how much there is to learn.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
OEM discs don't usually require an Admin password for the Recovery Console, but Retail versions do.
Well Mr. Funk, I think this is half the rant's question. Why would the type of CD used have an effect on whether or not it asks for an Admin PW? But on a practical level, I guess using only OEM disks will solve the problem.

But, and I haven't made a scientific survey yet, but it seems to me that that password question will sometimes fail even if there isn't an Admin PW. Even if there isn't an Admin account.

Yesterday's situation (which provoked the whole post), I was trying to run chkdsk on a Win7 64-bit hard drive using an old WinXP disk. There's no "Administrator" account. I built the computer myself. There's the <username> account which is an Administrator account, but it's not named "Administrator".

So when the question asks for the password for the "Administrator" account, does it want just any old Administrator account or is there supposed to be THE Administrator and it's someone hidden or secret? I think the thing that bugs me the most is the inconsistency, and the lack of reasoning behind the inconsistency.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Janitor View Post
Well Mr. Funk, I think this is half the rant's question. Why would the type of CD used have an effect on whether or not it asks for an Admin PW? But on a practical level, I guess using only OEM disks will solve the problem.
In my experience, it's because OEM manufacturers leave the password blank, while during a retail install by a third party company or end user, they usually create the password.

Relax sir, we all feel this way sometimes, especially when learning new technology, or working with something we have not worked with for years.

It's the nature of IT.

The benchmark for a good / great tech is not how much you memorize but how well you can discern the issue and find a remedy.

How effectively you use of the resources around you is what makes a good / great tech
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Is there a universal, one-size-fits-all password that only the cool kids in school know about ?
Now there's a scary thought.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:44 AM   #9
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I know one HELP usually find a result when screaming that lol
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Yesterday's situation (which provoked the whole post), I was trying to run chkdsk on a Win7 64-bit hard drive using an old WinXP disk. There's no "Administrator" account. I built the computer myself. There's the <username> account which is an Administrator account, but it's not named "Administrator".
So when the question asks for the password for the "Administrator" account, does it want just any old Administrator account or is there supposed to be THE Administrator and it's someone hidden or secret? I think the thing that bugs me the most is the inconsistency, and the lack of reasoning behind the inconsistency.
There is a Built in Administrator account in all versions of Windows since 2000. In Vista and later, this account is Hidden but can be enabled. When you install XP, you are given the chance to assign a Password when you install it for the Built in Administrator account. If you boot a Windows 7 volume with an XP Disc, it may get confused because the built in Administrator account is Hidden (disabled) If your trying to repair a Windows Vista, 7 or 8 it's best to use that type of disc rather then an XP disc. There are other free Boot discs like UBCD4Win you can create that will allow you to boot to a Mini version of XP to run Check Disk and other tools on the HDD if you can't boot to the HDD.
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