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Normally I live the box on and don't normally have to reboot.

Once in awhile I'll reboot twice, then export the registry which I should've done before my vacation but was too busy (this is all irrelevant anyway).

Well, when I went on vacation, I turned the computer off. When I came back, it started up fine. Today I decided to reboot because I had Internet Explorer open for a few days at a specific site (I have Firefox, love it, but find myself using IE--too often).

This time I'm prompted for a password. (NUTS!!) I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I never created a password for the OS. I try it over and over, XP wants a password.

So I'm thinking maybe I inadvertently created one even though I don't understand how this could have taken place; so, I leave the textbox blank and hit "Enter." XP loads.

Though it worked this time, I'm feelin kinda punchy about reboots.

I attempt to change my account through Control Panel, but only get the option to "Create" a password. No option to change it.

I've downloaded a program that will extract the pw in its encrypted form, then I can send upload it to a site and for $25 or so they'll decrypt it, but I don't want to spend money on something to which I shouldn't need.

If anyone knows the filename or registry entry, (and especially the encrypt/decrypt algorithms) I'd much rather do it myself if need be. Believe me, I have no nefarious schemes up my skivvies I just don't like running programs such as this.

Thank you so much for any details or advice.

Best to all...

joeblow

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Last Post by joe_blow
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It's possible that by leaving the PC on, you've been hacked.

Anyway, first step if you haven't tried it is to boot into safe mode as Administrator (presumably there is a null password for this default account). You can then reset passwords for other accounts.

If you have tried this, and you still have an unexpected result, then I suspect a Trojan which will have to be disinfected.

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hi joe, try what suspishio did, boot to safe mode and log-in as administrator..delete all the accounts which you did not create..but i think much better back-up all your data..then install a new OS..and install anti-virus and make sure that you always turned on the firewall on your system..

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I decided to "add" a password to my account. At least the password now is mine rather than a hacker or the result of an OS error (which is what I think it is).

I use ZoneAlarm as my firewall and it doesn't allow anything to access my computer.

I don't understand why someone would hack through a firewall, into my computer, and create a null password. Why not simply lock me out with a simple password?

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However, I did install a program just prior to this happening which slipped my mind: Quick Time Player.

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