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Recovering from a Lost Admin Password

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Gov Maharaj

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Posted: 12 Oct 2000

I've been monitoring the newsgroups lately (and for the past 7 years) and a common question that pops up is "What can I do to recover the Admin account/password?" Common problem for new admins that either made a mistake or have just inherited a new network and the previous admin had "forgotton" to write down the password and there are no backup users.

The best part about this solution is that it does not require a service call to Novell(TM), nor does it require you to buy a one time program like MakeSU from Dreamlan(TM).

This solution is not a security threat as it uses all of Novell's(TM) tools to do the job. However, it does require a bit of background knowledge about the bindery and the "old" 3.1 ways of doing things.

Well, remember that little user called "Supervisor" when you were setting up your server in 3.x days. Well, he's still around, but you don't really notice him. He gets created when the first server in the tree (4.x) gets created and has the same password as Admin (at that time). Now, you may not think this helps, because you say, "if I don't know Admin's pw, I sure don't know supervisor's." But here comes the trick, if you don't know supervisor's pw, use a program site setpass on the console, (you can find these bindery utils everywhere on the net, if you can't find it, I'll send it) to change supervisors pw. Then login to the server in bindery mode, then access netadmin, or syscon, and create a new admin user or change his password.

There are some caveats though to this solution.

  • You may need console access depending on the severity of the problem.
  • You must make sure that the server you are on has at least a R/W replica of [ROOT], and that you temporarily change the bindery context to [ROOT]. (This can be done at the console.)

That's about it, a nice and simple solution to a common problem, and best of all, it's FREE!!!

Happy administering.

Gov Maharaj
Network Consultant
G.M. Consultations

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