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Restoring the Admin Password, Without Calling Support

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Mark Cramer

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Posted: 8 Dec 1999

Mark is a master CNE, and he's among the few, the proud, who can say they've been using NetWare since the NetWare 2.0a days. He specializes in NDS troubleshooting and repair, and at the moment, he's deep in the rollout of NetWare 5 for a small nation-wide electricity production company in Australia.

In your Q&A for Passwords, you have a question "What do I do if I've forgotten my admin name and password? Jul. 29, 1999", with the response "There isn't any workaround for this one, but the tech support guys can help you restore your admin user."

Actually, there is an easier way that has been around since NetWare 3.x days, there is a freeware NetWare 3.x utility called SETPASS.NLM (available from your favorite Novell utils mirror, like This utility uses bindery calls to set a password from the console prompt, without knowing the prior password.

So go to a server that has a replica of the partition that contains your admin user (normally [root]), change the bindery context to include the ".O=Org" temporarily, use SETPASS.NLM to reset the admin password, and then reset the bindery context (if it existed) back to what it was.

Short, sweet and a wee bit cheaper than a support call.

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