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You receive an error message when you try to change your password in Windows NT 4.0

This article was previously published under Q196465
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry.Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore itif a problem occurs. For information on how to do this, view the"Restoring the Registry" online Help topic in Regedit.exe or the"Restoring a Registry Key" online Help topic in Regedt32.exe.
When a user attempts to change his or her password from a computer runningWindows NT, he or she is presented with the following error message:

Your password must be at least 0 characters long. Your new password
cannot be the same as any of your previous 0 passwords. Also, your site
may require passwords that must be a combination of upper case, lower
case, numbers, and non-alphanumeric characters. Type a password which
meets these requirements in both text boxes.
This problem occurs when the registry entry for strong passwords(PASSFILT) exists, but your current account policy has no passwordrestrictions.
Passfilt.dll implements the following password policy:

  1. Passwords must be at least six (6) characters long.
  2. Passwords must contain characters from at least three (3) of the following four (4) classes:
          Description                             Examples      -------------------------------------------------------------------      English upper case letters              A, B, C, ... Z      English lower case letters              a, b, c, ... z      Westernized Arabic numerals             0, 1, 2, ... 9      Non-alphanumeric                        ("special characters") such                                              as punctuation symbols
  3. Passwords may not contain your user name or any part of your full name.
If your current account policy is set to permit blank password, thisconflicts with the above requirements for PASSFILT. Therefore, you shouldchange the Minimum Password Length value to be at least six characters, ordisable the functionality of PASSFILT. To disable PASSFILT, complete thefollowing steps on the PDC:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems thatmay require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannotguarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of RegistryEditor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing KeysAnd Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add andDelete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topicsin Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you editit. If you are running Windows NT, you should also update your EmergencyRepair Disk (ERD).

  1. Use Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe) to navigate to the following key:
  2. Double-click the "Notification Packages" key and remove the following value:
  3. Click OK and then exit Registry Editor.
  4. Shut down and restart the computer running Windows NT Server.
For additional information, please see the following articles in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base:

161990How to Enable Strong Password Functionality in Windows NT

Article ID: 196465 - Last Review: 11/01/2006 06:26:11 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • kbprb KB196465