Configure Your Server Wizard sets a blank recovery mode password

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When you use the Configure Your Server Wizard to promote the first domain controller in a forest, the password for Directory Service Restore mode is set to a null value. This may allow a malicious user to log on to a domain controller without proper authorization. In addition, when the Directory Service Restore mode password is set, the password for Recovery Console is automatically synchronized with that password. Therefore, computers that are affected by this vulnerability have a blank password for both Directory Service Restore mode and Recovery Console.

Note that there are some significant restrictions to this vulnerability:
  • This problem affects only domain controllers. Computers that are not assigned as domain controllers do not have Directory Service Restore mode available.
  • The Configure Your Server tool can only create the first domain controller in a forest, so only that computer may be at risk. All subsequent domain controllers must be created by using the Dcpromo.exe tool, which is not affected by the vulnerability.
  • Domain controllers should be physically protected. There is no way to remotely exploit this vulnerability. If a computer has been properly physically secured, it is at minimal risk.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260910 How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack
The following files are available for download from the MicrosoftDownload Center:
For additional information about how to download Microsoft Support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help to prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date       Time     Size      File name   ------------------------------------------   09/11/00   05:51p   622,352   Dcpromo.exe   11/15/00   07:27p   493,328   Lsasrv.dll   11/15/00   07:27p   905,488   Ntdsa.dll   11/15/00   07:27p    67,344   Ntdsetup.dll   11/15/00   07:27p    48,912   Samlib.dll   09/11/00   05:50p   381,200   Samsrv.dll   10/23/00   04:24p     6,416   Setpwd.exe				

After you have installed the hotfix, you can use the Setpwd.exe tool (located in the %SystemRoot%\System32 folder) to replace the null password with a strong password. To do this:
  1. At a command prompt, change to the %SystemRoot%\System32 folder.
  2. Type setpwd [/s:<servername>] , and then press ENTER. Note that adding the server name is optional. This parameter is used only when you change this specific password on a remote domain controller.
  3. You will then be prompted to "Please type the password for DS Restore Mode Administrator Account:". Type the new password that you would like to use. If you make a mistake, run setpwd again.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 2.
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
249149 Installing Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 hotfixes
810037 Setpwd.exe enhancement to specify a DSRM password as an argument
For more information about Microsoft products, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Article ID: 271641 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 21:24:59 - Revision: 6.0

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server

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