Posted by: Jeremy Benisek (CyberAxe) Don't Panic Business Technologies | May 4, 2015

HP Server setup Password fails on Windows 2008, R2, 2012, R2 – fails first time login – long passwords accepted in HP Pre-conf tool

Quick hint:

Was password you set more than 15 characters?

Background:

While setting up a new server for a client I used the HP pre-server setup F10 tool to pre-config the system for Windows 2012 Standard. I had already done the array and everything went great. I did each step, setup the date, time, set a admin password and inserted the OS disk. The OS installed and after many updates the system was at the Login prompt awaiting a password and this is where the issue starts. The password I used during the HP Pre-OS setup doesn’t work, I try any error corrections maybe I had caps lock on or the most common with micro keyboards number lock. I tested both and nothing worked. With faced with starting over, which was painful and would cost a few hours I remembered I had a password issue with this client’s administrator password before and hadn’t used it anywhere else. I felt it was a good time to start using a new password for this purpose. The new password was 17 characters which didn’t seem like any issue as the HP pre-conf tool allowed it to work. However, I also remembered the max password char for Windows was 15 characters. So I tested the password with 2 less characters at the end and it worked.

Issues:

HP pre-conf OS tool allows passwords longer than Windows does. Windows max is 15 characters.

Solution:

Take your password and remove the last characters until you get to 15 total characters try that password. You should be able to login and reset the password now. It’s worth creating a second domain admin at this point too.

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