Notice! This document is currently in Archived status.
The content of this document may be incorrect or out dated.

How do I change my Purdue password from Windows?

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server



If you want to change your password in Windows XP, you can do it by using CTRL+ALT+DEL and choosing the Change Password option. This article gives you some general pointers about passwords and describes how to change your password.

Guard Your Password

Your password for accessing systems is by far one of the most important pieces of information you need to protect. Your login and password uniquely identify you to computers on the network. Typically people know your login because it is usually public information. Since they already have one half of your identification credentials, it's EXTREMELY important to guard your password. Never give your password to anyone, not even your system administrator! He/She has no need to know your password since they typically have elevated privileges on computers and can help you without knowing your password. You should NEVER send your password through e-mail either. E-mail is (almost always) sent unencrypted (plaintext) across the Internet. Malicious users, or hackers, can intercept your email and steal your login and password. Armed with this information, the hacker can obtain access to your files, e-mail, and anything else on your computer. They can even impersonate you. In short, keep your password to yourself at all times. If you choose to write it down, be sure to place it in a secure place that only you have access to.

Choose a Secure Password

As stated above, your password is one of the most important pieces of information in identifying you to a computer. Not only should you protect your password by keeping it to yourself, you should also choose a secure password, one that's not easily guessable. No matter how well you guard your password, your efforts are useless if you have an easily guessable password. If you have a password that's easy to guess, the hacker can easily gain access to your account. Hackers have programs that can try thousands of password combinations very quickly in what's typically called a dictionary attack. A dictionary attack occurs when a hacker takes words from a dictionary and uses them to try and guess your password. So, if you have a password that might be found in a dictionary, your account can be easily compromised in a matter of minutes.

So what makes a password secure? Below are some tips on choosing a password.

  1. Don't use words from the dictionary such as lemon, tree, car, horse, etc. Even compound words such as rooftop, backdoor, etc. are easily guessable. Any of these types of words can be used in a dictionary attack against your account.
  2. Don't use "common" passwords. Some of these include password, god, a single letter, a single letter repeated multiple times, your login, your first name, your last name, etc. "password" is usually the first thing a hacker tries for a password on an account followed by combinations of your name. Any information about you that's generally known (such as name, birthdate, address, etc.) should not be used in choosing a password.
  3. Mix case when choosing a password. Just by adding a mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters in your password, you increase its security. For example, RoofTop, although still an easily guessable password, is more secure than rooftop or ROOFTOP.
  4. Add numbers and/or symbols such as -, _, &, !, etc. when choosing your password. The more complex you make your password, the harder it is to guess and attack.
  5. Choose a password that's at least 8 characters long. Longer passwords are harder to guess because there are more combinations and permutations (or order of arrangement) of letters.
  6. Substituting characters with numbers used to be a common way to protect your password as well. However, newer dictionary attack programs used by hackers can also guess passwords with numbers such as 3 substituted for E, 0 for 0, 5 for S, and so on. For example, new programs can guess passwords such as passw0rd and m1cr0s0ft. If you choose to substitute numbers or letters for other letters, be sure to be careful of this caveat.

Some examples of secure passwords are:

  • 2+2SFour (2 + 2 is four)
  • Th@'slIf (That's Life)
  • 1st^2bAt (First up to bat)
  • trI2BnIs (Try to be nice)

Changing Your Password

Via a terminal prompt

In order to change your password, you must first determine what UNIX server hosts your home filesystem. This is the server on which your files on N: are located.

To find your home server, double-click My Computer and look for the N: drive. In the description, you will see '<login>' on <host> where <login> is your user login and <host> is your home server. This is the server to which you will need to connect.


To change your password, login to your home server as follows:
  1. Under Start->Programs->ECN Software find the Telnet via SSH (Secure Shell) folder.
  2. In that folder is a listing of pre-defined hosts. If your home server is listed, simply click its icon. You will be prompted for your current password. If your server is not listed, choose the any host icon, and you will be prompted for the hostname (obtained from the previous section) and your login and then for your password. For additional help with logging in and using Telnet via SSH, see the article(s) referenced at the end of this document.
  3. Once you're logged into your home server, type passwd. You will be prompted for your old password and then for your new one. You will be asked to confirm your new one. Changing your password will take approximately 15 minutes to propagate throughout the network. This means that your new password won't take effect for at least about 15 minutes.
  4. Type logout to logout.


Via the web

Last modified: 2015/04/21 10:52:28.272561 GMT-4 by curtis.f.smith.1
Created: 2007/10/31 10:20:33.020000 GMT-4 by brian.r.brinegar.1.



Type in a few keywords describing what information you are looking for in the text box below.

Admin Options: Edit this Document