• United States

Salford scores a software goal

Oct 23, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Changing a user's password with Salford Software

Mention Old Trafford to an Englishman and most likely he’ll think you want to talk about the Manchester United football (that’s “soccer” for my North American readers) team. Man U is arguably the world’s best professional side, whose playing field is lovingly referred to as “Old Trafford” (for Americans, think of a cross between Wrigley Field and Lambeau Field, but a lot older). For U.K. academic network administrators, though, Old Trafford should bring to mind the Salford University Network Service and its offshoot, Salford Software, which is headquartered cheek-by-jowl with Man U’s playing grounds.

Salford has been around for 15 years, now (the software bit, that is – the University’s been there since 1896) both as a broker of Novell Education’s products as well as home to development projects related to NetWare and other networking environments.

One of the freely available utilities Salford offers has been downloadable for most of its history and was just released in a new version. SETPWD is a server-based utility to, you guessed it, set a password. Now most versions of NetWare in the last 15 years (not the latest ones, though) have included a client-based command-line utility called SETPASS which a user can employ to change their password. However, the limiting factor with this utility is that you have to know the old password in order to change to a new password.

The nifty thing about SETPWD is that you don’t need to know the old password yet you can change any user’s password to a new one. The catch is that you have to do this from the server console – it doesn’t work from a client.

Ideally, you’ll want to put this on a floppy disk (it only takes about 20K bytes including the readme, the source code and the license text) and carry it in your “bag of tricks.” When you come upon a server on which you need to change a password (any user’s password), you’ll simply put the floppy in the server’s disk drive, then type:

     Load A:SETPWD

Et voila (as the British say, although it sounds more like “Ey wahla” when they say it), the password is changed and you can logon (or the absent-minded user can). What could be easier?

You can download the latest version of SETPWD from Novell’s “cool solutions” Web site at and you should do that right now. At your leisure, you can explore the other downloadable files of Salford Software at (check out the “pay for them” services, also).