The Shareware Review People

Advanced Office XP Password Recovery

Type of Program: Password Recovery
Supported Platforms: Win95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP
Company Name: Elcomsoft
Version: 2.0
Price: $60 Personal Edition
Installed Size: 1.8Mb


The installation was a breeze. It lets you easily put it where you want it plus like really good programs it offers to and will make a backup of any files it modifies during the installation.

Well since I didn't have any password protected files to test this out on I had to make some. I made the first one in Word XP. When I asked the program to open it I got this window:

However the first time I did this I ran up against what I assume is a shareware limitation. That is it would only try for up to 4 characters in the password. So I password protected another file with 3 characters. That's when I started to learn how this program really works. Here is the deal. There are different methods that it will try when attempting to get the password. There is the dictionary method. That didn't work on recovering my password. Guess why? My password wasn't a word... Duh. Guess I should have figured that one out myself. Brute Force is the next option. Here is what the Help file says about that:

Brute-force range options:
In Office 97/2000/XP documents, passwords may contain the following characters: latin letters (both small and capital), digits, special symbols (like @, #, $ etc) and national languages symbols. You can select these ranges separately, or define your own password range. To define your own range, check the box Custom charset, press the Custom charset… button, and enter all characters you think the password may consist of. You can load, save and insert your defined character sets, using appropriate buttons in User defined charset dialog.
The special characters are:

Here take a look at this:

There you will see that you have to try the different methods in turn until you meet with success. As I eventually did.

My conclusion is that if you really are in a bind and need to recover a password this program will do it for you. It does it in a logical manner and if you pay attention and use the program correctly you will get that password. This program though I'm sure will be of the most use to system administrators for getting those passwords of people in their system who have forgotten them or left the organization.

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Joe Tex

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