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Security Tricks With DOS: FTP User Password Change

written by: •edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 11/23/2010

You can use DOS for more than just checking your IP address. This guide will show you how to change an FTP password from the command line.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Change Your FTP Password with DOS!

    If you need to access a website or remote FTP location and don’t have an FTP client, then there are two ways left to use FTP – via a web browser, or via the command prompt using DOS.

    Neither method is particularly user friendly and the browser version doesn’t always work; if you have a network policy preventing browser FTP, for instance, then you won’t be successfully connecting to your intended server.

    The command prompt method, however, should work so long as new connections to the FTP are enabled. You’ll even be able to perform several admin tasks, such as changing the FTP user password!

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    Getting Started Accessing FTP via DOS

    Security Tricks Using DOS: FTP User Password Change Before we dive into using telnet, you should first become familiar with using DOS and FTP together.

    To access FTP via DOS you need to open a command prompt. To do this, enter cmd in the search box in the Start menu (you might also open the Run box by pressing the WINDOWS + R key combination; go to Start > Run and enter cmd in Windows XP).

    With the command prompt window open – a black box with white writing that is designed to emulate the old MS DOS that existed before Windows – type ftp and press Enter.

    The prompt will change from

    C:\users\username>

    to

    ftp>

    …and you will be now able to input FTP commands.

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    Connecting to FTP via DOS

    To connect to an FTP server via DOS, you will need to tell it to open your server. Do this by entering:

    open servername

    If the server is local, this might be something like local.server1.

    If your intended destination is a web server, you would enter:

    open www.myservernamehere.com

    or

    open ftp.myftpserver.com

    You will then be prompted in turn for your username and password – type these in one at a time, pressing Enter after each. Now that you are logged in, you will be able to change the password for your FTP account.

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    Change the FTP User Password in DOS with Telnet

    To actually change your password, however, you need to use the Telnet protocol. Open a new command prompt using the steps shown above, and at the

    C:\users\username>

    prompt, type

    telnet

    You will then see the Microsoft Telnet> prompt – here you should type:

    o servername

    Where “o" instructs the server to be opened. Note that you should enter the server name as you did in the precious steps. When the server is opened, you will again be asked for your username and password, enter these one at a time as before.

    Actually changing the password itself is easy – all you need to do is type:

    password

    …and tap Enter; you will then be asked to enter the old password, before being asked to enter a new one!

    Enter quit to exit Telnet; you can close the command prompt by typing exit.

    Note that all of these commands can also be issued using a program like DOSBox rather than the Windows command line.