NT Gatekeeper: Uninstalling Syskey

We installed the Windows NT Server 4.0 Service Pack 3 (SP3) Syskey feature on our NT Server 4.0 test domain's domain controllers (DCs). After we test Syskey, we plan to deploy it to our production DCs. Before we take these steps, we want to know whether we can uninstall the Syskey feature from a system.

Syskey provides additional cryptographic protection for security information (such as password hashes) stored in the SAM database. After you install Syskey on a system, the only way to remove it is to use an NT Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) that you created before installing Syskey to restore the system's SAM to its pre-Syskey state. To restore your system's SAM to the ERD version, boot your system from the NT installation disks, select the repair option, and choose to repair only the registry files. The system then prompts you to insert the ERD. After a system reboot, your system will host its old security database without Syskey enabled.

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