Sometimes, life happens, and you wind up with a forgotten password in Windows and have to break into the system. The below article was written for Windows l0, but the creation of an administrator account by copying some critical files about 1/3rd of the way down the page works in Windows 7 as well. All you need is a boot USB to enter Windows PE mode (or you can boot into Linux and do the same thing).
Thankfully, the process of recovering your password in Windows 10 is much the same as it has been in Windows 8 and above, albeit with a few slight tweaks. Here’s how you can recover both your Microsoft Live 10 login, as well as the credentials for any other users registered with the local machine.
~ How to Reset Your Forgotten Password in Windows 10
The short of it:
- Boot into Windows PE (or Linux).
- Navigate to the OS drive (mount it if in Linux and cd to where you mounted it).
- Change into the Windows\System32 directory.
- Rename Utilman.exe to Utileman.exe.bak.
- Copy cmd.exe to Utilman.exe.
- Reboot into Windows.
- When it comes to the login screen, click on the Accessibility button. This will open a command prompt.
- Create a new user. For example: net user John /add
- Add new user to local administrator group. For example: net localgroup Administrators John /add
- Login as the new user. You now have free reign to enable the built-in Administrator account, or change passwords on local accounts.
- Don’t forget to copy the Utilman.exe.bak back to Utilman.exe and cleanup the temporary account.
I’ve actually had dreams (nightmares?) lately about Microsoft license activation, believe it or not, as it is such a pain in the ***. Both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office can get to the point where they cannot or will not talk to the KMS server and grab a license for one reason or the other. So, this is how to force the issue when you have enterprise versions of this software.
One scenario is where Windows quits talking to the KMS server, goes beyond the grace period and then declares that this copy of windows is not genuine. You can try to activate it, but it will refuse because it is out of the grace period. Of course, it is outside of the grace period because it did not activate, so this causes a bit of a catch-22.
The way to break out of the cycle is to extend the grace period. You do this via the “rearm” command. For example, open a command prompt with elevated privileges and type:
That will rearm activation, thus extending the grace period, and then activate windows (it assumes KMS is online).
It’s surprising that Windows 7 still does not have a way to automatically mount ISOs in Windows. Fortunately, it is built into Windows 8+, but other operating systems have had this capability for some time now. For Windows 7 and below, however, you need a third party utility. Continue reading “Review: Mount ISOs In Windows Using WinCDEmu”
I ran into an interesting problem the other day when someone’s Windows 7 taskbar would not autohide in spite of being set to do so. This was definitely a problem I had to google for a solution, since I had never ran across this type of issue before. Continue reading “Windows 7 Taskbar Won’t Autohide”