Thursday, May 19, 2011

I acquired a used PC but don’t have an administrator password. Help!

You can access a password-protected administrator account in a number of ways. One is quick and easy, but works only in XP. If the used PC runs Vista or windows 7, skip the next two paragraphs. The following will work only if the previous owner didn’t know enough to close XP’s backdoor entrance to administrator control.

First, boot into Safe mode: Start your PC, and press before the windows logo appears. In the resulting boot menu, select Safe Mode. The log-on screen will probably show a user you’ve never seen before, administrator, that does not have a password. This lets you enter windows as an administrator-level user, and you can use Control Panel’s user accounts applet to change the password.

If you’re using Vista or windows 7, you can remove the administrator password with ubuntu linux. Careful! This gets complicated. download the current ubuntu version from double-click the just-downloaded .iso file. Windows may start a program that burns your ubuntu CD. If it doesn’t, download and install ISO recorder (, and then try again. Boot off the CD. when asked, click the Try Ubuntu button. Install the software: From the menus in the top-right corner of the screen, select Check the two options not yet checked: and Click then after the program is done processing, select from the menus in the top-right corner.

In the resulting window’s Search field, enter chntpw. a program with that name should appear in the subsequent list of packages. Click it and select. Click the toolbar icon. Click and wait until the installation is complete. Now mount your drive: From the top menus, select then your internal hard drive or windows partition. When it’s mounted, a File browser window (much like windows explorer) will appear. double-click the folder icons to go to the windows drive’s windows\System32\config folder. Leave this window up. From the top menus, select arrange the two windows so that you can see the top section of the File browser window behind the Terminal window.

In the Terminal command-line window, type cd /media/ (note the space after ) and the path to your config folder, using the folder names at the top as a guide. (note: ubuntu’s Terminal is case-sensitive.) Then press . now type sudo chntpw -u logon SAM, where is the log-on name for the administrator account. Press ; the last section of scrolled-up text will begin ‘. . . . user edit menu:’ Press 1 (the number, not lowercase L), then . at the resulting question, press Y. when the program’s done, click the power-button logo in the upper-right corner and reboot into windows. The account no longer needs a password.

Source of Information : PC World Magazine February 2011
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