How to Change Your Forgotten Windows Password Using a Linux OS Disc

Yup! That’s right. Never thought it could be possible but it gave me the creeps when I successfully did it. The trick was actually maneuvered by a big-time geek and it’s just amazing how he was able to infuse the two opposing worlds of proprietary and open-source to work together. 😉 Just a disclaimer on the following steps — this is hardcore!

If ever you get this annoying error message just because AD struck you in a complete surprise:

You’ll surely try to find ways and means to get into your Windows working environment. However, as Windows is not at all that friendly to common users like you, you’ll soon learn that you’re just wasting too much time on something futile. So anyway, why not give this a shot? 🙂

1. Download a copy of Linux’ System Rescue CD and create an ISO image to a cd. You are free to use whatever burning application you have available in your computer.

2. After successfully creating the System Rescue CD, you’ll need to boot from it. (For real beginners: Insert the System Rescue CD into the optical drive (CD-ROM). Change the boot sequence of your drive to the optical drive in the computer’s System BIOS, save changes and restart. This should allow you to automatically boot to the disc inserted in the optical drive.)

3. Upon booting to the System Rescue CD, it will take you to a command prompt screen that looks like this:

4. Mount the hard drive using this command: ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows -o force. (You can use the df -m command to verify that the drive is already mounted in the right drive. In this example, it is mounted on /mnt/windows.)

5. Change the directory into Windows/System32/config directory inside of the windows installation. Take note that the full path might differ depending on where the Windows folder installation was created. You can do that using this command: cd /mnt/windows/Windows/System32/config

6. The moment you get into that directory, you should be able to see a SAM file, which is where we will change the passwords.

7. In order to change the password, we will use the chntpw command. It’s more effective to use the -l argument first so all the usernames in the file will be listed out.

Command: chntpw -l

8. Add the -u argument with your username (kinda looks like the command below, the username used in the example is geek):

Command: chntpw -u geek SAM

This will take you to this screen:

9. At the prompt, type in your new password and don’t forget to press “y” when it prompts you to save.

10. By this time, your password should already be changed. Type the command reboot to restart the computer. Don’t forget to take the System Rescue disc.

11. Go back to the system BIOS and revert back to your original boot sequence (set it back to the HDD as the 1st boot device). Upon booting up, you should be able to see this screen and should be able to login using your new password.

Have a fun time tweaking your Windows operated computer now! By the way, this works both in Windows XP and Vista operating systems. Ciao! 😉

Sources:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/linux/reset-your-ubuntu-password-easily-from-the-live-cd/
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/linux/create-a-bootable-ubuntu-usb-flash-drive-the-easy-way/
http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/System/Recovery/System-Rescue-CD-188.shtml

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Inaccessible Boot Device on Multi-Core Processor when re-Starting a Windows Vista Computer

Have you encountered this kind of blue-screen error? Irritating, huh? Well…

Just found out recently after having to experience the same BSOD for 3 times in a row. I tried googling for the answer and fortunately found a convenient explanation and fix in the Microsoft website.

As per Microsoft, the error occurs due to the race inter-lapping of threads reading and written causing a the PCI root node to be missing from the device tree. Hence, the inaccessible_boot_device because the storage is now missing. It’s kind of a brain-twister really but it goes something like that. To go through all the techie-jargons, check out the Microsoft explanation on this. 😉

To resolve this error, download the Microsoft Hotfix.

Internet Connection Lost after Installing MS Security Update KB951748

Internet Connection Lost after Installing MS Security Update KB951748

This happens when you have ZoneAlarm Internet Security or Firewall installed in your computer. The moment the MS Security Update KB951748 finishes downloading and installing in your computer, your internet connection gets lost and you’ll have no idea what caused it.

Here’s the work-around:

1. You can set your ZoneAlarm Firewall Security (Internet Security Zone) from HIGH to MEDIUM.

Other known work-arounds by advanced users would be to uninstall (remove) the MS Security Update KB951748 from the Add/Remove Programs of your Control Panel (this works for Windows operating system users) and then configuring the Windows Update to Turn-off. Or you can also run System Restore then Turn-off your Windows Update afterwards.

Microsoft Wireless Mouse Prevents Screen Saver from Activating (Vista)

Having problems with your microsoft wireless mouse preventing your screen saver from activating (in Vista)?

Just follow these simple steps:

1. Go to the Device Manager (Right-click on My Computer, select Manage, you’ll find Device Manager in one of the selections ü).

2. Update the HID-compliant mouse.

3. It will automatically search for the update. If not, you can download the driver here:

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/download/DownloadResult.aspx?category=MK&type=Mouse&name=w_lmouse3000&os=WVista_32&lang=en

4. Make sure to select the correct hardware.

5. Install and restart the computer.

Whola! That should surely fix it! ü

Network Map Does Not Display Computers Running Windows XP and Vista

Network Map Does Not Display Computers Running Windows XP

When you run Network Map in Windows Vista®, computers that are running Microsoft Windows® XP do not appear on the completed diagram.

Cause

Network Map in Windows Vista diagrams the connections between network devices to help you troubleshoot connectivity problems. Network Map uses a discovery protocol called Link-Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) in order to query the other devices on the network to determine how the network is organized. Computers that are running Windows Vista include the software components that implement the LLTD protocol. For network computers that are running Windows XP to appear on the map, they must have a discovery protocol enabled that can respond to the mapping computer’s requests.

Solution on Windows XP

For computers running Windows XP to appear on the Network Map diagram, you must download and install the LLTD Responder component. By installing the LLTD Responder, and enabling File and Printer Sharing in Windows Firewall, a computer running Windows XP can respond to other Windows Vista computers on the network that are attempting to create a network map.

The following procedures are performed on a computer running Windows XP.

**To install the LLTD Responder onto a computer running Windows XP

1. Download the update for Windows XP from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=70582
2. Run the update on the computer running Windows XP that you want to appear on the Network Map.
3. On the Software Update Installation Wizard, click Next.
4. On the License Agreement page, read the license agreement, and if you agree to the terms, click I Agree, and then click Next.
5. On the final page of the wizard, click Finish.
6. If you are prompted to do so, restart your computer.

You can verify that the LLTD Responder is successfully installed and running.

**To verify the LLTD Responder is installed and running

1. On a computer running Windows XP click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network Connections.
2. Click Local Area Network Connection, click Properties, and then view the list of items used by the network connection.
3. Ensure that the Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder check box is selected.

Prior to generating a new Network Map in Windows Vista you must ensure that Print and File Sharing is excluded from Windows Firewall filtering.

**To exclude File and Printer Sharing from Windows Firewall

1. On a computer running Windows XP, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network Connections.
2. Click Windows Firewall Settings, and then click the Exceptions tab.
3. If necessary, click Edit, and then select the File and Printer Sharing check box.

Solution on Windows Vista

After performing the procedures in the preceding section, you can generate a new Network Map for all computers on the network, including those running Windows XP.

**To generate a new Network Map and connect to all network computers

1. On a computer running Windows Vista, perform the following steps to generate a new Network Map:
2. Start Network and Sharing Center .
3. On the right side of the Status section, click View full map.
4. Right-click the computer running Windows XP, and then click Open.
5. If connectivity issues persist, perform the following steps:
6. Ensure that File and Printer Sharing is excluded from Windows Firewall on the computer running Windows Vista.
7. Consider excluding other services from Windows Firewall on the computer running Windows Vista.

Source: DellCommunity Forums

Issues after installing XP SP3 or Vista SP1 w/ Norton 2008

Symptom:

Problems occur after installing Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Vista Service Pack 1 with a Norton 2008 product installed

Numerous registry keys are added when you upgrade to Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Vista Service Pack 1 with a Norton product installed. Because of these registry keys, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

•       Windows Device Manager is empty
•       Missing Wireless network adaptors or other hardware devices
•       Unable to connect using a wireless adapter

Solution:

To fix the problem, download the SymRegFix.exe file.

Source: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/sharedtech.nsf/docid/2008061807392313

Vista SP1 pre-release error “Your Windows License Will Expire.”

Problem: Vista SP1 pre-release error “Your Windows License will expire

A user who installed pre-release build of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) may experience a message stating “Your Windows License will expire in X days”.

Solution:

Uninstall SP1 from the system before the expiration date shown.

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click Programs.
3. Click Programs and Features.
4. Click View installed updates.
5. Click Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB936330).
6. Click Uninstall.

Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954753/en-us