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. πŸ˜‰ 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? πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰


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.

Force Dell PC Restore thru BOOT_DSR.exe

To all Dell computer owners out there. Sometimes our computer systems bug down on us big time that the only solution for us to do is to reload the operating system to erase all our problems (only if the issue lies within the depths of the operating system); but what if you don’t have a restore disc or an operating system intallation disc? Is it the end of your world? Do you call their support trunkline?

For all you know, some Dell machines were designed with back-up recovery tool preloaded in the hard drive during its building. With features like Norton Ghost and PC Restore (or Dell Image Restore to some), reloading the operating system in our Dell machines/computers is just at the tip of our hands.

However, what if your PC Restore (which is accessible by pressing Ctrl and F11 altogether) won’t work and won’t let us do the reload? As long as the computer is booting up to Windows (even with all the errors and what-nots), you can still run Dell’s PC Restore function by manually running it from it’s location. Here’s how:

1. Run the Dell PC Restore function from this directory: C:\dell\utilities\dsrfolder.

2. It will just give you a warning, you just have to click YES and it will continue with its process by restarting the computer and boot to the PC Restore Utility.

Or, another way is clicking this executable file: BOOT_DSR.EXE. (I’m not sure though if this work-around will work with Dell systems without Norton Ghost. But heck, you could always give it a shot! πŸ˜‰ )

To learn more about Dell’s partitioning and PC Restore features, check out these websites for further reading:



Windows XP Logs Off As Soon As you Log In

Irritating? Here’s why:

Windows SA replaces userinit.exe used in logon with its own wsaupdater.exe. But uninstalling doesn’t revert it back. Some ad-aware programs may also remove or quarantine wsaupdater.exe thinking that it’s harmful.

Here’s the fix:

1. Boot using your Windows XP disc.
2. Enter Recovery Console.
3. At the ‘command prompt’ go to C:/windows/system32
4. Next type the command: copy userinit.exe wsaupdater.exe
5. Exit and reboot normally. You should now be able to logon. But you’re not done yet. πŸ˜‰
6. Run regedit.
7. Find the Userinit key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
8. Modify the entry:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\wsaupdater.exe, (DO NOT FORGET THE COMMA ΓΌ)
So that it reads:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\userinit.exe, (DO NOT FORGET THE COMMA ΓΌ)

Hope this helps! πŸ˜‰

Systems with More than 4GB System Memory Will not Allow Hibernate Power Option.

I’ve recently encountered an issue with systems having more than 4GB of system memory will not allow hibernate power option in both Windows XP and Windows Vista operated systems.

This issue usually occurs due to hibernation is being disabled on computers that have more than 4 GB of system memory.

Hibernation actually requires sufficient disk space to contain and accommodate the contents of the computer’s memory. Tendency is performance consequently is poor on a computer that has more than 4 GB of memory and that has support for hibernation. As a result, Microsoft has disabled support for hibernation on those kind of computers.

As a work-around on this issue, Microsoft suggests to decrease the system memory to 4 GB or less on a computer that is running Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista, or Server 2008. Not quite an option really but surely a leverage.


How to Create a Vista Black Style Theme for Google Chrome in WinXP

How to Create a Vista Black Style Theme for Google Chrome in WinXP

Have you seen the screenshots of Google Chrome on XP as well as on Vista? You might have noticed that the interface absolutely looks different. So, do you want to make your XP version of Chrome look the same as Vista’s slick black theme? Try this custom hack from The Geek:

Installing the Custom Theme

First you need to download the patched theme here. Open up an explorer window and then paste in the following to the address bar:

||Β  %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application.2.149.27\ThemesΒ  ||

You’ll see a file called default.dll. Make a copy of this before you do anything else.

The paste the default.dll contained in the theme’s zip file into the same directory. You will be prompted to overwrite the current file (it’s okay since you’ve already made a copy of it earlier).

At this point on, you can already start up chrome and check out the new theme. πŸ˜‰

How to Remove the Theme

You can simply delete the new default.dll file and replace it back with the copy we made (the original that we backed-up) prior to overwriting it with the one from the patch. Easy, right? πŸ™‚


Please take note that these themes will have to be re-patched (or replaced) every time a new version of Google Chrome is announced or released, which expectedly, could be quite often.


The Ever Familiar “svchost.exe” Explained by The Geek!

So it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted. Honestly, I needed to give myself a break from all the online working I’ve been doing lately, juggling my time from content and online writing to researching different topics then completing a screenplay almost started to hunting every work-from-home job opportunities to technical work in a technical support environment at the office. Well, anybody who does that kind of job definitely needs a break, agree? πŸ™‚

Okay now, so what do I have for you? Ever wondered what is a svchost.exe and what is it so familiar? I bumped into a kinda-deeply-technical-resource-site-online and I thought the article would be a very nice thing to share.

Svchost.exe, to put it simply, is a service that houses a number of different other service files (*.dll files) that are needed for Windows, and all other applications and software, to run. Since those other service files were already programmed by windows to be *.dll files, there would be no way for them to launch or to execute without a house that can accomodate them and can execute their functionality, hence the creation svchost.exe.

So, for example, if you look at the Services section in your control panel you will notice that there are a number of services required by Windows. They’re actually subdivided and managed into what they call in technical terms the “logical group” so a svchost.exe will be assigned with services that belong to particular logical group. Such that a number of services (which are in *.dll files) related to video and graphics are being run in one svchost.exe and so the process continues with other logical groups.

For a more detailed explanation of this, plus an array of screenshot GUIs, let’s go to The Geek‘s advice and learn together. Happy learning!