Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hacking 101: Reset Windows Passwords

A while back, I was repairing a computer for someone and required their password. The problem is, I forgot to get it and happened to have... lost the person's number. As you can tell, I'm a professional. Now I needed a way to reset the password. I read online you can do it with the actual CD/DVD for the Windows OS. The problem is, I didn't have for that version of Windows, so another option was needed.

Here is something good to know, the Ubuntu live CD has NTFS support already. So with that, we're set. So here's the outline:

We need an Administrative command prompt.
Windows has programs you can trigger with event even at a login.
We need to use that triggered event to launch a command prompt.
The command prompt can be used for whatever... like changing passwords.

So load up an Ubuntu live CD. Once in, open up your file browser and navigate to your Windows partition. In the System32 folder, we're looking for a file named sethc.exe. Make a copy of it and then replace it with a copy of cmd.exe. Now all we need to do is boot back into Windows. The file we replaced with the command prompt is sticky keys. So once at the login, tap shift five times. For some reason, sticky keys never seems to work properly, so I just rapidly tap it until a few prompts decide to finally pop up.

Now let's say, for example, the computer doesn't even have an Administrative account active. Well, now we can activate it, even password protect it if you want. So to activate it, the command is

net user Administrator /active:yes

Now to password protect it or change a user password, use this command (replace Adminstrator with the username you want to change).

net user Administrator <new password>

Simple and easy. I know it's all well known, however i wanted to write on it in a way as a reminder to myself if I forget.

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