Trying to reset the admin password on a gifted laptop. No luck with several different repair disks (DSL, Rescatux, Hiren's Boot CD) and though Avast's instructions may have worked, I took a walk while the "repair" was doing its scan, and when I got back the computer had rebooted itself and I couldn't try the trickery mentioned in the article.

However, I had a dubious Windows 7 install disk with no key. I booted it, followed these instructions until I ran into the brick wall that was I had booted a 32-bit DVD to repair a 64-bit OS; but I tried clicking the "Load Drivers" button and bingo! I had an administrator-level file browser. I quickly went to D:\Windows\System32, backed up utilman.exe and sethc.exe, and copied cmd.exe to impersonate both. No sense going half-assed.

Rebooted, clicked the button at the lower left of the login screen, and was presented with a CMD window. Made several attempts at net user Administrator * until I gave it a password Windows found acceptable. It works!

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last updated 2020-10-15 17:06:21. served from tektonic