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Eric Ewing
Eric Ewing, IT Pro
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 211
Experience:  I am a technology professional with 18 years experience, and hold 15 industry certifications (from hardware/software repair to mobility to IT Security, and everything in-between!).
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My grandson put a password on my administrator account n

Customer Question

My grandson put a password ***** my administrator account n can't remember the password..and it's a Vista operating system
JA: You'd be surprised how many people have questions about an operating system. Fortunately, the technicians we work with know tech inside and out, and it would be my pleasure to connect you with one right away. Have you tried to troubleshoot?
Customer: Can only access thru the Guest account n everything asking for my password ***** I can try again
JA: Is there anything else the Computer Technician should be aware of?
Customer: I did back-up recovery on a D drive
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Computer Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

Hi! I'm Eric, a computer expert who's been paired with you through I'm reviewing your question now, and will return w/ an answer soon!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One more...I have recovery files on the D drive..How do I get to them?
Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

Hello! This is *not* an easy thing to fix, but it is possible using these steps:

  1. Find a Windows Vista installation or recovery disc. In order to perform this method, you will need to enter the Recovery Console, which can only be accessed with a Windows Vista installation or recovery disc.
  2. Insert the installation disc into your computer.
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Enter your BIOS setup. When the POST screen (the screen that appears before the loading bar shows up and usually displays the computer manufacturer's logo) appears, press the button indicated by it to enter your BIOS setup.
  5. Set your computer to boot from the disc drive and save the settings.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. Press any key to boot from the inserted disc. This will start the Setup program.
  8. Click Next at the Install Windows screen.
  9. Click "Repair your computer". This is located in the bottom-left corner of the Install Windows screen. After clicking, wait a few moments while the Setup program locates your Windows installation.
  10. Highlight "Windows Vista" and click .Next >. Make a note of which drive Windows is installed on. This is typically the C: drive, but it may be on the D: drive.
  11. Select "Command Prompt" in the System Recovery Options menu.
  12. Type .copy c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe c:\. Press Enter.
  13. Type .copy c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe. Press Enter.
  14. Type y and press Enter.
  15. This will give you the ability to load the command prompt from the login screen without having to start Windows.
  16. Remove your installation or recovery disc and reboot your computer. Allow Windows to reboot as it normally would.
  17. Click the Accessibility button in the bottom left corner of the Windows login screen. Instead of opening the Accessibility options, the Command Prompt will open.
  18. Type .net user username newpassword. Press Enter. Replace username with the user you want to change, and newpassword ***** the new password. For example: net user Administrator newpassword1. If your username has a space in it, put quotes around it (e.g. net user "John Doe" password).
  19. Log in with your new password. As soon as you run the command, your new password ***** be ready to go. You can use it to log in immediately.
Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

Regarding your recovery files, do you have any other user accounts setup on the computer which you are able to access?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Only the guest account...n here's the thing..I never had a disc because this was a computer I rescued for someone n they didn't want it back n had nothing for it anymore
Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

I see. Let's try this:

  1. Log on with the guest account on Vista, then right click computer, and choose Management.
  2. Expand Local Users and Groups and Users in the console.
  3. Right-click Administrator account and select Properties.
  4. On the General tab, clear the Account is Disabled check box.
  5. Close the console.

Now the Administrator account is successfully enabled. Next, you can easily reset the forgotten Vista password ***** “Start->Control Panel”.

  1. Click on Start and then Control Panel.

  2. Click on the User Accounts and Family Safety link.

    Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel you won't see this link. Instead, double-click on User Accounts and then skip to Step 4.

  3. Click on the User Accounts link.

  4. Near the bottom of the Make changes to your user account area of the User Accounts window, click on Manage another account.

  5. Click on the account that you need to change the password *****

  6. Under the Make changes to [username]'s account heading, click Change the password.

  7. Enter a new password ***** the user in the first two text boxes.

  8. In the third text box, you're asked to Type a password *****. You can skip this.

  9. Click the Change password button to confirm the change of password.

  10. You can now close the User Accounts window.

  11. Log off Windows Vista or restart the computer and then log in to your account with your new password!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not giving me permission to open anything. Can I do it in the BIOS
Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

I'm afraid not; the BIOS is a separate entity from Windows, so you can't access Windows user accounts for it.

Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

Do you have another computer from which to create a bootable CD, or are you accessing us today using a tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tablet. Can use friend's laptop but have to put it on thumbdrive
Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

Great! Having access to your friend's laptop will be a great help. Using it, you can download a password "cracker" in order to recovery your forgotten password.

  • Start by navigating to
  • On that page, you'll be clicking/downloading the first option.
  • On the next webpage, Ophcrack LiveCD should begin downloading automatically. The download is in the form of a single ISO file.
  • If prompted, choose to Download File or Save to Disk - however your browser phrases it. Save the file to your Desktop or another location that's easy to locate. Do not choose to Open the File.
  • The size of the Ophcrack LiveCD software you're downloading is fairly large...approx. 650MB. Depending on your current Internet bandwidth, the Ophcrack LiveCD download could take as little as several minutes or as long as several hours to download.
  • After downloading the Ophcrack LiveCD software, you'll need to burn the ISO file to a USB drive. Any flash drive with at least a 1 GB capacity will do.
  • Insert the flash drive you made into a free USB port and then restart.
  • The initial screen you see after restarting should be the same one you always see immediately after starting your computer.
  • Ophcrack begins immediately after this point in the boot process.
  • After the initial startup of your computer is complete, the Ophcrack LiveCD menu should display.
  • You don't need to do anything here. Ophcrack LiveCD will continue automatically after the Automatic boot in x seconds... timer at the bottom of the screen expires. If you'd like to advance the process a little faster, feel free to hit Enter while Ophcrack Graphic mode - automatic is highlighted. Don't See This Screen? If Windows started, you see an error message, or you see a blank screen, then something went wrong. If you see anything other than the menu screen shown above then Ophcrack LiveCD did not start correctly and will not recover your password.
  • The next screen consists of several lines of text that quickly run down the screen. You don't need to do anything here.
  • These lines of text are detailing the many individual tasks that SliTaz (a Linux operating system) is taking in preparation for loading the Ophcrack LiveCD software program which will recover the Windows passwords encrypted on your hard drive.
  • The next step in the Ophcrack LiveCD boot process is this little window that appears on screen. It may appear and disappear very quickly so you could miss it, but I wanted to point it out because it will be a window that runs in the background that you may see.
  • You may see a message simply confirming that a partition with encrypted password ***** on it has been found on your hard drive. This is good news!
  • The next screen is the Ophcrack LiveCD software itself. Ophcrack will attempt to recover the passwords for all of the Windows user accounts that it can find on your computer. This password ***** process is completely automated. The important things to look for here are the accounts listed in the User column and the passwords listed in the NT Pwd column. If the user account you're looking for isn't listed, Ophcrack didn't find that user on your computer. If the NT Pwd field is blank for a particular user, the password ***** not been recovered yet.
  • After Ophcrack recovers your password, write it down, remove the Ophcrack disc or flash drive and then restart your computer. You don't need to exit the Ophcrack software - it won't harm your computer to power it off or restart it while it's running.
  • Now that your password ***** been recovered using Ophcrack LiveCD, simply enter your password ***** prompted after booting your computer normally.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Had to catch my bus to Portland ..on the bus as we speak. Had to leave instructions with another friend but was having no luck at all trying to get in.
Now I discover that not only did my account get charged$5 good faith money..but you have also charged ANOTHER $31 and my account is overdrawn!!! The free trial just started n I DID NOT authorize anymore than the $5 !!! Reverse those charges please or I will be making phone calls n going into bank first thing! I am on a VERY limited income SSI/ SSA age 64 with disabilities..I just needed some help, not to be taken advantage of!!
Expert:  Eric Ewing replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear about the trouble. I will escalate to our Customer Service team right away.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would most certainly appreciate it, thank you..