Archive for the ‘Windows XP’ category

How to Prevent Windows Users from Changing Date and Time

May 21st, 2018 by Admin

How to block access to changing the time for Windows 10? Is there a way to lock the system date and time on a public or shared computer? Here’s how to use group policy to prevent users from changing date and time in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP.

How to Prevent Windows Users from Changing Date and Time?

By default, only administrative accounts are able to change the system time. Follow these steps to prevent specific user or even administrators from changing date and time in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP.

  1. Press the Windows key + R together to open the Run command. Type secpol.msc and hit Enter to open the Local Security Policy window.

  2. On the left-hand side, drill down to Local Policies -> User Rights Assignment. On the right, double-click the “Change the system time” setting to modify.

  3. In the Properties window, select any specific user or group that you want to block from changing the system date / time, and click on Remove.

  4. Click Apply and then OK. Restart your computer for this policy to take effect. The next time you try to change the date and time from Control Panel, you’ll get the error message “Unable to continue. You do not have permission to perform this task.

    This setting will also prevent you from changing the system date/time using the Settings app in Windows 10. If you’re running Windows 10 Home, you have to add Local Group Policy Editor to Windows 10 Home before running the secpol.msc command.

How to Check if I Have Windows Administrator Rights?

May 7th, 2018 by Admin

Do I have local admin rights? Before you can make system-wide changes to the system, such as install software or run elevated command prompt, you’ll need to log into Windows as a user with administrative rights. Here’s how to quickly check if a user account is an administrator or not in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP.

Method 1: Check for Administrator Rights Using Control Panel

  1. Open the Control Panel in Large icons view, and then click User Accounts.

  2. Click the Manage another account link.

  3. You should see all the accounts on your computer. If your account has admin rights, you can see the word “Administrator” under your account name.

    As you can see from the screenshot above, pcunlocker is an administrator while david is a standard/limited user.

Method 2: Check for Administrator Rights Using Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key + R keys on the keyboard to open the Run box. Type cmd and press Enter.

  2. In the Command Prompt, type the following command and hit Enter.
    net user account_name

  3. You’ll get a list of attributes of your account. Look for the “Local Group Memberships” entry. If your account belongs to the “Administrators” group, it should have admin rights.

That’s it!

Fix: Can’t Type Special Characters on Windows Login Screen

March 5th, 2018 by Admin

Can’t log into Windows if your password contains certain special characters? If you’re concerned about the security of your Windows account, you may use some ultra complex password generated from password manager. When setting up password via Control Panel, you can input special characters with a copy and paste operation, or using the built-in Character Map utility. The problem is that these ways don’t work on the Windows login screen.

In this tutorial we’ll explain how you can enter special characters on Windows login screen, or simply remove your password to unlock your computer.

Method 1: Type Special Characters on Windows Login Screen

To insert the special character (such as #, &, @, {,}, [,],) shown on the upper part of a key, just hold down SHIFT and press the desired key to type it. If your desired characters (such as ©,®,∆,√) that are not on the keyboard, you can type it using Alt key codes:

  1. Place your cursor in the location where you wish to insert a special character.
  2. When the NUM LOCK key is on, press and hold down the Alt key, then tap the numbers (ALT code) on the numeric keypad at the right side of your keyboard.
  3. Release the Alt key, the desired character will appear.

For example, let’s say you want to type the copyright symbol ©. It’s ALT code is 0169. With Num Lock enabled, hold down Alt key and tap the sequence of numbers (0, 1, 6, 9) on the numpad, then release the Alt key.

The following is the ALT codes for the most common characters:

Note: You must use the numeric keypad to type the ALT code. However, most laptops and tablets don’t have the traditional numeric keypad. To type special characters, you may have to add an external USB keyboard with embedded numeric keypad.

Method 2: Remove Windows Password to Bypass the Login Screen

If you’re still unable to type special characters on the login screen, you may be completely locked out of Windows admin account. In order to regain access to your system, you can use PCUnlocker to remove the login password before Windows loads up.

  1. To start, use a second computer to download the ISO image of PCUnlocker. Run the ISO2Disc utility and browse for the ISO file you just downloaded, just select your USB drive and start the process to create a bootable PCUnlocker USB drive.

  2. Plug the USB drive into your locked computer. Enter into the BIOS setup and change the boot sequence to force your computer to boot from USB drive first.

  3. After PCUnlocker loads from the USB drive, you can see all local accounts found on your computer. Just select your admin account and click on Reset Password button. This lets you remove / delete the Windows password that you’re unable to type on the login screen.

  4. Reboot your computer and restore the BIOS boot sequence to boot from hard drive. Windows will log in to your local admin account without prompting you to type password any longer. Done!

How to Change RDP Port for Windows Remote Desktop Connection

October 25th, 2017 by Admin

By default, Windows uses TCP/IP port 3389 for remote desktop connection. Since this port is well known and it could pose a security risk, you’d better change remote desktop RDP port for your Windows computer as an added security measure. The following method works with Windows 10, 8, 7 and Windows Server.

How to Change RDP Port for Windows Remote Desktop Connection?

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run command box. Type regedit and press Enter.

  2. On the left-side of Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber

    Scroll down on the right until you see the PortNumber value, and then double-click it to modify.

  3. Click Decimal, and type in the new port number that you want to use for remote desktop and click OK.

  4. Close the Registry Editor and reboot the computer. Note that the next time you connect to your PC with RDP you will need to add a colon followed by the port number to the IP address.

That’s it!

5 Ways to Set Password to Never Expire for Windows Local Account

August 10th, 2017 by Admin

My password has expired and now I am completely locked out of my computer? When you log into Windows, you might receive a message that says “Your password has expired and must be changed“. What to do if you forgot your old password or you get the access denied error when you try to change the password? In this tutorial we’ll show you 5 ways to set password to never expired for Windows local account.

Method 1: Set Windows Password to Never Expire Using Computer Management

Right-click the My Computer (This PC) icon on your desktop and then select Management from the pop-up menu.

When the Computer Management console launches, go to System Tools -> Local Users and Groups -> Users. Right-click on the user with an expired password in the middle pane and select Properties.

Check the “Password never expires” box and click OK.

When done, close the Computer Management and you can determine when the password of your Windows account will expire. Open a Command Prompt and type:

net user account_name

The output of this command will give you a lot of information about account. Just look for the line beginning with “Password expires” and you can see the password expiration date. In our example, it showed that the password of my account “pcunlocker” will never expire.

Method 2: Set Windows Password to Never Expire from Command Line

Open the Command Prompt as Administrator. Type the following command and press Enter. Replace “pcunlocker” with the name of your local account:

wmic useraccount where "Name='pcunlocker'" set PasswordExpires=false

Method 3: Set Windows Password to Never Expire Using PowerShell

Open the PowerShell as Administrator. You can use the Set-LocalUser cmdlet to modify a local user account and set its password to never expire:

Set-LocalUser -Name "pcunlocker" -PasswordNeverExpires 1

Method 4: Set Password to Never Expire for All Accounts Using Group Policy

Press the WIN + R keys to open the Run command box. Type secpol.msc and press Enter to open the Local Security Policy Editor. Go to Account Policies -> Password Policy, ensure the Maximum password age is set to 0, meaning that passwords never expire.

You can also apply the password expiration policy using command line. Follow these steps:
Open the Command Prompt as Administrator. Type the following command and hit Enter.

net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited

This will set password to never expire for all your Windows local accounts.

Method 5: Set Windows Password to Never Expire Using a Boot CD

If your Windows password is expired and unable to change password on the login screen, you’re completely locked out of your computer and all of the methods above won’t work for your case. Then you have to use a password utility called PCUnlocker, which can reset your forgotten Windows password, as well as setting your password to never expire.

To start, you need to make a PCUnlocker Live CD (or USB drive) from an accessible PC. Next boot your locked computer from the CD. Select the account with an expired password and click on “Reset Password” button. The program will remove your Windows password and disable password expiration for your account.

Reboot and eject the CD, you can then log into your Windows account with no warning of user password’s about to expire. That’s it!

PCUnlocker – Best Alternative to Password Reset Disk

June 16th, 2017 by Admin

Password reset disk is a special disk that could be used to reset your Windows password if you forget it. Just go to Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts, you can click the “Create a password reset disk” link on the left pane to create such a disk.

create-password-reset-disk

A password reset disk contains a single file named userkey.psw, which is an encrypted backup version of your password. You can only make a password reset disk while you still know your password. The process of creating a password reset disk is just like writing down your password on a piece of paper. So, if you’ve already forgotten your password, it’s too late to create a password reset disk. Still have questions about password reset disk? Please check out this article: FAQs for Password Reset Disk in Windows.

What to do if you forget Windows password but you don’t have a password reset disk? This happens so many times because we only aware that a password reset disk must be created before we forget the password. Fortunately, there are several good alternatives to password reset disk. PCUnlocker is the best alternative that could hep you reset forgotten Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP password instantly.

When you’re locked out of your own computer, just use an alternative PC to download PCUnlocker and create a bootable CD/USB drive. Next, boot your locked PC from CD/USB and it allows you to bypass & reset lost admin password easily.

Fix: “User must change password at next logon” option greyed out in Windows

December 29th, 2016 by Admin

When you try to change or reset the password of a user account, you might find the checkbox “User must change password at next logon” is greyed out, so you can’t choose this option.

user-must-change-password-next-logon

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to enable the “User must change password at next logon” option that is greyed out for Windows local or domain user account.

For Windows Local Accounts:

Open the Computer Management. Expand System Tools, then Local Users and Groups, then Users. Right-click on your local account and select Properties from the context menu.

local-account-properties

This will open the Properties dialog box. Uncheck the “Password never expires” box and you’ll then find the “User must change password at next logon” option is enabled. Click Apply and then OK.

windows-password-never-expires

For Active Directory User Accounts:

In Windows Server with Active Directory installed, open the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in (start->run->dsa.msc). Right-click on your domain user and select Properties.

domain-account-properties

Click the Account tab. Under the Account options section, uncheck the “Password never expires” checkbox and click OK.

domain-password-never-expires

Now you should be able to reset the password and force the domain user to change it at next login.

SysKey: Lock & Unlock Windows PC with USB Drive

December 6th, 2016 by Admin

Is it possible to set up a USB Drive to log into Windows without installing any software on the PC? SysKey is a built-in Windows utility that allows you to set up a Startup Key/Password to protect the SAM (Security Accounts Management) database. You can store the Startup Key to USB drive. Whenever the computer boots up, you will have to insert the USB drive to login.

In this tutorial we’ll walk you through how to enable SysKey in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, and use a USB drive as a key to lock & unlock your computer.

How to Lock & Unlock Windows PC Using SysKey?

Syskey (also known as SAM Lock Tool) was introduced since Windows NT. It’s so old that it only stores the Startup Key on the A: drive. So you need to assign the drive letter A: to your USB flash drive before following the steps below.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type syskey and press Enter.

    syskey

  2. Click the Update button.

    secure-windows-account-database

  3. Choose the System Generated Password option, and then select Store Startup Key on Floppy Disk and click OK.

    startup-key

  4. You will be asked to insert a disk into drive A: to save the Startup Key. Make sure you change the drive letter of your USB drive to A: and click OK.

    save-startup-key-to-disk

  5. After Windows writes the Startup Key into your USB drive, you’ll receive the message that the disk is now required to start up the system. Open your USB drive and you can see a single file named StartKey.Key, which is 16 bytes big.

    syskey-file

  6. Every time you computer boots up, you’ll be presented with the Startup Key Disk dialog which requires you to insert your USB drive. Without the USB drive, you’re unable to get past to access Windows login screen.

    startup-key-disk

How to Export and Copy Local Group Policy Settings to Another PC

October 14th, 2016 by Admin

“I am editing local group policies here and would prefer not to edit each machine manually. How do I export the policy, and then import it to other machines? Please help!”

LGPO.exe (Local Group Policy Object Utility) is a small command-line utility released by Microsoft, which allows you to export and import local group policy easily. It’s really convenient if you want to make a backup of local group policy, or import it later on another computer.

This tutorial shows you how to use Microsoft’s command line tool LGPO to export / backup local group policy settings, and import them into another computer.

Download LGPO from Microsoft

Download the LGPO zip archive from Microsoft’s website. Unpack it locally and copy the resulting LGPO.exe file to C:\Windows\System32. Afterwards you can open an elevated Command Prompt for running the LGPO command to automate the management of local group policy.

LGPO

Export Local Group Policy Settings

To create a backup for local policy policy settings on your local PC, run this command at Command Prompt:
LGPO.exe /b backup_path

backup-local-group-policy-via-cmd

A new folder with GPO GUID appears in the target directory. It will contain all local policy settings for this computer. You can restore this backup to your local machine at any time you need it, or import it later into another computer.

group-policy-backup

Import GPO into Another PC

To restore Local Group Policy settings from the backup, import them by running the following command:
LGPO.exe /g backup_path

import-group-policy-via-cmd

Once imported, restart your computer for the local group policy settings to take effect.

Conclusion

This method can help you easily deploy local group policy settings to other computers. As we all know, the Local Group Policy Editor is not present in Windows Home edition so you’re unable to edit the group policy locally. The LGPO utility makes it possible to copy the group policy settings from Windows Pro/Enterprise to Windows Home.