Archive for the ‘Windows XP’ category

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.

How to Stop Check Disk (Chkdsk) From Running at Startup

September 18th, 2016 by Admin

There are some situations where your PC needs to run a check disk at startup or reboot. For instance, if you run the chkdsk command on a system drive that is being used to run the Windows OS, it will schedule a disk check to run at the next reboot. Windows might also force an automatic disk check when your computer shuts down unexpectedly.

disk-checking-at-boot

Checking disk could be a really time-consuming task. If you don’t want Windows to take its time during the next reboot, here is how you can cancel or stop check disk (chkdsk) from running at Startup in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP.

Part 1: Check if a Manual/Automatic Disk Check is Scheduled

Open a Command Prompt as an administrator in Windows. Type in the following command and press Enter.
chkntfs C:

If there is a chkdsk task scheduled you will receive a response that is similar to “chkdsk has been scheduled manually to run on next reboot.

disk-check-schedule

If a dirty flag is set on your drive, the system will force an automatic disk check at the next reboot.

disk-dirty

Part 2: Stop Check Disk from Running at Startup

The methods of stopping check disk varies depend on how it is scheduled.

Option 1: Cancel the Automatic Disk Check

When the computer boots up with the dirty bit enabled on a drive, you will be asked to check the disk for consistency before Windows is loaded. But sometimes Windows might keep running check disk automatically on every reboot and this could be quite annoying. To stop the automatic disk check, you have to clear the dirty bit by following this tutorial: How to Manually Clear or Set Dirty Bit on Windows Volume

Option 2: Cancel the Scheduled Disk Check

It’s much easier to stop the scheduled disk check. You can cancel the scheduled disk check using either Command Prompt or Registry Editor.

Method 1: Using Command Prompt

Open a Command Prompt as an administrator. If you want to disable a scheduled disk check on C: drive, type the following command and press Enter.
chkntfs /x C:

cancel-scheduled-diskcheck

Method 2: Using Registry Editor

Open the Registry Editor. Navigate to the following keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

Double-click on the Multi-String value “BootExecute” in the right pane.

boot-execute

This will open the “Edit Multi-String” window. Click in the Value data box, and then delete all of the lines, except the last one.

cancel-disk-checking

When it’s done, click OK and close Registry Editor.

How to Manually Clear or Set Dirty Bit on Windows Volume

September 17th, 2016 by Admin

When a dirty bit is set on a volume, Windows automatically performs a disk checking the next time the computer is restarted. You can run the chkntfs command at the Command Prompt to check if a volume is dirty, but there is no way to clear the dirty bit unless you let Windows go through disk scanning at boot.

disk-dirty

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to manually clear or set the dirty bit for a NTFS & FAT32 volume in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. The procedure requires you to use a disk editor software such as WinHex. If you want to edit the dirty bit for a system volume currently in use, you need to use a WinPE bootable CD to boot off your PC.

How to Manually Clear or Set Dirty Bit on Windows Volume?

To get started, open WinHex as administrator rights. Click the Tools menu and select Open Disk.

open-disk-with-winhex

When prompted to select a drive for editing, choose the logical volume you want to edit the dirty bit on, and then click OK.

edit-logical-volume

For FAT32 Volume:

Click on “Boot sector” at the directory browser. The dirty bit for FAT32 volume is located at offset 0x41. If this volume is dirty, the bit should be 01. Just change 01 to 00 and then save your changes back to disk, now you’ve successfully cleared the dirty bit.

fat32-dirty-bit

For NTFS Volume:

Click on $Volume at the directory browser. The offset location of the dirty bit is slightly different on every NTFS volume. To locate the dirty bit, look for a hex string of 13 bytes, beginning with 03 01, ending with 80 00 00 00 18. You should be able to find a match within the first or second sector.

ntfs-dirty-bit

The dirty bit is the 3th byte of the hex string that I’ve circled with red line. To set a dirty flag on the drive, just change it to 01. Or change it to 00 if you want to clear the dirty flag.

When it’s done, commit the change to the disk.

How to Edit Offline Windows Registry from WinPE

August 7th, 2016 by Admin

When your computer no longer boots up or you’re unable to login to Windows, a registry hack might fix your problem. To access the registry for an unbootable Windows installation, you should use a WinPE bootdisk. In this tutorial we’ll walk you through the steps to load / edit offline registry hive from WinPE.

Before get started, we need to know the locations of Windows registry hives:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM: %windir%\system32\config\SYSTEM
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM: %windir%\system32\config\SAM
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY: %windir%\system32\config\SECURITY
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE: %windir%\system32\config\SOFTWARE
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT: %windir%\system32\config\DEFAULT

How to Edit Offline Windows Registry from WinPE?

  1. Boot your computer into WinPE. Open a Command Prompt and run regedit.exe to open the Registry Editor.

    command-prompt-from-winpe

  2. In the left pane of Registry Editor, highlight the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive (or HKEY_USERS).

    highlight-registry-key

  3. Click the File menu and select Load Hive.

    load-hive

  4. Browse to your Windows partition and select the registry hive which you wish to load. In my example, the registry hives are located in the directory D:\Windows\System32\Config.

    select-registry-hive

  5. Type a key name whatever you like (e.g. “OfflineReg“) and click OK. The name will be used to create a new node in the tree so one can browser the offline registry.

    enter-key-name-for-loading

  6. Now under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key, you should see a new key named after the name you typed previously.

    offline-registry

  7. Expand the new key, browse to the desired key or value for editing. In my example, I browse to OfflineReg\Software\Microsoft\IdentityCRL\StoredIdentities and delete its subkey.

    modify-offline-registry

  8. When you finish with the modifications, highlight the key you created previously (e.g. “OfflineReg“). Click the File menu and select Unload Hive.

    unload-hive

  9. This will unload the hive and all changes made will be saved to the offline registry.

2 Ways to Block Users from Deleting Browsing History in Internet Explorer

June 16th, 2016 by Admin

How to prevent others from deleting browsing history in your browser? There are situations where you need to share your computer with your friends or family members but you want to restrict them from deleting your saved logins and cookies. In this tutorial we’ll show you 2 simple ways to block users from deleting browsing history in Internet Explorer.

Method 1: Prevent Access to Delete Browsing History Using Group Policy

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
  2. This should open the Local Group Policy Editor. Navigate to the following location:
    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Delete Browsing History
  3. In the right pane, double-click on “Prevent access to Delete Browsing History” to open its settings box. Select Enabled and click Apply / OK.

    prevent-delete-browsing-history

  4. Reboot your computer. When you open the Internet Options of Internet Explorer, you’ll find the button for deleting browsing history is greyed out.

    unable-delete-ie-history

Method 2: Prevent Users from Deleting Browsing History Using Registry Editor

If Local Group Policy Editor is not accessible in your computer, you can also use the following registry trick to block users from deleting browsing history in Internet Explorer.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and press Enter.
  2. When you see the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

    If both the Internet Explorer key and the Control Panel key don’t exist, you need to create them firstly.

  3. Now in right side pane, right-click the empty space to create a new DWORD (32-bit) value named DisableDeleteBrowsingHistory and set its value to 1.

    disable-delete-browsing-history

  4. Close Registry Editor and re-open Internet Explorer. Now users will not be able to access the option for deleting browsing history in Internet Explorer. That’s it!

3 Ways to Disable Registry Editor in Windows 10, 8 and 7

June 12th, 2016 by Admin

Making improper changes to the Registry can cause Windows to become unusable or unbootable. To prevent, restrict or block anyone from accessing Registry Editor in Windows 10, 8 and 7, you can disable Registry Editor using group policy, registry trick or third-party software.

Method 1: Disable Registry Editor Using Group Policy

  1. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

    gpedit

  2. When Group Policy Editor opens, navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System. Double-click on Prevent access to registry editing tools on the right panel.

    prevent-access-to-regedit

  3. Select the radio button next to Enabled, click Apply and then OK, then close out of Group Policy Editor and reboot your computer.

    prevent-access-registry-edit

  4. When a user tries to access Registry Editor, they will get an error message saying “Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator“.

    registry-editing-disabled

This method will prevent all users from accessing Registry Editor, including yourself. To regain access to Registry Editor, you have to open Group Policy Editor again, and change the policy to Disabled or Not Configured.

Method 2: Disable Registry Editor Using Registry Trick

  1. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box. Type regedit and press Enter.
  2. When Registry Editor opens, navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System

    If the System key doesn’t exist, you need to create it.

  3. In the right pane, right-click on any empty space and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it DisableRegistryTools and set its value to 1.

    disable-registry-tools

  4. When you try to access Registry Editor, you’ll also get the same error message “Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator“.

This method will prevent your current user from accessing Registry Editor. To regain access, you have to log on as another administrator account and delete the registry value DisableRegistryTools.

Method 3: Disable Registry Editor Using Third Party Software

Using Protect My Folders you can lock & protect Registry Editor with a password. Anyone can’t access Registry Editor without knowing your password.

  1. Download and install Protect My Folders program on your computer. The first time you launch this program it will prompt your to set a password. Don’t forgot it as you’ll need it next time you run it.
  2. When Protect My Folders starts, click on Add/Lock button.

    protect-my-folders

  3. The File/Folder selection dialog should open, choose the C:\Windows\regedit.exe file and click Add, next click OK.

    select-regedit

  4. Now you’ll see the regedit application is locked. Close Protect My Folders program.

    lock-registry-editor

  5. When you try to access Registry Editor, you’ll receive the following error message:

    cannot-find-regedit

This method will block all users from accessing Registry Editor. To regain access you have to relaunch Protect My Folders, enter your password and unlock the regedit.exe app.