Archive for the ‘Windows XP’ category

How to Restore Local Security Policy to Default in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP

December 14th, 2015 by Admin

Did you mess with the local security policy? Or a certain program changed the security policy that caused some strange issues? Luckily there is a simple way to reset / restore your local security policy settings to default in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP, if you mess up.

How to Restore Local Security Policy to Default in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP?

This method uses the default security configuration templates to reset the local policies (including account lockout and password complexity requirements policy). Here’s how to reset local security policy settings to their default values:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt. In Windows 10 and 8, press the Windows + X key combinations to open the Quick Access menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin). In Windows 7 or Vista, click the Start menu, then select All Programs -> Accessories, right-click on Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”.
  2. Now copy and paste the following command into the Command Prompt. Hit Enter.
    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose

    If you are running Windows XP and need to reset the security settings to their default values, use this command instead:
    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

    reset-local-security-policy

  3. This will take a few minutes to reset all the policies back to the Windows defaults. you’ll have to restart the computer to see the changes.

2 Ways to Set Password Hint for Windows User Account

November 9th, 2015 by Admin

“I have activated the built-in guest account on my system so guests can use to work on my computer. To log on they must enter a password. How can I set a password hint to inform users of the correct password when entering wrong password? Please help!”

windows-password-hint

The password hint is used to remind you of your password in case you forget it. In this article we’ll show you 2 ways to set up a password hint for any user account in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. The first method is the most common way of setting a password hint, but it doesn’t work for Windows guest account. While the second method is a bit complicated but it works with any situation.

Method 1: Set A Password Hint Through Control Panel

It’s super easy to set up a password hint when you change or reset your Windows user password. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel. Set the View by option to Large icons. Click on User Accounts.

    control-panel

  2. Once on your user account page, click on the Manage another account link at the bottom.

    user-accounts

  3. Click on the user account whose password hint you want to create or change.

    manage-accounts

  4. In the next window, click on Change the password.

    change-windows-password

  5. Type your current password and set a new password. Next enter a word or sentence for your password hint that will help you (and you only!) remember your password. Click Change password when you are done.

    set-up-password-hint

Method 2: Set A Password Hint Through Windows Registry

It turns out that the password hint is stored in Windows registry as a readable format after you set up it through the Control Panel. Here we’ll walk you through the steps of set a password hint directly from the registry.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and hit Enter.
  2. When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM\SAM. To go beyond SAM you have to give yourself permission by right-clicking the second SAM Key and selecting Permissions….

    sam-permissions

  3. In the Permissions for SAM dialog box, highlight the “Administrators” and click the “Full Control” box, click Apply and OK.

    permissions-for-sam

  4. Press F5 to refresh the registry and you’ll be able to navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM\SAM\Domains\Account\Users.
  5. You’ll notice a Names subkey with a registry key for each user account. Click on your desired account and you’ll see the RID of your account in the right pane. In my example, 0x1F5 is the RID of the built-in Guest account.

    account-rid

  6. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM\SAM\Domains\Account\Users\{User_RID}. Right-click on an empty area in the right pane. From the pop up menu, select New > String Value.

    new-string-value

  7. Rename New Value #1 to UserPasswordHint. Next double-click on UserPasswordHint, type your password hint and click OK. Close the Registry Editor and it’s done.

    UserPasswordHint

After setting the password hint, log off or restart your computer. Type in a wrong password at the Windows login screen and it will show you the password hint as a reminder of the password. Make sure you choose a good and secure password hint. If you’re locked out and the password hint couldn’t remind you of the forgotten password, you have to use PCUnlocker to reset the login.

2 Options to Add a User to Local Administrators Group

July 13th, 2015 by Admin

Only an administrator can perform the administration tasks such as installing a driver or an application. If you have an existing standard or limited account, you can grant it administrator privileges by adding it to the built-in Administrators group. Here are two options to add a user to the local Administrators group in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP.

Option 1: Computer Management

The easier way to add a user to the local Administrators group is to use the Computer Management app. Here’s how:

  1. To open the Computer Management, right-click on My Computer icon on your desktop and then select Manage. Another method is to press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box, then type compmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  2. When the Computer Management window opens, expand Local Users And Groups in the left pane, and click on Users (Please skip to the option 2 below if you don’t see Local Users and Groups.)

    local-users-and-groups

  3. Double-click your desired user account in the right hand side.
  4. In the User Properties window, click the Add button.

    account-properties

  5. In the Select Groups dialog, type the name of your administrators group. Click Check Names, and then click OK.

    select-groups

    If you don’t know the name of your administrator group, click Advanced and next click Find Now.

Option 2: Command Prompt

However, not every edition of Windows have the Local Users and Groups entry in the Computer Management (for example, Windows 8 Home and domain controller). This method will work on all editions of Windows.

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt. In Windows 10 or 8, press the Windows key + X and then click “Command Prompt (Admin)“. In Windows 7 or Vista, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories, then right-click on Command Prompt shortcut and select “Run as Administrator“.
  2. To see a list of local groups available, just type:
    net localgroup
  3. You can add a user to the built-in Administrators group by running the following command:

    net localgroup Administrators [username] /add

    For example, add a user named test to the administrators group, we can run the below command.
    net localgroup Administrators test /add

    add-user-to-group

How to Bypass the Password on Any Windows Version

July 6th, 2015 by Admin

There are lots of people that for some reason forget the login password on their Windows computers. Most of the answers they find all over the Internet is to reinstall or reset the password. This is not the answer you’ll get here. Today I’ll share with you how to bypass the password on any Windows version, not just reset it.

How to Bypass the Password on Any Windows Version?

  1. Download the required password bypassing tool – PCUnlocker. Once it’s finished, double-click the zip file to extract it. You will then need to burn the ISO file to a writable CD using a program like ISO2Disc.

  2. Insert the CD into the computer that needs its password bypass and boot from it. You may have to change the computer’s boot order in the BIOS in order to boot from the CD.

  3. If you boot from the CD successfully, it will run the Windows PE environment from memory. When the PCUnlocker application opens, you’ll see a list of Windows user accounts that are discovered on your computer.
  4. Here we’re not going to reset the user password, so don’t click the “Reset Password” button. At the bottom-left side of your screen, there is an Options button. Click on Options and select “Bypass Windows Password”.

  5. Confirm your password bypass operation and click OK to proceed.

  6. When you see the Congratulations dialog box, you’re almost done!

    Restart your compute and take out the CD. When it boots to the Windows login screen, click the icon of any User account (supporting Windows 8 Microsoft account) and you can login with arbitrary password.

I have tested this procedure on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP and it works fine, so if yours somehow does not work, go back through the steps again and make sure you have not missed any step. Or check out the boot up toubleshooting guide for PCUnlocker.

FAQs for Password Reset Disk in Windows

June 22nd, 2015 by Admin

A password reset disk allows you to change lost Windows user password from Windows login screen, without needing to know your old password. In one of my previous posts we’ve covered how to create and use a password reset disk in Windows 7. Here we’ll try to answer the frequently asked questions about password reset disk in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP.

The use of password reset disk has actually protected many users against forgetting their logon passwords. And Microsoft recommends you to always create a password reset disk immediately after setting up a new user account. If you have a lot of users and do not wish to create a reset disk for each one, then you should at least create one for the administrator account on that computer. You can then use that administrator account to change any other user’s password.

FAQ: I’ve created a password reset disk for account A, can I use it to reset the password for account B?

No. Password reset disk is unique to an account (good from security point of view). That’s to say, even if you create a password reset disk for account A of Windows machine A, you cannot use it to reset the password for account B of Windows machine A, and you’ll got the following error message:

password-reset-error

FAQ: Can I create a password reset disk after forgetting my Windows password?

It’s too late to create a password reset disk. You have to create a password reset disk before you forgot the password. If you’ve already forgotten your Windows password and don’t have a password reset disk, you need to take use of the third-party live CDs such as PCUnlocker.

FAQ: Do I have to re-create a password reset disk after changing the password?

Your previously-created password reset disk will continue to work. No need to re-create the disk every time you change your user password.

FAQ: Can I create multiple password reset disks for one account?

Only one password reset disk can be created for per account. When you try to create another password reset disk, you’ll get the warn message “There is already a password reset disk for this user account. Creating a new one will make the old one unusable. Do you want to continue?

replace-reset-disk

If you click Yes, the previous password reset disk automatically expires, and Windows no longer recognizes it when the user tries to use it to reset the password. This is integrated in the operating system for security purposes.

FAQ: Why Windows say “this disk is not a password reset disk”?

A password reset disk is actually a USB drive that contains a single file named userkey.psw in its root directory. userkey.psw is an encrypted backup version of your password.

password-reset-disk

If you try to reset password using a USB drive that doesn’t contain the userkey.psw file, Windows will warn you that it’s not a password reset disk.

not-password-reset-disk

FAQ: Where should I store the password reset disk?

A password reset disk in the wrong hands could be used to reset the account password for whichever computer and user account for which it was created. Therefore it’s imperative to keep your password reset disk in a secure location, preferably away from the computer it was created with.

Parallels Desktop: Reset Lost Windows VM Password

May 16th, 2015 by Admin

If we forget the Admin password for a Windows virtual machine running on Parallels Desktop, is there an easy way to reset it? With PCUnlocker you can reset lost Windows password and regain access to your Parallels VM. This is considerably faster than destroying and rebuilding your VM.

This tutorial will take you step by step through resetting a Windows login password inside a Parallels Desktop virtual machine running on your Mac.

How to Reset Windows VM Password on Parallels Desktop?

  1. Click here to download and save the PCUnlocker self-extracting Zip file on to your Mac. Once the download is complete, double-click on the .zip file and Archive Utility should appear and automatically extract your files. Open the folder you extracted to and you can see a CD image: pcunlocker.iso.

  2. Start Parallels Desktop but do not start your virtual machine. Right-click on your Windows virtual machine and choose Configure.
  3. In the Virtual Machine Configuration dialog, choose the Hardware tab and select CD/DVD 1. Make sure that Connected option is checked. From the “Connected to:” drop-down list, select “Choose an image file” and locate the pcunlocker.iso file you downloaded in step 1.

  4. Go to Hardware tab and click Boot Order. Move CD/DVD to the first place in the Boot order.

  5. Start your Windows virtual machine and it will boot directly to the PCUnlocker program which lists all user accounts on your Windows system.
  6. Select a user whose password you would like to reset and click on “Reset Password” button to clear the user’s password. The program should now alert you that the password was cleared.

  7. You can now power off your virtual machine. Be sure to go back to the Virtual Machine Configuration and change the boot order back to hard disk. Start the VM and you should be able to log into Windows without typing a password!

Besides resetting Parallels Desktop password, you can also use PCUnlocker to bypass the passwords for Windows virtual machines running in Parallels Workstation, VMware Workstation, VirtualBox, Hyper-V, Virtual PC, ESX/ESXi, and other virtualization software.

How to Change Local or Domain Password Policy from Command Prompt

May 10th, 2015 by Admin

How to disable the password complexity policy for Windows Server Core installation? If your Windows system comes with a GUI interface, you change the password policy from within the Group Policy Editor, but the steps are still a bit complicated for a Windows domain controller.

In this tutorial we’ll show you a quick yet simple way to change local / domain password policy from the Command Prompt. This method works with all versions of Windows, including Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Windows Server 2012 (R2) / 2008 (R2) / 2003.

How to Change Local/Domain Password Policy from Command Prompt?

If your computer is a domain controller, follow the steps below and you can change the default domain password policy. To change the local password policy on a domain controller, you must boot your server in Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) and then perform the steps below:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt. If you’ve forgotten the local or domain administrator password and couldn’t log on, try the PCUnlocker bootdisk for bypassing the password.
  2. Type the following command and hit Enter:
    secedit.exe /export /cfg C:\secconfig.cfg

    export-group-policy

    This will dump the local policy or domain policy for the system, including account policies, audit policies, and so on.

  3. Open the C:\secconfig.cfg file with your text editor. For Windows Server Core, you can type notepad.exe in the Command Prompt. When Notepad launches, click the File -> Open menu to open C:\secconfig.cfg.
  4. Now you can view and edit all of the relevant policies as shown below. In this example, we’ll disable the password complexity policy. So we replace PasswordComplexity = 1 to PasswordComplexity = 0, and change the value of MinimumPasswordLength to 0.

    edit-group-policy

  5. When done, save your changes. To load the edited file as your new policy configuration, use the following command:
    secedit.exe /configure /db %windir%\securitynew.sdb /cfg C:\secconfig.cfg /areas SECURITYPOLICY

    update-group-policy

  6. The new password policy will apply to all password changes and new password. After disabling the password complexity policy, you should be able to change Windows account password to whatever you like.

How to Create An Encrypted and Locked Folder in Windows

April 4th, 2015 by Admin

There are many folder locking programs out there that allow you to password protect and set different access rights to your files. But most of these programs don’t encrypt your files at all. Someone can easily bypass this protection to access your files by booting your PC with a Linux or WinPE Live CD, or removing your hard drive and connecting it to another PC.

If you’re a bit more conscious of privacy, encrypting your files is a better solution. Lock My Folders is an on-the-fly encryption software to lock and encrypt all kinds of pictures, videos, documents, files and folders. In this article we’ll explain how to use this program to create an encrypted and locked folder in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP.

Part 1: Set Password

Click here to download the Lock My Folders application and install it on your computer. The first time you launch the program, it will prompt you to set a master password that will be used to encrypt your files later on.

Enter a password that you can remember as you’ll need it to open and use the program next time.

Part 2: Create An Encrypted Folder

To create an encrypted folder, click on Add button from within the Lock My Folders program.

In the popup window, type your desired folder name and specify the location where you would like your new secure folder to be created. Click OK. You can create a secure folder in your local hard drive or USB flash drive.

Now your secure folder should have been created. You can then copy all your private photos, documents & videos into this folder, or create or edit a confidential file in the secure folder. All your files stored in this folder will be encrypted automatically on the fly.

Part 3: Manage Your Encrypted Folders

With the steps above you can create as many secure folders as you want. You can lock your secure folder after you finish working with it. Just right-click on the secure folder and select “Lock My Folder“.

When a secure folder is locked, everyone couldn’t access all files in it without knowing your password. You can also set your locked secure folders to be invisible from Windows Explorer and Command Prompt, by following these steps:

  1. Start the Lock My Folders program.
  2. Click on the Options icon from the top right corner of the main screen, and then select Settings.
  3. Check the “Hide the secure folders when they are locked” box.

If you shutdown or restart your PC, all your secure folders will be locked out automatically.

The next time you need to open or access the secure folder, you need to unlock it firstly. Right-click on the secure folder and select “Unlock My Folder“.

The program will ask you to enter your password. Upon successfully verifying the password, the program will open the secure folder in Windows Explorer.

If you need to reinstall your operating system or transfer your secure folders to another machine, just backup the secure folders to an external storage device and you can then import them to the Lock My Folders program again. It’s that simple!