Reset your forgotten Windows password

What do you do when you forget your admin or user account password in Windows (non domain joined, workgroup based Windows computers). It’s easy to reset your password without logging in to Windows.

In the following post we will see on how to reset your user account password in Windows without logging into Windows.

Windows 7 logging error

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One of the ways we can reset the password without logging into Windows is using the Net User cmdlet. The question here is how do we use Command Prompt if we can’t logging to Windows?

See the Ease of Access icon on the logging screen?

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When you click the Ease of Access button, you get the below options by default.

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Now our target is to overwrite the Ease of Access executable file with command prompt executable file.

Boot computer with a Windows 7 media or USB and click next

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Select Repair Your Computer Option

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Click on the Operating System and Click Next (please note the Drive letter where the OS is installed, in this case its D:\)

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Select and click on the Command Prompt

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Type the following command in the command prompt window

Copy D:\Windows\System32\utilman.exe D:\

This command will backup/copy the utilman.exe program (ease of access)

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Now type the following command

Copy D:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe D:\Windows\System32\utilman.exe

Press enter and it will give you an overwrite message, type Y and enter

This command will replace the utilman.exe with cmd.exe

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Exit Command prompt and restart the computer

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Now when you click the Ease of Access button on the Windows logging screen the command prompt will start instead of the previous Window

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Type the following command to list all the local user accounts in the Computer

Net User

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Type the following command to reset the password for a particular user name

Net User username password

(username and password to be replaced with actual details. For this case I am resetting the passwords for user account Akfash with the password of password)

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Close command prompt and type in the new password

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Successfully logged into Windows

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Windows 8.1 (with Update 1) Deployment using MDT 2013 and WDS-Part 4

This is the final part of the 4 part deployment series

In the first 3 parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I covered on how to installing and configure Windows Deployment Services (WDS), install and configure Windows Assessment & Deployment Kit (WADK) and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 (MDT), importing operating system image to MDT, creating task sequence in MDT and finally preparing WDS for deployment.

Now that our backend infrastructure is all setup for client deployment, lets start our client and boot the machine over LAN (PXE Boot).

Press F12 for network service boot

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The machine will get an IP from the DHCP and contact the WDS server

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Through the WDS server the machine will provide the list of available Lite Touch Windows PE boot media’s to select from

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Upon the selection of Lite Touch Windows PE, the machine will start loading the WinPE files over the network

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Loading

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From the Solution Accelerator screen the MDT setup will start

Click on Run the deployment wizard to install a new Operating System

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Enter the admin creds and click OK

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From the task sequence screen select the task sequence you created in your MDT 2013 and click next

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Provide the relevant details accordingly and click next

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Select do not move data option as this is a fresh installation and click next

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Select do not restore user data as this is a fresh installation and click next

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Provide the correct settings according to your region and click Next

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Specify the local admin account password and click next

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Select the necessary option for BitLocker settings and click next

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Review your settings in the ready to begin section and click Begin

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The installation has started

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Windows is loading

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Operating System Deployment is successful. click finish

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Review the settings , computer automatically joined to the domain and the name is also changed

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Most of the questions the Windows Deployment Wizard prompts can be disabled from MDT 2013 by customizing the deployment share rules and editing the Bootstrap.ini files. The above is the default settings.

 

Windows 8.1 (with Update 1) Deployment using MDT 2013 and WDS-Part 3

This is the 3rd part of the 4 part deployment series.

In my first and second article I wrote on how to install and configure WDS, install and configure MDT 2013. Now that we have installed and configured MDT 2013, lets see on how to import an operating system (Windows 8.1) image to the MDT Deployment Share we created, how to create a task sequence within MDT 2013 and finally we will look at how to configure WDS to respond to client PXE boot requests.

Import Windows 8.1 image to MDT

Open the deployment workbench MMC

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Right Click on the Operating Systems folder and select Import Operating Systems

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On the Import Operating System Wizard select “full set of source files” and click next

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Browse and select the folder where your operating system files are stored. (in this scenario I am using the Windows 8.1 DVD, hence I will select my DVD drive which is D:\) and click Next

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Specify a meaningful name to the destination directory and click next

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Review the summary and click next

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The progress will begin

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Once the progress is successful, the confirmation will display the results. click finish after reviewing

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Operating System is now successfully imported

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Operating system successfully added inside the DeploymentShare folder

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Similarly you can add multiple operating systems (x86 and x64) according to your requirement

Updating the Deployment Share

Upon adding your required Operating systems, applications, drivers, etc. You will need to update the Deployment Share. This process will make sure that all the latest tools and settings are copied to the deployment share. You will need to do this every time you make some changes to the image, add/remove applications within MDT 2013 so it will be updated.

To update the Deployment Share

Right Click on the MDT Deployment Share and select Update Deployment Share

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In the update deployment share wizard make sure the “Optimize the boot image updating process” is selected and click next

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Click next on the summary page

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The progress will start

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Click finish after reviewing the results in the confirmation page

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The updated DeploymentShare containing the LiteTouchPE iso, WIM, and the XML files

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Configuring WDS by adding the necessary boot images

After importing the Operating system and updating the Deployment share, you will need to configure and add the necessary WinPe (LiteTouchPE) images to WDS. This will enable you to boot your clients using PXE boot.

Open the Windows Deployment Services (WDS) mmc

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Right click on boot images and select Add images

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In the Add Image Wizard browse and select the location where the LiteTouchPE WIM images are stored within the DeploymentShare folder (E:\DeploymentShare\Boot) and click next

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Give it a meaningful name and description. Click next

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Review the setting in the summary page and click next

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The image is added

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Click Finish

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Since we added only the x64 LietTouchPE.wim I will repeat the process to add the x86 wim as well so that we can deploy operating system under both platforms

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Images are added in to WDS

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Creating Task Sequence

A task sequence is a bunch of settings or instructions bundled together as a task and will be presented to be selected from the client during the deployment. Depending on the selected task sequence, the OS, Applications, settings, drivers, etc. will be deployed to the client. Basically task sequence is similar to an answer file.

Open the Deployment Workbench MMC and right lick on task sequence and select new task sequence

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Provide a Unique Task Seq1uence ID, a meaningful name and a description. Click next

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From the Task Sequence template dropdown, select “Standard Client Task Sequence” and click next

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From the list of available Operating Systems (that are imported to MDT 2013) select the appropriate OS you want to deploy through this Task Sequence and click next

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you provide the necessary values and click next (for this lab I will select the first option)

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Specify the OS settings details and click next

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specify the admin password (this is the password for the local administrator account and not for the domain administrator) and click next

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review the summary and click next

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click finish

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Task sequence is created and visible in the Deployment Workbench MMC

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