open a cmd prompt from windows disc

hi

i have a laptop where the only account on the machine is the built in administrator account.
it was under warranty and i foolishly sent it in to HP for repair.
i just got it back and they disabled the built in administrator account.

I'm thinking that I could boot using a windows cd and then access the cmd prompt from the disc and turn the admin account back on.

question is how to do that or a better idea.
i do not want to reformat.
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dgrafxAsked:
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CorinTackConnect With a Mentor Network EngineerCommented:
You can access the command prompt if you choose the repair option from a Windows disc. Alternatively, there are some third-party tools that will do this for you. One of them can be found here: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

The tool is meant to be used to unlock and reset passwords for accounts on machines you have physical access to.
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regmigrantCommented:
you may be able to use Windows repair to re-enable the administrator account as long as you know what the password and HP didn't change it

If you boot from a windows CD and run a cmd prompt you will only modify the version you booted from not the one that you're locked out of.

I'm not aware of anyway to hack the registry without having access to the actual instance you want to modify - unless HP left remote access enabled; in which case you could connect to the target registry from another machine and create yourself a new account - but this seems unlikely.

Your next best option is to do an in-situ install - which re-copies all the windows files and gives you the option to create a user account.

When the install starts it should find the version of windows you have and offer you an upgrade, a new install or a repair. If you are challenged for administrator password and it won't accept the input you will have to install to a new folder and ignore the old installation (it gets put in a separate folder so you will have access to the content).

None of these require a reformat unless you request it
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEConnect With a Mentor DeveloperCommented:
I used this recently to reset the admin password on a W7/64-bit system:
http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

Note these points from the Overview:
This is a utility to reset the password of any user that has a valid local account on your Windows system.
Supports all Windows from NT3.5 to Win7, also 64 bit and also the Server versions (like 2003 and 2008).
You do not need to know the old password to set a new one.
It works offline, that is, you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a CD or USB disk to do the password reset.
Will detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts!
There is also a registry editor and other registry utilities that works under linux/unix, and can be used for other things than password editing.

It worked perfectly for me. I burned a CD of it and keep it around in my bag of tricks. In addition to changing the Admin password, I'm pretty sure it can enable the account that HP disabled, although I've never used it for that (note the last bullet that says there's a registry editor and other registry utilities that can be used for things other than password editing).

Also, I've been on other threads here at EE where I recommended PogoStick, but other experts had these different suggestions:

http://www.howtogeek.com/96805/how-to-reset-your-windows-password-without-an-install-cd

http://www.top-password.com/knowledge/reset-directory-services-restore-mode-password.html

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com

http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.php?content=TRINITY_RESCUE_KIT____CPR_FOR_YOUR_COMPUTER

I haven't tried any of these other ideas, since PogoStick worked perfectly for me, but am passing them along for your consideration. In one of the threads, the author said, "Trinity Rescue Kit [the last link above]...worked perfectly!" Regards, Joe
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dgrafxAuthor Commented:
thanks guys
i'm downloading / burning from the pogostick link now.

id did find that the cmd prompt found in repair option doesn't enable the admin account on the laptop but seems to be referring to the instance that is running the repair - as regmigrant was referring to i believe.

i will post back soon - hopefully ...
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dgrafxAuthor Commented:
ok guys - absolutely awesome!

used pogostick and re-enabled the admin account ...
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dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot!
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome! Glad to hear it worked for you. Thanks for letting us know. Regards, Joe
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