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Renaming Windows 8 user

Posted on 2014-10-06
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Last Modified: 2014-10-11
I have a client with a Windows 8 PC that they would like to change the username, password, etc.

The problem is that someone already changed the name on the account thru the Users control. They also changed to password. The problem now is that Windows ended up just creating a new user & in order to make the new user an administrator I have to log in with the former user & their old password doesn't work, neither does the new password.

Is there anyway to log into Win8 without the original user's password 0r change the new user into an administrator without logging in as the original user??

Don't suggest talking to the original user as he died last year.

This sort of thing is the reason I do not like Win8!!
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Question by:Blinkr
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Author Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 40364991
I'm sorry, but where did I ask for "pirated software"?? There isn't any pirated software involved. This is about a legal Windows 8 computer.

I'm disappointed that you didn't advise me about what was wrong with it & give me a chance to correct the problem before dumping it.

I'm only trying to find a way to make the new owner an administrator on a PC that they own thru their business, but don't want to deal with old owner's windows account. Can you advise me how to word it so it isn't referencing pirated software.
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 40365022
did they change the built in administrator account?  or another account?

winkey-x command prompt as administrator
net user administrator /active:yes
net user  administrator  newpassword
net user Username password /add
net user  -- displays all users
net user username /delete - deletes user but leaves files

http://www.screencast.com/t/8XARcjp1I
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40365035
forgot one command
net localgroup Admimistrators username /add    -- adds username to administrators group
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Accepted Solution

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McKnife earned 300 total points
ID: 40365042
http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ has a download for you. That bootable disk can enable the local admin "administrator" with the help of which you can change the password of other local accounts that are not e-mail accounts. For the mail accounts, you would need to change them at the mail service' website.
But even without, you can get at all data using administrator.
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by:Blinkr
ID: 40371632
Thanks David for your great suggestion. The problem is that we don't have the former owner/user's password information. He is now deceased & we can not find any information on his passwords.

Is there anyway to do what you suggested without having his password??
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40371644
Is the data critical? If not, there may be a Windows 8 Recover partition and it might be easiest just to reinstall Windows.
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by:Blinkr
ID: 40371646
Thanks McKnife for info. I can't get the PC to boot from the CD. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even give me an option for a boot menu. I even got into the bios & made sure it was set to boot from the optical drive first. But it continues to go directly to Windows. So this is sort of a head scratcher.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40371669
You might wish to try a USB drive to see if you can force it to boot that way.

What kind of machine?  There may be a button or key sequence to force the recovery partition to load.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40371678
If you cannot get your optical drive to boot the CD, you might have missed to burn the ISO using the "burn ISO" function. You don't just put that iso-file on CD... ;) -- if you know that, maybe your drive doesn't like the brand of CDs, that happens from time to time.

You can however download yumi and use yumi to write the ISO file to a USB drive and then boot from USB. Yumi has support for that special pogostick/nordahl disk.

Or, lastly, do the old utilman.exe trick to get in: http://www.technibble.com/bypass-windows-logons-utilman/
[works for any unencrypted windows OS]
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Author Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 40373255
Thanks, I didn't think that utilman worked in Win8 as many other things as I continue to find out.

I also did a test with the boot disk you suggested & it didn't find what it was suppose to find. I believe it found the partition but for some reason could find any Windows on it. I'm puzzled as when I tried to boot back into Windows, I got the error message "OS not found". Fortunately I did this test on one of my own PC's & not the clients.

I also tried something called Windows Password Genius by iSunshare. Ever heard of it? It didn't boot up at all from the CD.
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by:McKnife
ID: 40373277
So is utilman the way to go?
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by:Blinkr
ID: 40373314
OK, I just tried to do a repair OS using a Windows 8 disk, & it couldn't find the former OS. So it looks like I have lost everything. I wish I knew which one hosed the drive, Windows Password Genius or the boot disk I made.
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by:Blinkr
ID: 40373361
Sorry about the previous post. I fooled around in the bios & finally got it to come back up. This test PC has a hybrid drive that boots from the SSD part. I'm thinking that the SSD partition was what was causing the problem. So I won't be able to use the boot disk on these type of drives.

I will have to find a Windows 8 test bed to try these out.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40374384
a hybrid drive is just a big cache attached to a spinning disk
boot from windows 7 boot cd or a windows pe disk and get into a command prompt.
diskpart
list vol
DISKPART> list vol

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  ------
  Volume 0     D                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1         WD SmartWar  UDF    CD-ROM       668 MB  Healthy
  Volume 2     K   15.0.4569.1  UDF    DVD-ROM      902 MB  Healthy
  Volume 3         System Rese  NTFS   Partition    350 MB  Healthy    System
  Volume 4     Z   Alpha        NTFS   Partition    204 GB  Healthy
  Volume 5     H   Windows 10   NTFS   Partition    237 GB  Healthy    Pagefi
  Volume 6     C   WIN8.1       NTFS   Partition    488 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 7     E   Drive-E (2T  NTFS   Partition   1862 GB  Healthy    Pagefi
  Volume 8     F   Drive-F (1.  NTFS   Partition   1397 GB  Healthy    Pagefi
  Volume 9     G   Drive G (1T  NTFS   Partition    931 GB  Healthy    Pagefi
  Volume 10    I   My Book 2TB  NTFS   Partition   1862 GB  Healthy

Open in new window

exit
from diskpart you should be able to see which is your os partition
change to that volumes windows\system32 directory
ren utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak
copy cmd.exe utilman.exe

now reboot the system and in the logon windows hit winkey-u
you should now have a command prompt
net user administrator /active:yes
net user  administrator  newpassword
net user Username password /add
net user  -- displays all users
net user username /delete - deletes user but leaves files
net localgroup Admimistrators username /add 

Open in new window


this will work without a problem

Video showing process: http://www.techsupport4me.ca/physical-access-to-a-computer-negates-passwords/
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Author Closing Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 40374895
As usual EE is THE best place to get help & answers. The Windows Password & Registry Editor bootdisk was the answer but there were other bios changes that needed to be made. It won't find the partition unless you go the legacy mode in the bios "Boot" settings & make sure the optical drives boot first (dah). It seems that these new Win8 PC's are using more bios settings to make it more difficult to change anything.

I also had to boot to Windows to make sure that it was accessible. Within Win8 under Settings...General...Advance Boot, you have to drill down to select that it boot from the optical drive. Then it will restart & boot the CD.

I actually cleared  the passwords for all the users listed & made sure they were not locked. I went thru this several times until the utility listed all of the users without passwords & not locked (including the administrator & admin). After rebooting, it listed the administrator as well as both users on the login screen.

So I went into administrator user & tried to change the user type on all of the users, but I got a weird screen & the user type change list didn't work. After rebooting a second time, everything worked as it should, got to change the user type for each user, & made my clients user an administrator. Now they can remove the former owner from the system & start anew.

Thanks so much to everyone for all of the great advice & suggestions. They were very helpful & I couldn't have done it without you!! ;))
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