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Wom 8.1 reimage...cannot log in...

Client purchased new Dell Inspiron M731 w Win 8.1...
He set it up...did not create a local account...
and has completely forgotten his log in password...

He wants me to reimage it back to factory and get it set up correctly...

Since I have no password, I cannot log in and set the switch to reinstall the factory image...

I may have made matters worse by booting with a Linux disk and deleting the password...
Not realizing that he did not create the local account, so I believe the log in has to be done thru
the Microsoft account...which he does not have the password for...

Steve Mutchler
Steve Mutchler
1 Solution
There are linux tools that help  reset the password .  Renaming the utilman.exe to cmd.exe will get you were you need to be.when the system boots, use the accessibility option at the bottom left.
The use net user to create a new user, and net localgroup to make the new account member of the administrators.
The restore option as soon as you boot hit F8 and the go through the advanced boot option.

Info described in Dell
Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVEDeveloperCommented:
I used this recently to reset the admin password on a W7/64-bit system, and the docs says it supports up to W8.1 (although I haven't personally tried it on W8):


Note these points from the Overview:

o This is a utility to reset the password of any user that has a valid local account on your Windows system.

o Supports all Windows from NT3.5 to Win8.1, also 64 bit and also the Server versions (like 2003, 2008, 2012)

o You do not need to know the old password to set a new one.

o It works offline, that is, you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a CD or USB disk to do the password reset.

o Will detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts!

o 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.

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


I haven't tried any of these other ideas, since PogoStick worked a charm for me, and I also don't know which ones support W8, but I'm 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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Gajendra RathodSr. System AdministratorCommented:
Try to login in safe mode and change the admin password.
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for the suggestions...but I think most of you are missing something...

1.  This is Win 8.1....it runs UEFI and NOT the legacy BIOS...I have to change UEFI to legacy, which I have done when I tried to Linux boot to change the pw...and when I turn UEFI off and F8 with legacy BIOS...
It cannot find a bootable HD...it WILL boot from a CD, but not the HD...

2.  There is NO local account...so the linux pw changers will not work...

Arnold...your idea seems my best shot at this point...but I want to make sure I understand what you are telling me...
I change UEFI to Legacy boot...
I boot with a Linux boot...will Ubuntu work for this...???
I find the utilman.exe file...and rename it to cmd.exe...
Change Legacy BIOS back to UEFI...
Then reboot...
How does it boot up now...???....will it just boot right into Win 8.1 ready to go....???
Do I go into Users and create a local account...???

A little more details if you please....

Many thanks all...
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Folks...I got it...!!!

Here is what I did...
The user had set up a Microsoft account...which is why there was no local account...
I went to account.live.com...they had left a cell phone number as the pw confirmation process...

I asked for a pw reset...the code was texted to the clinet...I entered the code at Microsoft...

Then pluged the network cable into the laptop and successfully logged in with the new pw...

Now I can go to PC Settings and  reimage...

Hopefully...this will help someone else that has the  same issue...
Glad to hear you're set.

As to the suggestion. Booting the system and then ending up when windows boots with cmd.exe ran when windows-key+U or the accessibility option at the login is hit.
This cmd.exe will be run with system level rights.

Make sure the one you rename has a .bak so that you can revert back when done.
Steve MutchlerIT TechAuthor Commented:
Figured out myself...
Most of the answers were not applicable...
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