How to find Security Question for Computer Admin?

I recently got a computer from a relative. The problem is, this relative is the Computer’s Admin and she cannot remember her password. I was wondering if there is a way to change this, perhaps by beginning with finding a security question to recover the password. The operating system is Windows Vista.

2 replies
  1. M R says:

    Re-install the operating system. If your relative still has the cd
    that came with the computer and the barcode.
    1) Put the cd in
    2) Restart Computer
    3) Choose boot menu (during first few seconds)
    4) Choose CD-Drive
    5) And go through the installation process

  2. Swap says:

    Easiest option is to back up the data and reinstall Windows.
    There is nothing as security question when we add computer Admins.

    Another method might be to
    Install a parallel operating system on a different partition on the same computer,
    Boot the alternate install.

    Use Control Panel/System/Startup (for NT) or Control Panel/System/Advanced/Startup and Recovery for W2K to change the default boot instance back to your original install.

    Lamer note: If you don’t do that you’ll end up booting into the alternate installation next time you turn on your computer. You don’t want that, do you?

    Open Explorer. Browse to your original Windows NT/2000 folder, navigate to the %systemroot%System32 sub-folder.

    Lamer note: %systemroot% is a system variable used to point to the folder where NT/2000 is installed, usually WINNT in NT/2000, or WINDOWS in XP/2003.

    Save a copy of LOGON.SCR, the default logon screen saver, anywhere you like. Just remember where you’ve placed it. You can also just rename the file to something you’ll remember later, I user LOGON.SC1.

    Lamer note: To rename a file use the REN command in the Command Prompt window, or just select the file in Windows Explorer and press F2.

    Delete the original LOGON.SCR from the %systemroot%System32 sub-folder. It is not necessary to delete the file if you renamed it, you can leave it there.

    Note: You might not be able to delete the LOGON.SCR file because of permission settings. Regular users can only read and execute the file, not delete it. If that is the case (and it is in W2K, XP and Windows Server 2003) then you need to take ownership of the file and give the EVERYONE group FULL CONTROL permissions.

    Lamer note: In order to take ownership of a file right-click it, select Properties, select the Security tab, click Advanced, and then click on the Owner tab. Select one of the users found in the list, click ok all the way out.

    In order to change the LOGON.SCR permissions follow the previous instructions, in the Security tab click Add and browse to the Everyone group. Add it and make sure you give it Full Control. Click Ok all the way out.

    Make a copy CMD.EXE in the %systemroot%System32 sub-folder. CMD.EXE is located in %systemroot%system32.

    Lamer note: In order to copy a file via GUI, select the file, right-click and chose Copy, then go to the destination folder, right click the folder name and select Paste. You can also use the keyboard by typing CTRL-C to Copy, CTRL-V to Paste.

    Rename the copy of CMD.EXE to LOGON.SCR.

    Lamer note: See step #5.

    Shutdown and restart your computer. Boot into the original install.

    Wait for the logon screen saver to initiate – around 15 minutes. Oh, and no, do NOT move your mouse while you wait, duh…

    After the screensaver is initiated, instead of running the normal LOGON.SRC actual screensaver, it will run the renamed CMD.EXE file (which is now called LOGON.SCR), and will actually open a CMD prompt in the context of the local system account.

    In step #7 you could have used EXPLORER.EXE instead of CMD.EXE, and in that case a My Computer window will pop up.

    Note: As noted earlier on this page, there is a way to make the wait time shorter, but you’ll need to dig into the Registry for that.

    Open the CMD.EXE prompt (it should already be opened if you’ve used CMD.EXE in step #7) and type:

    net user administrator 123456

    This will reset the local administrator (or domain admin if you are doing this trick on a DC) password to 123456.

    Lamer note: You can, of course, use ANY password you want…

    Delete the LOGON.SCR from %systemroot%System32.

    Rename the saved default screen saver from step 5 back to LOGON.SCR.

    If you wish to remove the alternate install:

    Delete its’ folder.


    Edit c:BOOT.INI and remove the alternate install’s entries.

    If you’ve used a different partition to install the alternate install then now you can simply delete or format that partition if you don’t need it anymore, plus edit c:BOOT.INI and remove the alternate installation entries.

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