So this is something that has been done countless times on countless other blogs. But I wanted to document my method for doing it as I find it the easiest!

What you’ll need: All you need is a Windows ISO. It doesn’t even need to match the version of Windows that you’re trying to reset. Just make sure it’s the same architecture (32/64 bit) and fairly close in version.

1

Mount the Windows installer ISO. Depending on the machine, this can be done in a number of ways. You could use a CD or USB drive for a physical system. Or virtually mount the Windows ISO to a VM in HyperV or VMware.

2

Boot the system into the Windows installer. Again, this differs from system to system. But you don’t usually go round with mashing DELETE or F2 whilst the system is booting.

3

Once you get to the Windows installer screen, press SHIFT+F10. This will load up a command prompt as shown in the screenshot below:

After pressing SHIFT+F10 at the Windows installer screen

4

Inside that new command prompt, run the following commands in sequence:

move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak
copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe
wpeutil reboot

Note: You might see that the paths above don’t start with the typical C:\. That’s usually the case when you’re booted into the Windows installer. However, I have seen the system use C:\ and X:\ before. Just keep that in mind as you might need to update the above commands.

5

Once the system has rebooted, you should be dropped onto the Windows login screen. From here, press the Ease of Access button as shown in the below screenshot:

The ease of access button at the Windows login screen

6

In the command prompt that pops up, run the following command to reset the Administrator account. Obviously, update the command with the password you want to use:

net user Administrator #NEW_PASSWORD

7

Close the command prompt and login using the password you just set. Done!

8It’s important to clean-up after running this procedure as you could potentially leave the ease of access button malfunctioning. Thankfully, this is easy to do, just run the below command:

copy c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

Note: The paths are now the usual C:\ since we are fully booted into Windows

All done, enjoy! 🎉

By admin

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