View Full Version : Win 7 Anomoly with Passwords

March 12th, 2011, 05:55
Just wanted to pass this on in case someone else has experienced it or as an advisory to prevent it from occurring....sorry, its a bit long.

I recently replaced an older machine and handed it down to my daughter. This machine had undergone a Win 7 upgrade from the original Vista OS it came with. During the last few months it has announced on my wife's work account that it's password needed to be changed. This was odd to us, since we do not use passwords here in the house, and have never used them on this particular box (mobile systems are another matter...). I addressed this using the OS tools for user accounts and repeatedly told the system there was no password. Occasionally it would crop backup, which I found irritating, but not deathly so.

Flash forward to setting the system up for my daughter. One day the system announces that I must change the password or I will not be allowed in. Of course, we have no idea what that password is, so now we're locked out of the system. I have no password reset disk, having never set a password. "No Problem" I thought, "we have an admin account, I can go in that way and adjust the User Account."

Heh, joke on me....in Win 7, the Admin account is there, but is disabled by default as a security measure. One must go in through the "Run" interface and turn it on (easily done and you can google the commands --if you can get into the system). I had never noticed the Admin icon had gone, mostly because I'm an idiot. So now I'm basically screwed. Quick, I go on line and start looking around....sure enough, this is a known anomaly of Win 7 (all versions, premium and up), and no, due to Security, MS is not going to provide you a crack to get in.

Fortunately, since this is a known problem, other folks have various crack utilities. "I'm saved!" I announce to my wife, who as a Lutheran has some odd ideas on my Baptist background, but nonetheless is pleased for my immortal soul, until I happen to mention it's the computer I'm discussing. Now convinced I'm going to Hell, I ignore her and go to CNET, which has various recommendations, download one of their suggested tools, and after going into Safe Mode, I'm into the system. Quickly I delete the offending account, and start to reconfigure the system for my daughter, as intended.

At some point, we reboot the system. After coming back up, guess what, I'm locked out again as the box, using the deleted account, demands a password. Quickly, back to the crack program, except now -- no account to crack!!! My daughter, who at this point held me in some sort of automation awe....now thinks I'm a complete doof, and I was inclined to agree.

Bottom line, my only option was to get the original system disk, break back into the lower level commands, and reformat the disk. As it was, I was on the verge of doing that anyway and I have all the data backed up, so it wasn't really a big deal. Actually, it has improved the system tremendously in terms of speed. There was also an educational benefit as I took my 14 year old through the whole process, including reloading the original Vista OS, then obtaining the required Service Pak, and doing the upgrade to Win 7.

My problem with all this however is that I had the time to work it as it was not an essential system. Had it been our normal work system, this would have been somewhat catastrophic. It takes some time to completely rebuild.

On our new system, guess what....I was prompted for a password yesterday......

March 12th, 2011, 11:24
As you know, Chris, I just went to Win 7 from XP. I don't like passwords either and never used one before. Win 7 was so insistant that I set one that I went ahead and set one. I haven't had a problem with that since. I now have a password in the boot of the cmos and also a password in win 7 as it boots.
If anyone ever want to get into my computer ............ May the lord have mercy on his/ her soul.
They ain't gettin' in. :applause:

kilo delta
March 12th, 2011, 12:12
I'd have gone down the reinstall route too...no patience! :)
I recently went through a Win 7 upgrade on my kids (aged 5 and 8) PC and let them carry out the install themselves,with guidance from me. Start 'em out young. :)

March 13th, 2011, 04:57
You can also set a blank password for W7

March 13th, 2011, 13:16
You can also set a blank password for W7

Yes, you can...however this is not what was happening here.

What I've learned through looking around in MS support is that this is a known bug on some installations.

April 13th, 2012, 18:26
OK this is NOT for the faint of heart or the computer novice however there are numerous ways around this issue, the bottom line is you need a few tools and you will need to create a boot disk, but if you take your time you can boot from a CD enable the Administrator Account and set any password you want. I have had to do this very thing on numerous systems since Windows XP hit the market almost 12 years ago so trust me it can be done. Now having said that it would take far to long to explain the process here so I will not even try, but if you find yourself in real need you can get a very good set of instructions at www.howtogeek.com (instructions for all kinds of computer problems). The only thing I do not recall getting from that site is the Boot Disk and tools, that you would need to search for by looking for "Ultimate Boot CD for Windows", which also requires some work but believe me it can be a life saver.

Having said all of that, if you are getting an unwanted Password Prompt the best solution I know of is to get into the Windows Security Policy and set the password requirements to simple and REMOVE the lock out, again check How to geek for detailed instructions and be VERY careful if you decide to start messing with group policy, but once you know how and get things set properly it can save much frustration down the road. Oh and do yourself a BIG Favor, make that password reset disk and set a nice simple Administrator password, that way you can always get back in.

If you do decide to go to the above lengths here is a very good security tip for you, when you get into the User Account Control, enable the Admin account but change the name of it, if someone is going to hack your system they will always try to break that account but if they do not know the name of the account they will not get very far. I do that on all my systems, the new name does not have to be complicated or long even something like Master, or bigguy, or my fav daboss, anything but Administrator or Admin.