Last update: 11 May 2011
The changes does not take effect.
I get some errors like "read-only filesystem" and such.
- The current version does not like to write to the NTFS filesystem if
windows was not shut down cleanly.
- Shut down windows from the login page, or from the start menu.
- If there is no way to shutdown from the login-page, try this:
- Boot windows into Safe Mode (press a lot on F8 before the
windows logo screen appears)
- The login screen in safe mode should usually have a shutdown
option, so shut it down!
- You may have to do this TWICE! quite often..
Why can't I access my encrypted (EFS) files after resetting the password?
- Because in XP and possibly later service packs in win2k the
password itself is used to encrypt the keys needed for EFS.
- Sorry, there is no way to recover the files once the
password has been reset.
The .bin-file inside the .zip won't fit on a floppy.
- You didn't read the bottom of the bootdisk
- Click on the install.bat after extracting the .zip file,
and follow the on screen prompts.
The keyboard does not work! I can't answer the questions!!
- If you have a USB keyboard either your USB controller or your
keyboard is not supported with the rather generic drivers I use.
Nothing I can do at the moment, sorry! Try a PS/2 keyboard if possible.
- If the keyboard is PS/2 and won't work, I do not have a
When loading the floppy it stops with "boot failed."
- Bad floppy. Or bad bootloader (some versions are known to give up
- Use another floppy or a new version of the ldlinux.sys file (go
allthewebbing for it for instance. grab one from a linux distros
bootdisks. I did.)
- Or get the CD image from the download page.
I have the CD in my CD drive, but it starts on the haddrive.
- Check your BIOS manual on how to boot from CD, or if the CD-ROM is
on a SCSI-card, check the cards manual.
- For those of you without manuals: Try hitting ESC or F10 or F12
for bootmenu right after the RAM-count.
- Or enter BIOS setup and change the boot order. Either you can
figure that one out from the menus, or you really need the manual.
- I don't remember when BIOS-folks started implementing the CD boot
(El Torito) standard, but it was around 1995? Older computers won't CD boot.
- But BIOS-programmers never actually READ the bloody standard, so
you may have a buggy one that only boots some CDs.
- If it boots (first banner page), the same problems as for the
floppy may show, please read on..
The floppy stuff crashes with "VFS: Unable to mount root.." and panic etc.
- The are several ways of getting the size of the memory out of the
BIOS at boot.
- It probably selected the wrong one, and 16MB is a bit too little.
- Strangely, this most often happens on big brand machines, like
Compaq and DELL.
- At boot, hold down LEFT SHIFT key until "Boot: " prompt appears.
- Then enter:
- but substitute with how much memory you have (or a bit less to be safe)
- If this doesn't help, there is probably not support for your
motherboard, CPU or BIOS.
It cannot find any Windows disks or paritions.
- Some controllers require more than one driver. Usually the
auto-load should take care of dependencies, but it does not hurt to
try auto-load (d) again.
- It's either caused by unsupported controller or filesystem driver problems.
- See next questions..
- Please don't ask about inclusion of new drivers. I'm often short
on time, get lot's of mail, and it's difficult to put in things I
- If you really insist on asking for new drivers, you must at least
provide me with correct info on controller card or chip brandname,
type, model etc, and a link to website(s) with drivers for linux.
If there also are docs for using it on linux, I need that, too.
However, as I get a lot of mail, I cannot guarantee an answer or that
your needed driver will be included.
- There are however several other things to try:
- Try to build Grenier's DOS floppies
- Move harddisk to another machine as secondary, then try
- Install new NT/2k/XP in another dir than \winnt etc, then login
with new install to access the old ones sam file. Either rename it
(will leave admin with blank pass) or use chntpw.exe on it.
- You could boot a live linux CD
(like Ubuntu or others), it
will allow access to the windows disk. Then run the "chntpw.static"
program included in the source zip file on the source download page
- Or why not look at
The password recovery page at MCSE World
How to load a 3rd party driver
- There is a menu selection for it. Put file(s) drivers*.zip
on a floppy or on a USB stick (may be a different one from the one
you boot from). The zips should contain *.ko files. The files will be automatically unzipped and ready
for auto-load or manual menu selection.
- I do not know how easy or difficult it will be to actually get the
drivers to load into my kernel. There may be versions incompatibilities.
It hangs when mounting the windows disk
- Hangs when it says something like "NTFS volume version 3.xx"
- If there is disk activity, just wait. Took more than 10 minutes in
one of my tests once.
- If there is no disc activity, what a few minutes, then reset and
- If it still hangs, try to boot windows into safe mode first, then
shut down etc. See other faq entries about that.
It seems to change the password, but Windows won't agree.
- My code wasn't that great after all. (it didn't change or changed
in the wrong place. The V struct is still marked "here be dragons..")
- Try blanking the password instead (menu selection 1), this
may straighten things out. In fact, reports indicate: BLANKING RECOMMENDED!
- If it still won't work, see the previous solution.
- Blanking will probably be the only option in newer releases.
- Note that you must quit out of the user name select with ! which
is usually SHIFT 1
- .. and then select to quit, then answer y when it asks to write /
save back the changes...
- .. else nothing will be written.
- Seems like too many people just reset the machine after selecting
to reset the password, without doing the save..
I'm told that the account is locked, even if I know it is not.
- Ok, then the code to identify lockout is not good enough. Sorry
- Happens sometimes when there are failed logins on a user, even if
it is not in fact locked out.
- Just ignore it, you may still clear the password if you wish.
I'm not told that the account is locked out, even Windows says it
is. How can I reset it?
- Oops, probably more to the lockout stuff than I know about.
- You can try resetting it (selection 4 from the user menu), but it
may not help.
- May have something to do with Security / Group policies, which
editing of is not supported yet.
- Unless you'd like to play with the registry editor yourself and
figure it out. I cannot give lessons in registry edit.
The user promotion (putting user into admin group) did not work: I
cannot log in!
- Some users (like Guest often) are prevented from login by
"Security policies". Does it say something like that when trying?
- Sorry, but my program cannot change policy settings. (yet?)
- It does not even know how to check them.
- Sorry, nothing to do..
The user promotion (putting user into admin group) worked, but I
cannot put user back into other groups in windows!
- This is known to happen sometimes.
- Try the local user part of "computer management" in
"administrative tools", it is more detailed than the stupid control
- But that may not work, either.
- Or maybe "net user" or similar will work (commandline).
- Sorry, have no other known workarond. I told you it was experimental!
I tried it on Win2k/2003/2008 PDC (Active Directory), and it didn't change the password.
- ActiveDirectory (AD) is a completely different database.
- There is no support for directly changing passwords in AD.
- To clear things up: The Active Directory SERVER itself is not
directly supported, but workstations and servers that is
just MEMBERS of the domain can have their LOCAL passwords changed by
- John Simpson has made
instructions on how to reset that pesky lost administrator password in AD.
- Many thanks goes to John for this!
- And I may as well in a future relase make a frontend for the
screensaver trick he uses, so it will be even easier.
What is the 'Can't access tty...' error message when I quit the
- It's from the shell, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the
- My scripts don't allocate the terminal correctly.
- Only thing it means is that ctrl-c to break etc won't work on
console 1. Should work on console 2-4 (ALT-F2 and so on)
- Please don't ask about this in mail AGAIN!
My language uses characters in the usernames that are not readable
with the CD boot, and i cannot enter/search for them, thus not edit.
- There is no support for the full unicode character set. Perhaps
- Select user with the RID (user ID number) instead.
- At the username prompt, enter the RID in hex, just as it is listed
to the left in the user listing, with 0x in front.
- For example 0xfa0
- or 0xa451
What about support? and I just paid $$ for it on eBay!
- Yes, some people sell it on eBay and other strange places.
- Since the program is open source on the GPL license, they can
actually do this. But so can anyone else. For any price, including
free! (which I of course give it away for. but I don't do support)
- If the price is reasonably low (for media, shipping etc), and you
can call or email them if you need help, that's good, and then that is what you
actually pay for. Then I have absolutely no problem with it.
- Please do not blaim me if eBay sellers can't deliver or it doesn't
work, or you feel ripped off. Leave feedback on eBay instead.
- I DO NOT ENDORSE ANY SPECIFIC SELLER ON eBAY!
- I give my tool away for free here, because I do not have the time
for real support.
- Usually I go through my mail 1 or 2 times a week, and I usually
end up replying about 20-30% of it.
- What I answer depends on my mood that day, what the problems
are, and how they are presented.
- Mails with questions for which an answer can be found here in the
FAQ or on the other webpages will not be answered.
- Questions for drivers will almost never be answered. They take too
much time to figure out. Sorry.
- And.. I understand English, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.
- My answers are either in English or Norwegian. (as appropriate :-)
- Thank you all for a lot of positive feedback or small tips for
improvement, I appreciate it :-) even if I often don't reply to you. :-(
Can I donate money?
- Not a the moment, I have closed the donations. There are several
reasons I will not talk about.
- But a big thank you to all that have donated, especially to some I
guess I have missed a personal reply to!
- And that VMWare Workstation license I bought for some of the
donations years ago has helped me much continuing developing this
tool. Thanks again :)