Logon to any password protected Windows machine without knowing the password
By Koder at Wed, 06/24/2009 - 03:45
We are going to demonstrate this process on a Windows XP service pack 3 machine, but the process is essentially exactly the same for other versions of Windows such as Windows 7, Vista, Windows Server 2003 or even Windows 2000 workstation and server.
Most of the magic will be done by a nifty utility from Kryptos logic called Kon-Boot, which you can download from its web page located at http://www.piotrbania.com/all/kon-boot/. This same utility can also be used to log on to Linux systems, but that is outside the scope of this article, we will concentrate only on Windows.
You will need to download the .iso file from the Kon-Boot website and burn it to a CD. If you need instructions on how to burn a CD from an iso image using a free tool, you can read up on it on our article here. Next, make sure that the BIOS is set to boot from the CD drive. With the CD in the drive, boot the machine
- After the machine boots from the CD, you will see the splash screen as shown on the left hand side. Simply hit enter to continue
- On Windows Logon screen, fill in the name of the user whom you want to log on as, leave the password blank and hit enter
As you can see that this nifty little cd can be of many uses, you do not need to reinstall or repair Windows if you have forgotten your password. If you are locked out, you can use this to log in as well. It also brings raises a question on Windows security. Once again, this method is exceptionally fast and does not actually reset the password. If you have for some reason the need to "recover" and "reveal" a user's password, you can use the tutorial I wrote earlier here and it will actually show you what the password is.
If the method I described above, is being used to gain unauthorized access to then there are really only two ways of protecting against such an intrusion:
1. Block Physical access to the machine or prevent users from hooking in USB devices or booting from CD ROMs and floppies
2. Encrypt your sensitive data. We will cover a step by step article on how to use encryption to protect your data in a forthcoming article
Hopefully this has been informative for you. If you have any further questions, please do leave us a comment or contact us through the Contact Us link on this web site.