HP Stream – Recovering from Lost Account Password

Background

A friend brought an HP Stream laptop over to have me look at it. The problem is that he is no longer able to connect to his MS Windows 8 laptop.

His MSN\Hotmail\Outlook account was hacked and the Hacker changed the password so as to seize control of the Account.  The Hacker is now demanding payment.

Email Accounts & Microsoft’s Vision

In the Olden days only his email will be affected.

But, stemming from Microsoft’s evolving and outreaching purpose for Windows, Microsoft noted the shortcomings of Local Accounts and noted that people use the same email account to connect to various services from spheres of access points.  And, MS is now leveraging that.

So whereas in the Corporate World, one will use Active Directory to secure resources.  In the Consumer World, MS has opted to use Outlook accounts to persist user’s profile and customization choices.

Remediation Choices

If one loses the password, their are a couple of choices:

  1. Unlock Email Account
    • Contact Microsoft Support
  2. Re-install the OS
  3. Attempt to Add a New OS Administrator Account

In the past, I have tried the two earlier choices.  After trying the first one and not being able to get past MS Support, worked with the elder gentleman from my House of Worship to re-install the OS.

In this Post, we will discuss adding a new Admin Account.

 

HP Stream

The HP Stream is a two hundred dollars computer.  It is beautifully made.

Unfortunately it is missing some pieces that one might sometimes find useful.

Some of the missing pieces are:

  1. CD/DVD Piece
    • One has to use the USB Slot as the connecting piece for the USB or External Drive ( a reliable, sturdy, and dated Memorex Drive for me )

Outline

Here are the steps, we will take:

  1. In BIOS, Enable Boot from External USB/DVD
  2. Attach USB or External DVD
  3. Boot into USB/External DVD
  4. Using 3rd Party Tool, Add User & Grant Local Admin privileges
  5. Boot into OS from Had-Drive
  6. Logon using newly created Account

 

In BIOS, Enable Boot from External USB/DVD

We are going to follow the Instructions from HP PCs – Secure Boot (Windows 8) 

  1. Restart the Computer, quickly press ESC
  2. Press F10 for boot options
  3. The HP Setup Utility launches
    • From the top menu, select the “System Configuration” option
    • Choose the “Boot Options” menu item
      • Secure Boot
        • Disable the “Secure Boot” Option
      • Legacy Support
        • Enable the “Legacy Support” Option
    • Access the “Storage \ Boot Order” menu
    • Disable “UEFI Boot” Sources
    • Customize “Legacy Boot Order”.  Use the F5/F6 key to order the choices in the sequence listed below
      • USB CD/DVD Rom Drive
      • Notebook Hard Drive
    • Save changes
    • Restart the computer
    • Upon restarting, the computer picks up on the fact that the Boot Mode has been changed ( from the Original Manufacturer default of Secure Boot ).
      • A four digit number is displayed, please enter that 4 digit to indicate that you want to effect the change you made earlier.

 

Secure Boot

SecureBoot

 

Legacy Support

LegacySupport

 

Legacy Boot Order

LegacyBootOrder

 

System Boot Mode Changes

BootModeChangeMessage

Windows Password Recovery Tools

There a few repair tools that offer opportunities to access a computer for which existing passwords have been lost.

 

Vendor Application
Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset
Pogostick.Net Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
Piotr Bania Kon-Boot

 

  1. Microsoft
    • MS Dart
      • Account Management disabled on MS Windows 8
  2. PogoStick
    • Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
      • Free
      • Works beautifully well against Windows 7
      • Did not try it against Windows 8
  3. Piotr Bania
    • Kon-Boot
      • Online Account
        • Windows 8/8.1 – Bypass online account supported
        • Windows 10 – Only local account authorization bypass is available ( with possibility to add new administrator account automatically [USB only] )
      •  Price
        • Commercial – $15
        • Free
          • v1.1 is the latest free version
          • OS Version Supported
            • Works on Windows XP
            • While others have said it works on Windows 7, it did not work on the lone test system that we reviewed it on
            • Does not work on Windows 8, Windows 10
          •  Bitness
            • Works only in 32-bit Windows
            • Does not work on 64-bit Windows

 

Boot Into Repair Tool

Boot into the repair tool and follow the instructions.

User Management

In the olden days, one is able to connect to the system and enable the Administrator account, replace passwords on existing accounts, and add new accounts.

List Users

Syntax


net users

 

Enable Administrator User

Syntax


net user administrator /active:yes

Add User

Syntax


net user /add useraccountname mypassword

net localgroup administrators useraccountname /add

Sample


net user /add dadeniji 123456

net localgroup administrators dadeniji /add

List User Info

Syntax


net user useraccountname

net user useraccountname

Sample


net user dadeniji

Show Multiple Users in Windows Logon UI

Observation

By default, MS Windows 8 might only show the last user that logged on last.

Check Logon UI Switch


REG QUERY HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\UserSwitch /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Add Logon UI Switch


REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\UserSwitch /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Using Registry Editor, Hide User

Upon adding new users, you might one to hide some of the newly added users to prevent them from obstructing regular system usage.

The registry key to use is pasted below, please google on it to see how to add new DWORD entries for their usage.

  1. Access or create the Registry Entry
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList

 

Recovery Environment

In the past, one will access MS Windows through the Recovery Option or third Party tools such as Winternals ERD or Microsoft MSDART, and add a new user.

This option is not longer fully operable, as changes made only holds through this Operating Room State.  Once the system is rebooted into its normal state, one will notice that the changes made were not persisted.

Crediting…

Why are you creating a new user in the recovery environment’s transient account database? What are you actually trying to achieve? – Harry Johnston Jan 30 ’13 at 2:35 ( Link )

Summary

Unfortunately, my preferred tool, MS DART, User’s Management functionality are disabled when targeting an MS Windows 8 computer.

If when accesses the command line via MSDART and add new users those accounts are transitory and only applies to the current session. Once one shuts down the Repair Session and enlivens the actual OS, one will see that the added account does not appear.

We were able to use a different method to add an Administrator account.  Thankfully as I am a friend to Microsoft, I can not talk about it in public spaces.

I really just wanted to talk about what used to work, but no longer works.

Dedicated

Upon returning the laptop on my friend, I heard him ask his new fiancee’s son whether he knows who the computer is for.  And, the son said Yes.

Sometimes we put in a weekend to help someone, but often it is us who benefit the more.

 

Listening

I am not sure in which community you live, but in the one which I live, we need more of this…

Brad Paisley – He didn’t have to be

 

References

HP Stream Notebook PC

  1. HP Stream 11 Pro Notebook PC – Maintenance & Service Guide
    http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c04491261.pdf
  2. HP PCs – Secure Boot
    http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03653226
  3. Scott Anderson – Installing Ubuntu on an HP Stream Mini PC
    http://blog.room34.com/archives/5260

 

BIOS

  1. HP PCs – Cannot Start Desktop Computer From a Bootable CD or DVD (Windows 8)
    http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03659945
  2. HP Notebook PCs – Configuring the Boot Order in the System BIOS
    http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=emr_na-c00364979

 

Local Accounts in Windows 8

  1. Enable Windows Built in Administrator Account
    http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/enable-windows-built-in-administrator-account/
  2. Ask htg how do I get Local Login Back in Windows 8
    http://www.howtogeek.com/181601/ask-htg-how-do-i-get-local-login-back-in-windows-8/
  3. How to switch your Windows 8 Log in to a local Account
    http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-switch-your-windows-8-1-log-in-to-a-local-account/
  4. Net User
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Cc771865.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396
  5. The Net Command Line to List Local Users and Groups
    http://www.nextofwindows.com/the-net-command-line-to-list-local-users-and-groups

 

Enable Administrator Account

  1. Enable the Hidden Administrator Account on Windows Vista
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/enable-the-hidden-administrator-account-on-windows-vista/

 

Logon Screen

  1. Force Windows 8 to show all user accounts on the Sign on screen
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/force-windows-8-to-show-all-user-accounts-on-the-sign-on-screen/

 

3rd Party Vendor – Kon-Boot

  1. Raymond – Use Kon-Boot to Login to Windows Without Knowing or Changing the Current Password
    https://www.raymond.cc/blog/login-to-windows-administrator-and-linux-root-account-without-knowing-or-changing-current-password/

 

3rd Party Vendor – iSunShare

  1. Windows 8 – Password – How to use reset Windows 8 Password without disk
    http://www.isunshare.com/windows-8-password/how-to-reset-windows-8-password-without-disk.html

 

 

 

Switch from Microsoft Account to Local Account

  1. How to Switch to a Local Account from a Microsoft Account in Windows 8.1
    http://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-switch-local-account-microsoft-account-windows-8

 

Hide Specific Users from Appearing in the Logon Screen

  1. Atlanta – IT Service – Hide User Accounts From Welcome Screen
    https://atlantaitservice.com/techtips/hide-user-accounts-from-welcome-screen


ERD Command Locksmith

  1. Using ERD Commander Locksmith to Reset Administrator Password
    http://calmit.org/using-erd-commander-locksmith-to-change-account-passwords/


Generic

  1. IntelliAdmin Blog
    http://www.intelliadmin.com/index.php/blog/

 

Recovery Environment

  1. NET USER ADMIN: “The user was successfully created but could not be added to the USERS local group”
    http://superuser.com/questions/543286/net-user-admin-the-user-was-successfully-created-but-could-not-be-added-to-the

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