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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

A problem with windows 7 password recovery


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Starlighter

 
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Hello everyone! I have a macbook pro running mac os 10.8.4 Mountain lion and windows 7 home premium. I had not used windows for a long time and I forgot my password. Could you help me to reset it please? I tried to boot with windows 7 dvd, but my dvd drive is broken and does not read any dvd's at all. So I created two bootable flash drives, one with windows 7 and another one with software for password recovery. But mac book pro could not boot using these flash drives, and they could not be seen in boot menu when I pressed the "option" button after turning it on. Besides that, It's not possible to set any boot options in "bios" like I did with my pc computer. My friend told me the reason is that there is no any "bios" in mac computers. So, is reinstalling windows with bootcamp the only thing I can do? It would be sad to erase all the information from windows partition.
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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.

Problem is broken optical drive alas. Even reinstalling with BootCamp you will need the optical drive.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Starlighter

 
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But I don't want to reinstall windows. And even if it's the only solution, it's possible to install it using a flash drive, bootcamp allows to do that with a usb flash drive and an ISO image of windows. But my question was about recovering or reseting the windows password.
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chscag

 
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Take a look at this article: LINK I'm not sure it will work with Boot Camp but it's worth a try. Also, if it fails, you can make a copy of your Windows partition by using WinClone. WinClone is not free but at least you won't lose data if you have to reinstall.

WinClone LINK
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Starlighter

 
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The first method described in the link above can't be used because it requires to boot from a dvd drive. And if I make a clone of my windows partition it will be an exact copy of the system installed on the hard drive, including the forgtten password. Or I am wrong? Could you tell me plesae how to use it in details?
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chscag

 
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If you make a clone of your Windows partition and then reinstall Windows 7 (assuming you have to reinstall) you'll enter a new password. I don't know if using the clone to recover data will bring back the old password. The only other option is to replace your optical drive and recover the Windows 7 password according to the article.
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Starlighter

 
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And is it posible to boot from the windows installation dvd using an external usb dvd drive? will it appear in the boot menu after pressing the "option" button? and why could not I boot from a flash drive? Is it impossible on mac computers?
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlighter View Post
And is it posible to boot from the windows installation dvd using an external usb dvd drive? will it appear in the boot menu after pressing the "option" button? and why could not I boot from a flash drive? Is it impossible on mac computers?
You didn't mention which exact MacBook you have. Most older Macs cannot boot the Windows installer off anything but the internal DVD drive. An external USB DVD drive or thumb drive simply won't work. My mid-2010 iMac is one of those... something I wasn't aware of when I swapped my DVD drive for an SSD (oops!). All MacBook Airs should be able to boot the Windows installer off USB, and I think all Macs after 2010 can also.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Starlighter

 
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Thank you all! But I still don't know what to do. My macbook pro is an early 2008 model. So, as I understand It's impossible to boot it from any drive except the internal dvd drive. Does it mean that having a broken dvd drive I can do nothing to fix windows? I read that bootcamp allows to create windows usb drives with an iso image of the original windows dvd. Is it possible to do something with windows password reset or recovery using any tools under mac os?
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlighter View Post
Thank you all! But I still don't know what to do. My macbook pro is an early 2008 model. So, as I understand It's impossible to boot it from any drive except the internal dvd drive. Does it mean that having a broken dvd drive I can do nothing to fix windows? I read that bootcamp allows to create windows usb drives with an iso image of the original windows dvd. Is it possible to do something with windows password reset or recovery using any tools under mac os?
Boot Camp only allows for making a bootable Windows USB installer IF your Mac supports booting from it. Your model MacBook doesn't support it. Period. Here are your options:
I Forgot My Windows 7 Password! Is There Anything I Can Do?

If none of these options prove to be viable, then replace your broken DVD drive.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Starlighter

 
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Could you tell me how to create a bootable windows usb installer? When launch bootcamp assistant there are two options: download windows drivers and delete existing windows partition. There is no option to create an usb installation disc.
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chscag

 
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Did you read through the link I gave you in my first reply? There are instructions included in links from the article which explain how to use a flash drive for recovery and also other options. I don't think you read through the article enough. Anyway, look that over again.

Otherwise, as stated by myself and lifeisabeach, replace your optical drive.
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Starlighter

 
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Is there any way to get access to the windows file system under mac os? I found a simple instruction that works after replacing one file in system32 directory. If I could change this file under mac os, I would be able to reset the password without a dvd of a flash drive.
Here is the instruction

1. Navigate to c:/windows/system32 and copy cmd (command prompt) and rename it as sethc
2. Now copy /past the new sethc to c:/windows/system32,when asks for overwriting the file click yes.
3. Now when your in the logon screen press shift key 5 times Instead of Sticky Key confirmation dialog box ,command prompt with full administrator privileges will open.
4. Now you can change the password of the administrator account or add a new user using the following commands
Example :
"Net user administrator 123 " where 123 is the password or you can add a new user
"Net user 1111 /add " where 1111 is the name of the user.

I think I'm very close to the solution of my problem, the only thing I need is to replace this damned file. But the string "copy" does not appear when I click the right mouse on files in the windows partition. Please help.
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chscag

 
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That sounds like a good solution to use. However, you will need a driver in order to write to your Windows 7 NTFS partition: Download Paragon NTFS form Paragon software = $19.95.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlighter View Post
Is there any way to get access to the windows file system under mac os? I found a simple instruction that works after replacing one file in system32 directory. If I could change this file under mac os, I would be able to reset the password without a dvd of a flash drive.
Here is the instruction

1. Navigate to c:/windows/system32 and copy cmd (command prompt) and rename it as sethc
2. Now copy /past the new sethc to c:/windows/system32,when asks for overwriting the file click yes.
Whoa... not so fast. Those instructions are faulty. I'm reading another tutorial on this trick, and you need to make a backup copy of sethc before overwriting it. What you just posted omits that step entirely. Here's a step-by-step guide I found. I can't vouch for it myself, but please make sure you follow the instructions completely.
How to Reset Your Forgotten Windows Password the Easy Way


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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