SITUATION #1: LOCKED OUT OF A COMPUTER
"What do you mean you forgot your password?" I challenged a colleague. He'd just bought a new Windows 8.1, super fast, gaming machine--the keyboard had red lights on it, blinding fast graphics card--but when he received it, the first thing he did was put a super-complicated password on it...even though he knew I'd be coming over to help him get innoculated/immunized against malware and viruses.
Rather than spend an hour with Ninite.com, installing programs (actually, less than that, Ninite.com a service that makes it easy to select critical free and/or open source software then download an installer that automates the process for you rather than making you do it), I had to spend time figuring out how to "blank" his administrator username and password.
Fortunately, there's a web site for that. And, I found it fairly quickly, followed the instructions, and voila, all was back on track. The steps for that were simple:
- Put 64bit Ubuntu on a USB flash drive and boot up the computer from flash drive.
- Enable all the software repositories in ubuntu
- Install chntpw (from command line, sudo apt-get install chntpw)
- Mount your Windows drive, switching to Window/Systems32/config then
- sudo chntpw SAM
- Use the options to unlock the Administrator account and then "blank" out the password. If you know the username ("Vince"), then the command would look like this:
sudo chntpw -u Vince SAM
SITUATION #2: CREATING A MAC OS X YOSEMITE USB FLASH DRIVE
"Any ideas on how to create a Mac OS X Yosemite install media?" I asked a friend of mine. My plan was to repurpose a Macintosh and I needed Yosemite install for the machine, to give it a "fresh start."
He didn't know but suggested, "Why don't you download a torrent?" I didn't think that was such a good idea, not because bit torrents are bad or anything for these purposes, but because, well, that just seemed the hard way to do stuff.
Earlier tonight, I did a google search. About 5 minutes into skimming sites, I stumbled across MacLife's EasyMacHacks article on How to Install OS X from a Bootable USB Drive. The process involved download a copy of the following:
There you go...two tasks that would have been impossible or difficult, but were actually quite easy. Of course, I'm glad I had a few USB flash drives laying around.
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