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Brant 06-29-2020 07:24 PM

is it possible to edit the Windows file system with Linux on a flash-drive?
 
2 Attachment(s)
I was asked to look at a friend's laptop that was refusing to let them log-in, and that was showing this message:

Your Device/PC Is Offline. Please Sign in With the Last Password Used on This Device/PC

Looking on line, I saw this (among other things):

Run regedit to open the Registry Editor and go to the following key: HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\IdentityCRL\StoredIdentities
Expand StoredIdentities and delete the key of the Microsoft account that is creating issues.

This left me wondering if I could do the same thing while running Linux from a live USB key, and if so, how to locate the key.
Screenshot-1 shows what I see when I open the file system. Screenshot-2 shows the content of the Windows folder.

Is this do-able?
Thanks!

jefro 06-29-2020 07:37 PM

Before you lose a friend maybe have them log into some computer web page for almost any microsoft page that has a user to log into. Might see if their password works as expected.

All of this work is subject to data loss.

https://mashtips.com/how-to-edit-the...-using-ubuntu/

cordx 06-29-2020 07:52 PM

i have used a modified version of the utilman.exe method described in this article to reset a local (not microsoft live account) windows 10 password.

Brant 06-29-2020 08:10 PM

Jefro's link is extremely interesting, and is almost an answer in itself, as my first question was "is it possible?".
I am safe with my friend (touch wood) as their original request was that I install Linux; wanting to access the old operating system was part curiosity, partly to ascertain there were no valuable files.

I confess that I did not understand "log into some computer web page for almost any microsoft page that has a user to log into. Might see if their password works as expected."
If the password works on a Microsoft page, how does that advance the situation? Or are we simply verifying that they gave me the right password?

jefro 06-29-2020 10:14 PM

I didn't really want to get into the entire scope of this issue on a linux site. There are plenty of web articles on this topic that don't involve using linux to nuke it.

There are a number of variables that you haven't mentioned that could be critical. Backups? Encrypted folders? Exact version and level and if it has a local account still or ever.

What the error starts as it is saying that it can't authenticate the user's password. The most simple is to do what it said. Did you try the last known password?

rtmistler 06-30-2020 10:02 AM

It's absolutely possible to view and edit other OS files, Windows included, using a live boot of Linux, in fact that's done many, many times by persons repairing systems. Another fact is that built in recovery and restore software on laptop PCs is typically Linux.

Curiosity appeased I'd say, and given that your friend simply asked for Linux, then confirm with them whether or not they wish any files backed up, and then put Linux on the system.

TB0ne 06-30-2020 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brant (Post 6139467)
I was asked to look at a friend's laptop that was refusing to let them log-in, and that was showing this message:
Code:

Your Device/PC Is Offline. Please Sign in With the Last Password Used on This Device/PC
Looking on line, I saw this (among other things):
Code:

Run regedit to open the Registry Editor and go to the following key: HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\IdentityCRL\StoredIdentities
Expand StoredIdentities and delete the key of the Microsoft account that is creating issues.

This left me wondering if I could do the same thing while running Linux from a live USB key, and if so, how to locate the key. Screenshot-1 shows what I see when I open the file system. Screenshot-2 shows the content of the Windows folder. Is this do-able?

Nope; regedit is a Windows program...can't run it under Linux, and even if you could, it's going to look for a C:\ drive to locate the registry. You hint at the fact that this is an online account, but don't provide many details. If they're signing in with a Microsoft account, they can go online and reset it easily. Certain Windows 10 patch-levels will let a user set security questions to be able to reset a lost/forgotten password...but we don't know if that's the case here.

Simplest way is to use a Windows 10 install media, and follow this: https://4sysops.com/archives/reset-a...s-10-password/

ondoho 06-30-2020 02:09 PM

It seems that editing the Windows registry is possible with Linux.

jefro 06-30-2020 05:58 PM

I guess I didn't add the link I wanted to yesterday and now I can't find it. It has maybe 20 or 30 tips on this issue.

Anyway this is less but similar. https://troubleshooter.xyz/wiki/your...n-this-device/
or https://windowsreport.com/your-pc-is...ror-windows-8/

TB0ne 07-01-2020 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ondoho (Post 6139822)

Nice one, ondoho; never even would have looked for that. I'd typically stick with Windows solutions for Windows problems, and regedit was the only thing I'd ever used.

Personally, I've always found that 'hack' about replacing utilman with cmd easiest. You can then just use a "net use" command to change passwords, or add a user.

Brant 07-13-2020 07:09 PM

Sorry I have been so slow getting back to this: my internet connection has been hit-or-miss ...

I took the simple route, and simply installed Linux Mint; if nothing else, looking at all this reminded me of how much I dislike Windows.

However the next time I have an unimportant computer to play with I may go back to this, and try out chntpw.


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