Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Chp 820. Hiren to the rescue!

I wrote my last blog update from Pune on November 27th, 2019, and then packed up my computer for the Movers & Packers to send to Mizoram.

I left Pune two days later, and my belongings reached Mizoram two weeks later.

We unpacked all my stuff slowly, box by box, but the one thing that remained unopened was my computer set. Since I was finally moving back to Mizoram permanently, my family was of the opinion that I shouldn't unpack my computer stuff in my bedroom upstairs, as I spend most of my time in front of my computer. Instead, they said I should unpack my computer downstairs because I was the "man of the house" now and I should be ready to welcome any visitors etc.

Our tiny office room by the main door was a good place to unpack my system, as it even has our CCTV monitor. Perfect place to spend time on the computer while at the same time vigilantly checking the CCTV feed for intruders & shenanigans, you know, the role of a "man of the house" :P The only problem was, my sister's stuff were still in that room. Long story short, with all the CoVid-19 lockdown and stuff going on, I didn't unpack my computer for a very long time as I was anyway using my sister's laptop to update my blog.

Finally on 23rd May, 2020, almost exactly 6 months after I packed up my computer in Pune, I decided to set it up. My fingers trembled as I ripped apart the multiple layers of packaging material and bubble wrappings. Nothing was broken. Like a hyperactive 6 years old opening his Christmas present from Santa Claus excitedly, I unpacked everything and assembled my computer. Finally, everything was ready, all my hard disks and RAMs and VGA cards etc., all properly attached, as well as my 43" Panasonic TV that I use as my monitor.

With one anticipated push of a button, my machine came back to life. Six months of slumber, now ready to function as it has been designed to. The wonder of mankind's creation whirred for a few seconds, spluttered out a few bits and bytes, and finally threw open the Windows login screen!


Except... there was one problem.

I could no longer remember my password!

Lolz. Yeah, that was such an anti-climax build-up.

So the thing is, I used to use my office workstation password for my home PC password as well, so that I won't forget my workstation password. And in an ironic twist of fate, I could no longer remember that password :D

The thing about office workstation passwords is that, you should never use any of your regular passwords like personal email password, bank password, social media account password, etc etc., because your office IT department has total access to that password. Yes, in case you didn't know that, now you do. Never use your regular passwords for any of your office related passwords.

I used the default password format given to me by our IT department, as I didn't have anything to hide from my colleagues or bosses. I only changed the last few numerical values whenever our IT server prompted me to change the password due to expiration, and every time I changed it, I would also immediately change my home PC password upon reaching home, so that I will remember that new password.

But it had been 6 months since I last typed that password!

After trying more than 100 different password combinations that were all incorrect, I asked my former colleagues for help, and they too sent me all the different possible password formats used in office and I tried all sorts of different permutations, but to no avail. I even called up Irfan and Sidhi from our IT department, asking them if they could retrieve the last password I had used on my workstation. They tried their best, but unfortunately, it had been six months since my system was formatted, so that data was no longer in their records. Drats!

Eventually, there was no other option but to hard reset it. To do that from command prompt, I needed a Win10 boot-up drive, which I didn't have, so one of my friends Thanpuia came to my house and gave me his. Together, we tried all sort of methods, from replacing utilman.exe with cmd.exe to editing system32 and using PCUnlocker, but nothing worked.

We looked at every different solution online, but of course, the main problem we faced was that most of these solutions which might have worked in the past before, were no longer valid because of continuous firmware and software updates. We gave up that night.

The next day, Sanga came over to my place to help me out.

His process was super simple! All that you require, is a pen-drive and a working computer with an internet connection. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Format the pen-drive. A 2 GB pen-drive is more than enough.

Step 2. Using a different computer, download Hiren OS.

Step 3. Burn the ISO onto the pen-drive.

Step 4. Plug in that pen-drive to the computer with forgotten password.

Step 5. Start the computer and boot-up from pen-drive.

Step 6. Thadaaa, your computer is now alive, running on Hiren BootCD.

Step 7. Go to Windows, Start Menu, Security, Passwords, NT Password, and reset it. Done!

Step 8. Restart system, remove Hiren drive and let the computer boot-up normally using the existing Windows 10 OS.

And that was it. The Windows password prompt was no longer there and everything loaded properly, nothing was changed or deleted, my system was just as it was back in Pune.

So simple!

Just eight steps, and if you already have a Hiren boot-up drive, then you can skip the first few steps and start directly from Step 5. In less than 10 minutes, my problem was solved. Thanks a lot, Sanga. And thank you too, Thanpuia, for at least attempting :D

For the love of God, I have no idea why such a simple solution does not come up on Google search. Try looking it up yourself, search for "Windows 10 password reset", this Hiren OS solution will not appear in the first few pages (unless of course you directly include "Hiren" in the search query, duh).

Maybe the moral of the story is, you can't google everything :) That the best things in life can only be learnt from work experience and not through short-cut searches. So deep, much wow. :P

And that was it. I got to gaming immediately once my system was set up. Hope you find this post useful in case one day you too forget your password.

Cheers for now.

No comments: