Archive for the ‘Computer Help’ Category

Chances are if you found this page, it’s because you locked yourself out of Windows 7 and forgot the password to log back into your account. There are many ways to reset your password including several software applications that can do the job. However, I have found the easiest way (and free!) is as follows:

  1. Get your Windows 7 installation disk. If you don’t have one, you can download a free copy of the Windows Install disk here and burn it to DVD:
    Windows 7 32-Bit (x86) Direct Download Links
    Windows 7 64-Bit (x64) Direct Download Links
  2. Insert your Windows 7 Install disk in your CD/DVD drive, reboot your computer, and boot off the DVD.
  3. When the Windows 7 install screen comes up, click the link that says ‘Repair Windows‘ near the bottom left hand side.
  4. A new screen appears with several repair options, select the one that says ‘Command Prompt’
  5. When the command prompt opens, you will be in the X:\ drive. This is the Install DVD and not your Windows System. You need to find where your Windows 7 is installed. It may be C:\, however it is not uncommon for the Repair Disk to place it as drive letter D:\ or another drive letter. Search drive letters until you find one that has the Windows directory. For demonstration purpose I will use D:\ in this article. So if D:\ is your Windows installation drive, then you will have the following directory D:\Windows
  6. Now you are going to make a copy of the Sticky Keys application, because we are going to copy over it later. To make a copy of Sticky Keys run the following comand:
    X:\> copy D:\Windows\System32\sethc.exe D:\
  7. Now we are going to copy the Command Prompt cmd.exe over the Sticky Keys appliction. To do this run the following command:
    C:\> copy D:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe D:\Windows\System32\sethc.exe
  8. You’re now done with the Command Prompt and Repair Mode. Reboot your computer and remove the Windows 7 DVD.
  9. When the computer reboots, it will boot back up as normal into your login screen. Now press your shift key 5 times. The Command Prompt will open up.
  10. Run the following command in the Command Prompt:
    C:\> net user [your_login_name] [your_new_password]
    *Please Note that [your_login_name] is the login name you are resetting the passworld for, and [your_new_password] is the password you want to set for the login name.
  11. Close the command prompt, and now login with your new password! Once you are logged into your account, don’t forget to copy the sethc.exe back to it’s original location.
    C:\> copy C:\sethc.exe C:\Windows\System32\sethc.exe

That’s it. You are done! You can now begin logging in with your new password.

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and are not comfortable doing this yourself, I will do it for you. Visit my computer repair website at Nova Computing for more information.

For the past few weeks, when I booted into Windows XP on my laptop I would be frustrated because as I would type, keystrokes would be ignored for no apparent reason. There was no pattern to which keys would get ignored, it seemed completely random.

I run a dual boot system, so I also have Mandriva Linux on my laptop, which I use as my main operating system. I do not have this problem when I’m booted into Linux, so I knew the problem had to be Windows XP related.

Of course, this revelation also worried me, because I began to think I had some how got a virus, spyware, keylogger or some other nasty thing installed on my computer.

For weeks I ran all kinds of programs to ensure I did not have malware on my computer, everything from AVG antivirus, to Adaware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and all other recommendations I could find on the internet. Ever scan came back clean, and I was not infected with anything.

What could be causing my keystrokes to be randomly ignored? I started to think I might have a process or service running that was buggy. So I slowly and painfully disabled every non essential service, and started uninstalling all software. I even went as far as to start killing processes in the task manager that showed CPU usage as I was typing in notepad hoping I could catch a program that was trying to intercept my keystrokes.

Nothing worked, no matter what I deleted, uninstalled, or what process I killed the problem remained.

Tonight, out of pure frustration and one step away from wiping my Windows install and reinstalling it all, I did one last Google search. This time I search specifically for this problem on HP Pavilion zd8000 laptops. Low and Behold, I found a forum with other Pavilion zd8000 users having the same problem!

As it turns out, the faulty battery in my laptop, which died and quit holding a charge well over a year ago was the cause of the problem. The forum was filled with people saying to just pull the battery out and run the laptop off the a/c adapter only. That wouldn’t be a problem since my battery has been dead for so long I’ve been running only on the a/c adapter anyway.

After doing removing the battery, my keystrokes are back and working as normal! I figure it must be some Windows XP service that is trying to monitor the battery that is causing the keystroke hiccup (that doesn’t really make sense, but this is Windows we are dealing with, so go figure), but as of yet I haven’t found a way to solve the problem without removing the battery.

As long as the battery is out of the laptop though, I am typing like a champ!