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How to Bypass Windows 7 Password and Other Login Screen Errors

Updated on November 25, 2017
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Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.

If you get locked out of your computer because of a forgotten Windows login password or the 'user profile service failed the logon' screen, several hacks are available to help bypass them.

Windows password recovery is made easy if you have a password reset disk tool
Windows password recovery is made easy if you have a password reset disk tool

The following solutions should get your computer working again:

  • Command Prompt password recovery
  • Administrator account bypass
  • Ophcrack Live CD password recovery

Depending on the Windows version in your computer, you may encounter varying dialog screens, but the procedures are basically the same across the board.

Command Prompt Password Recovery

For these command line procedure to work, you will need to have a copy of bootable Windows on a CD, DVD or flash drive. Make sure to get a Windows version that matches what is preinstalled on the computer.

Note: Create a Windows 7 bootable USB drive using a tool like Rufus.

In the following illustration, we shall use Windows 7 computer to illustrate how to bypass the forgotten password.

The Steps:

  • Start by booting into the Windows 7 DVD or flash drive. Find out what key combination is used in order to boot to the DVD or flash drive. Most computers today will boot to boot menus by pressing the F12 key.
  • When prompted, press any key on the keyboard to boot from your chosen device.
  • In the Install Windows screen, press Next to continue and Repair your computer on the screen that pops up.

  • Windows will attempt to locate the operating system and once listed, press Next to continue. Make sure to note the Windows drive letter. The d:\ drive is the letter in our illustration.

  • Windows will attempt to repair your operating system or not.

Select Command Prompt to start using basic  command line interface
Select Command Prompt to start using basic command line interface
  • Select Command Prompt.

  • At the prompt, you will now have to replace a file called utilman.exe.
  • You may want to copy the utilman.exe file to another location for now. You will have to paste it back when done with this exercise.

Note: Utilman.exe is the Ease of Access shortcut which is represented by an icon located at the bottom left of the logon screen. Utilman.exe is designed to help troubleshoot logon problems. For example, you can enable the On Screen Keyboard to aid in typing the user password if your computer keyboard malfunctions somehow.

Since we do not need to use this tool for now, we can temporarily replace it with the Command Prompt tool which will help us fix the password problem.

Ease of access tool
Ease of access tool
  • To copy the Utilman.exe file to the root folder D:\, type:

copy d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\

Note: This command will copy the Utilman.exe tool to the root drive d:\, where it will remain until Windows password recovery is done.

  • Next, replace the original utilman.exe file with the cmd.exe file. To do this, type:

copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

  • You will be prompted to overwrite the utilman.exe file.

Type: y to overwrite.

  • Now type: exit and click Restart to reboot your computer, this time without booting to the DVD or flash disk.
  • When the computer loads to the logon screen, click the Ease of Access button.

(The action will now ridirect you to the Command Prompt tool)

  • You may want to start by finding out the current user accounts in Windows.
  • On the Command Prompt, type:

net user

  • Like shown in the image below, the available user names will be listed.
  • In our example, there is one user name AA with administrator rights.
  • Next, create a new password to overwrite the one you forgot. To do this, type:

net user AA 00000.

  • The five zeros in this example represent the new password.

  • Type: exit in the Command Prompt to close the command line interface.
  • You will now be back to the login screen with the user AA still asking for a password.
  • Type in the password you created a moment ago. In our example, I will type in 00000.
  • And that should be all.
  • If you followed the instructions to the dot, your account should now be accessible using the new password.

Recovery Using Administrator Account

This simple hack is helpful when you want to log into your computer without the limitations of other user accounts that are password locked.

The administrator account may also be helpful when your computer displays the User Profile Service service failed logon screen. This error will happen when Windows decides to log you into a temporary account as a result of a corrupted user account.

Usually restarting the computer should help fix this problem but if the error persists, you may have to bypass it by using the administrator account.

The purpose of using a second or administrator account is to allow you repair the inaccessible account or its transfer files to another one.

The 'User Profile Service logon' error can be fixed via administrator and secondary account, and use of Safe Mode
The 'User Profile Service logon' error can be fixed via administrator and secondary account, and use of Safe Mode

1. Enable Administrator Account Using the Windows DVD

In this example, we shall use Windows 7 computer and a Windows 7 DVD or prepared flash drive.

The Steps:

  • Follow the steps outlined in the previous example until when you access the Command Prompt via Ease of Access icon.
  • In the Command Prompt tool via the Ease of Access button, simply type:

net user Administrator /active:yes

and press enter.

  • If you did everything correctly, you should receive a confirmation message that the command completed successfully.
  • That is all.
  • Type: exit and press enter to restart the computer.
  • The Administrator account should show up in the next logon screen.
  • Click on it to log in and start troubleshooting the corrupted account.

2. Enable Administrator Account Without Windows DVD

You can also enable the administrator account without owning a copy of Windows operating system. However, you should know the password to the active but inaccessible user account.

This method is helpful when faced with the User Profile Service Logon error.

The Steps:

  • Start your computer and press the F8 function key just when Windows is about to launch.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt in the screen that appears and press Enter.

  • Click the active account to log in and you will be prompted for its password. You will not need a password if the account does not have one.
  • Type in the password and Windows should log into the Safe Mode command line interface.
  • Type the following onto the Command Prompt:

net user administrator /active:yes

and press Enter.

  • If you did everything correctly, you should see confirmation that the command completed successfully.
  • Restart the computer and the administrator account should be visible in the next logon screen.

Note: Do not forget to disable the Administrator account after you are done using it.

To do this:

  • Type: cmd in the Search programs and files box (Start button) and press Enter.
  • The Command Prompt window will show up.
  • In it type:

net user administrator /active:no

  • This should reset the Administrator account to default. (read disabled)

How to Troubleshoot Corrupted User Profile Service

Somehow, when a user account profile gets corrupted for one reason or another, Windows will load a temporary account thus barring you, even with the right login credentials.

The corrupted user profile error will pop up soon after you type in your password.

Note:You can also repair this error by simply logging into your account using the basic Safe Mode which appears when you press the F8 Function key. You do not necessarily have to be in the administrator account to do this!

After you have successfully logged into the administrator or secondary account, you will have two options to get your account up and running again.

You can repair the corrupted user profile service in Windows registry or create a new user account.

Important to note is that any secondary account should have administrator rights for you to make administrative changes.

In order to make administrative changes in your Windows computer, always make sure to enable administrator privileges
In order to make administrative changes in your Windows computer, always make sure to enable administrator privileges

Repair the corrupted user profile service failed logon

Follow the instructions to the dot and your computer should be fine a few minutes later.

Whereas you may choose to repair Windows registry in order to repair the corrupted user profile, you may not permanently stop the error from re-appearing.

Furthermore, tinkering with the registry should be done correctly lest you mess something up. Always backup the registry before trying to fix anything inside it.

Create a new account and transfer your files

If repair of the registry is not for you, or if it fails to deliver results, or if the user profile service error re-occurs soon after, you may want to create a new user account in its place.

You can use the following instructions to do so.

  • Click the Start button in Windows 7 and choose Control Panel situated in the right pane.
  • Head over to User Accounts and Family Safety if your view setting is in Category mode,
  • Or click User Accounts if the view is in Large icons mode.

  • In the next window select Manage another account, then Create a new account.
  • Fill in the name of your new account in the space provided and click Create account.
  • You can choose between Standard and Administrator accounts. Remember to select Administrator if you wish to make changes to the computer. Read the help notes provided to guide you.

Which method would you prefer when troubleshooting the User Profile Service Failed Logon Error?

See results
  • Now that your new account is created, click on its icon to create a new password.
  • After you have created a new password, close Control Panel pages and restart the computer in order for Windows to register the new user account
  • It is now time to copy files from the old user account.
  • Go to the Users folder in the root of c:\ (or wherever you have this folder) and copy the files from the old account to the new one.
  • Remember to avoid the user Temp folder which was created by Windows as a temporary user profile.
  • That should be all folks.

Edit User Profile Service Error Via Safe Mode

How to Bypass Windows Password Using Ophcrack Live CD

Of all third party Windows password recovery tools, Ophcrack stands out tall. It is a free open source software that uses hashes and tables to crack about 99.9% of Windows passwords.

Ophcrack can be run as a Live CD on a CD or flash drive from where it will rummage through your computer for available user account passwords. All you have to do is stick in your boot device and let it run.

You actually do not have to press anything and on completion, Ophcrack will display the passwords as soon as the desktop shows. Note down the password to your account and use it on the next logon screen.

Alternatively, follow these steps:

  • Boot into the Live CD by pressing F12 or another relevant key.
  • Select Ophcrack Graphics Mode – Automatic or it will auto select in 10 secs.
  • Ophcrack will load right up to the desktop.
  • Depending on the number of user accounts, Ophcrack may take up to 2 minutes before displaying their passwords.
  • Note down the passwords on a paper and reboot the computer.

  • At the next logon use the password you noted down.
  • You should now be able to log into your account.

© 2015 Alfred Amuno

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