Monday, 27 January 2014

I Hacked My Own Computer

A while back I decided to let one of my nieces use one of my old laptops. If I'm honest I actually have three laptops. It's been quite a while since I broke one. I tended to buy a new one when an old one died, as I tend to break them pretty quickly.A laptop lasts, on average, about six months. My really old one, the one the niece has, is in pretty bad shape. It's slow and I'm surprised it runs at all. It's probably highly damaged on a software level. The fan is kind of damaged too. Maybe it's just that old and technology has really come a long way since I bought it. I don't really buy that one though. I used to let all three kids use it and then I let the eldest take it home with her after she broke my dad's old laptop. Not my smartest move I know. But I'd get stupider.

In preparation for her having main control over it, I changed the password on the admin account so that she could use it at home, and the other kids could still use the monitored kids account. I thought I changed the password to her name but I didn't. I tried several variations and everything I thought the password was, and I still couldn't log on. I forgot my own password. I didn't create a password reset drive which meant there was only one option left open to me; I had to hack my own computer.

It was much easier than I thought it would be. All I really had to do was create a Ubuntu boot disc and load up Ubuntu. It turns out I messed that up too...I downloaded the Ubuntu ISO and then, rather than write it to a disc, I burned it. Another disc later I had my boot disc. I loaded it up, loaded up Ubuntu, and then had to access the windows hard drive through Ubuntu. I changed the names of a few files and then restarted the computer, back to Windows. The changes I made meant that when I loaded up the Ease of Access options on the login screen, I actually opened up the command prompt. From there, one quick command changed my password and I was able to log back in.

Now I just need to remember this password. I guess if I don't I know what to do, and I still have the Ubuntu disc.

15 comments:

  1. You just made my inner nerd squeeee with joy. I love my Ubuntu disk. Passwords aside, it's also very handy when my hard drive was starting to go and the OS wouldn't load. I was able to boot to Ubuntu and pull my files to a flash drive.

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  2. Oh man, look at how ease that was to get into. Fucking shameful. What's it running? It better not be something newer than XP.

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    1. It doesn't bother me it was that easy to get into. I'm pretty thankful it was that easy, given how it was my laptop. The one I use barely ever leaves my sight so I'm not worried about someone getting into it that easy. The one I use is running Windows 8, which has saved my ass on more than one occasion. I can just reset it back to it's factory settings and can now take it in for repairs. I took my old one in about three times rather than just replace it. I can't really complain about the OS. The one I reset was running Windows 7, and I'm not sure if this trick works for anything below that.

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  3. That sounded way too easy but good work though!

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  4. Giving her main control, did you have to give her admin rights as well? And is your password 'bosco' level, or embarassing, or something that you didn't want to give that to her? And DON'T tell me it's because you use that password for other things. (ಠ_ಠ)

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    Replies
    1. It was more that I didn't want her to have parental controls on. The first time she took it home she bugged me for my password because it was blocking a lot of her college stuff. It was just easier to give her the main account for now. I just wanted to change the password to something she'd remember, which ended up blowing up in my face as both of us forgot it.

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  5. Hey, nice job! Resetting passwords is always tricky

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  6. Kudos to you for cracking that thing. It's a tad disheartening sometimes that I think I know all of two people personally aside myself that have enough experience with computers to appreciate your tactics. Nonetheless, you really showed your colors. Good job!!!

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  7. I hate when I forget a password. I have so many because I change them every six months. It's getting to a point where I'm recycling them so I have a select few to remember.

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  8. I used to forget my passwords all the time. Then I started using the same one for everything - probably not safe to do it that way though!

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  9. Perhaps you should just forget about a job, and become a hacker full time.

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  10. Wow, so you actually hacked into your own computer. Not "Omg, I found my password written down on a slip of paper!".

    Well done.

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  11. Hacking your own computer? Sweet! Did you listen to the theme from Mission Impossible when you did it?

    Best thing to do, make the new password what your first attempt was. That way even if you forget the password again, you really wont cause it will be your first attempt!!

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