How to Reset the Administrator from an eMachines Recovery Disc

by Kaia Liamson

If you've forgotten your Windows password, or are otherwise unable to log in to your account, the built-in Administrator account is your best bet for regaining access to the system. This account is disabled by default in Windows 7, which complicates the process for logging in and repairing your regular account. However, you can re-enable the Administrator account and use the "Sticky Keys" trick to reset the account's password from the command prompt on the Emachines recovery disc.

Access Command Prompt from Disc

Insert the Emachines recovery disc and restart the computer.

Press any key if you see the command, "Press any key to boot from CD/DVD."

Click "Next," then select "Repair your computer."

Select "Command Prompt" from the "System Recovery Options" menu.

Enable Administrator Account

Type "c:" and press "Enter."

Type the following, then press "Enter:" net user administrator /active:yes

Type "Exit" and press "Enter" when you receive a message that says "The command completed successfully."

Restart the computer or reset the Administrator password.

Reset Administrator Password

Type "c:" and press "Enter."

Type the following, then press "Enter:" copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\

Type the following, then press "Enter:" copy /y c:\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

Restart the computer. Wait for the login screen to load, then press "Shift" five times to toggle the "Sticky Keys" response.

Type the following and press "Enter," replacing "<new password>" with the password of your choice. net user administrator <new password>

Type "exit" and press "Enter."

Log in with your new password.

Fix Sticky Keys After Successful Reset

Boot to the Emachines recovery disc and open Command Prompt.

Type "c:" and press "Enter."

Type the following, then press "Enter:" copy /y c:\sethc.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

Type "Exit" and restart the computer.

Tips

  • check If you receive an error when submitting any of the Command Prompt entries, try replacing all instances of "c:" with "d:". Many Windows installations save the system files on the "d:" drive instead.
  • check If this password reset method doesn't work, you might be able to revert to an older password by booting to the recovery disc, choosing "System Restore" from the "System Recovery Options" menu, and choosing an early restore date. Restoring to an earlier date will also reset the user passwords to the passwords enabled on that date.
  • check If all else fails, consider reinstalling Windows by selecting "Complete PC Restore" from the "System Recovery Options" menu. Since this will erase all of your files and third-party software, make sure you have your files backed up and the installation discs for your installers handy before starting. If you haven't backed up your files, re-installation should be your last resort.

About the Author

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Kaia Liamson has been writing professionally since 2010. She has worked in information technology support since 2002 and has gained valuable experience creating documentation, training materials and easy-to-follow instructions for users of varying levels of technical literacy. Liamson holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Macalester College.