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Changed computer name and changed from domain to workgroup, now can't login.

Last response: in Windows 7
October 15, 2012 5:43:06 AM


I did a stupid thing! My Dad gave me his old laptop, and in my inexperience, I decided I wanted to change the name of the computer to my name and change from a domain to a workgroup so I wouldn't still be linked to my Dad's place of work.

While doing this, I deleted all his user accounts in the hope that it wouldn't ask for a password when loading up. MISTAKE!

Now, when loading up on the login screen it loads one of his old user accounts, but the password that he uses now doesn't work.

How on earth do I log back in to the computer without formatting?

Do I have to take it physically to his place of work?
a b $ Windows 7
October 15, 2012 11:21:45 AM

When it was connected to a domain it relied on that domain passwords to authorise accesss to the laptop. By switching it over to workgroup you are using the local accounts setup on the laptop. Since it has been quite some time since they have been used it does sound likely that the passwords have been forgotten.

Beyond that we cannot help.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 15, 2012 1:33:02 PM


was this your fathers laptop used at work or his employers laptop which they have allowed him to take home ?

Their IT department (person) will know the local admin account which can be used to create new local users accounts
They probably wont wont to give this password to you

Try F8 at startup for safe mode Windows and see if the Admin password has been set
(It will be set if a business PC, but often not set on Home versions of Windows)


Mike Barnes
April 5, 2013 5:44:54 AM

I did the same thing and stressed for ages over it...
My solution aftet thinking of formatting the hdd and starting over again was remarkably simple and involved replacing the registry with a backedup one... i think the term is "recovering the registry". windows apparently backs up its registry automatically ( or maybe i just got lucky that it was backed up b4 i messed it

What i did was boot from a windows recovery disk and then got into the repair section...
From here u have many options, like restoring computer, repairing, command prompt etc...

If u hit restore computer amd hit search for backup file or similar, u should be presented with a familiar dialogue type box that has your computer drives etc, pretty much like explorer....

From here go to windows/system32/config.

Delete these files
Replace these files with the same ones in the regbackup folder in the same directory

Worked first time. Hope it helps.