I was asked to repair a laptop of a friend’s friend the other week. They think it has a virus, not running right, etc. So I said “Sure, I’ll see what I can do…”

The friend drops off the laptop at the house that day. The next day I open the laptop to find it suspended and it’s at the Windows login.

No stickynote inside with the password. Maybe no password is set? Nope… So I ask for the password. It’s xyz. It’s not xyz. Ok, what about Xyz, xYz, xyZ, etc. Nope… Ok, try xxyyzz. Same deal, still not working. We don’t know then…

I say to myself, “How can you use a computer everyday for college and not be able to tell me your password?!”…

So… what to do… what to do… Boot from an Ophcrack Live CD of course, and retrieve the password!! It took me longer to boot the laptop off the Live CD than it did to crack the password.

I’m not condoning using Ophcrack for illegal purposes, but if you have a legitimate need to recover a lost or forgotten password, Ophcrack is simply amazing and I highly recommend it!

Oh, and once I did get into the laptop, the issue was a couple of nasty trojans and an expired anti-virus product.