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My laptop is ASUS X550JK and it's on Windows 8.1

If I put a password on my account and make a guest account will it be enough to protect my data on it? Can the tech guy get into my main account via safe mode or something without the need of a password?

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    Unless you encrypt the entire HDD, the tech guy can simply remove the HDD, connect it to a Linux system, mount it, and access everything, period. Encryption on file level will still reveal the folder structure which may or may not contain details you want to hide.
    – Run CMD
    Feb 22 '16 at 10:47
  • Would encryption work on Linux too? Or can someone bypass that also?
    – Firee
    Feb 22 '16 at 11:33
  • It is trivial to change the password of an existing account once you physically control the machine l.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 22 '16 at 11:50
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If you hand your laptop to someone and they want the data, a user account won't stop them. Removing the hard drive and getting the data off wouldn't be hard at all.

If you're particularly worried about your data falling into the wrong hands, look into using a full drive encryption. Bear in mind though that for them to repair your machine (depending on the problem), they'll probably need the password, so realistically the only thing you can do is move it to another source and securely delete it from the machine.

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I did a Linux dd command on my dad's laptop before he handed it back in to the shop he had purchased it at, and basically copied the whole HD to an external drive.

I then nuked the installation on his laptop. No data!

After the laptop got back from the shop, everything was repaired and I dd'd the disk image from the external HD back onto the laptop's disk.

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Yes the Tech Guy could get into it.

If the Admin account is disabled he can do the following.

Entering the below command through CMD will activate the hidden Admin Account.

He can do this in a few different ways.

Either Gaining accessing through an admin account or enabling it below.

net user administrator /active:yes

If he wanted to he could even do this command.

Say the USER is Foo. and the password you want to change it to is mypassword

net user foo mypassword

Also just pulling the Hard Disk out and placing it into another pc will reveal all files and directories.

For Informational Purpose of how this could be achieved with no Admin Rights.

Start your PC off the (Disk|USB|HDD) that contains the install media Once loaded, press Shift+F10. This will open a command prompt

Run the following commands in order:

diskpart
list vol

Once you find the right volume (your C: drive (it may have a different drive letter)), run exit

Now, run D: where D is your drive letter.

Run cd \Windows\System32

Run ren Utilman.exe Utilman_old.exe

Run copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe

Reboot

Once you get to the logon screen, click the Accessibility Options icon. Once the Command Prompt opens, run these commands, replacing user_to_change with the user you want to reset the password of:

net user user_to_change *

Enter a new password, enter it again (you won't see it) and log in.

You can now go back to C:\Windows\System32 and delete the Utilman.exe that we made, and rename Utilman_old.exe to Utilman.exe

If you have any sensitive data and you are worried about the Tech guy getting into it pull the data off.

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  • Note the administrator could only be enabled from an account with administrator privilege, not a guest account as the OP stated.
    – Jonno
    Feb 22 '16 at 11:18
  • If the Person has a Windows Cd the could copy the Cmd.exe over the sticky key features and then boot up the windows machine. Activate sticky keys and and Administrative cmd will pop up then you can run the commands. I do this with Clients that get locked out. Feb 22 '16 at 11:20

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