I updated to windows 10 from windows 7 and can't log in to my account. So I forgot my windows 7 password long time ago and have been using fingerprint login ever since on my HP Elitebook.

I was expecting this to cause a problem when upgrading to 10, so I activated the administrator account in windows 7 and made sure that I could log in with that before I started the windows 10 upgrade. During upgrade, I had to uninstall the HP safety and security tools, which means no fingerprint sign in. I thought it would be ok since I now at least could log in to the administrator.

But after upgrade when I tried to log in as administrator it only says user account not active. Thus I can now not log in to my pc as admin or to my normal account for which I forgot my password. Also I don't have password reset disc. Any idea how to gain access to my pc?


With the link by @NetworkKingPin and a little assistance from this youtube video I managed to get it working. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBd23RqViA0

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According to this tutorial, you should be able to activate the administrator by following these steps:

  1. Boot from Windows installation CD.
  2. When comes to Windows Setup screen, press Shift+F10 to open Command Prompt.
  3. At the Command Prompt, replace sethc.exe with cmd.exe by running this command:

    copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\ copy /y c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

  4. Exit Windows Setup and reboot. When you get back to Windows login screen, press Shift five times to launch Command Prompt.

  5. Type the following command to activate the administrator account:

    net user administrator /active:yes

  6. Reboot and you should be able to login. After getting into Windows, remember to restore the sethc.exe back to the directory c:\windows\system32.

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  • Will sethc.exe be restored automatically after a while? I don't think so. Anyone using this hack may consider renaming it before overwriting, then restoring at the very end to close the security gap. – Kamil Maciorowski Jun 1 '16 at 12:22
  • Corrected. Thanks for pointing out the problem. – Joseph Jun 1 '16 at 15:22
  • Please read How to reference material written by others You should block quote text that has been written by some else. See Markdown help. I've fixed it for you this time, but please pay attention to this in future. – DavidPostill Jun 2 '16 at 8:11

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