Is there a way to add a new windows user from a linux live usb?

Specifically how would one create a new windows user inside a linux environment with the windows partition mounted from linux, and not swapping cmd.exe for sethc.exe to add a user with the sticky keys method on booting windows?

  • 2
    Are you trying to break into a Windows computer where you don't have administrator permissions?
    – harrymc
    Jul 2, 2020 at 19:31
  • @harrymc Thank you. I can already do that using the sticky keys method. I could also use chntpw from a live linux usb to change the password of an existing account with administrator permissions, or elevate the permissions of a normal user. It just struck me as odd that adding a user was not an option in chntpw, and I wondered whether it can be done at all or if there is some reason why it cannot be done. As for why I want to, I am interested in the security risks if there is physical access to the machine, and whether less drastic measures can be taken than filling the usb ports!
    – John Lally
    Jul 2, 2020 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


Creating a new Windows user is much more complicated than modifying an existing account.

The new user account needs many new registry entries and folders, and they all must be created with the right permissions. In addition, while not all of them are known or documented, they also change with every major new release of Windows.

The complexities are simply too much for Linux people to bother. You need a Windows utility to be launched via boot.

One such utility is Hiren’s BootCD PE (Preinstallation Environment). You will find more details in the article Using Hiren's Boot CD to Create Admin User Accounts.

I think the inescapable conclusion is that there is nothing one can do to protect a computer against an intruder with physical access to it.

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