Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting around a locked account in Windows 7

Last friday, my work laptop running Windows 7 was complaining that I needed to change the password. So, I did.

Over the weekend, I turned it on at home and tried to login. It was hooked up to my KVM switch, with an AZERTY keyboard on it. Between the mismatched keyboard layout and the new password, I managed to get the account locked. No new attempts to login to the account could be made. Even if I had the right password ! Windows kept complaining that "the account had been locked".

The solution was very simple :
1. Reboot the computer. This required holding the power button
2. Go to the BIOS menu
3. Change the computer's date . I moved it 3 days in the future.
4. Restart Windows

Voila - account no longer locked. I got to make more attempts, and managed to login.
I hope this helps somebody else. This is one OS security measure that was easily defeated.

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