Thanks for the update. Glad you got it sorted. chntpw is an excellent tool. I have used it before and understand clearing the password with chntpw but when you said you reinstated the admin account can you explain further?
In my windows 7 the admin account did not show up on my windows startup screen but when I loaded chntpw it could see an admin account.
I then proceeded to clear the admin password and change the admin to a standard user account and rebooted into windows. The admin account "NOW" showed up on my windows startup screen as Administrator Standard User".
Then booted back into chntpw and selected the "password reset (SAM) option.
Selected the "Edit user data and passwords" option.
I then selected the "Administrator Standard Account" entering 01f4
Then selected option "3" -> "Promote user (make user an administrator)
and all was well again.
There may be an easier way of doing it but it still worked a treat ...................
Note: Just to add even though the admin account was not showing up on my startup screen it seems clear that the admin account was always there but hidden and as I could see it in chntpw when first loaded. Their seemed to have been a corruption some where maybe someone else will have theory as to why.
Edited by xtype, 23 January 2017 - 12:47 PM.