Computer shows only a black screen with the following text: Windows XP Startup Password – This computer is configured to require a password in order to start up. Please enter the Startup Password Below. This occurred after a client got on a phone call with someone claiming to be from “Windows”. The phone call started going bad for the would-be-scammer and he decided incapacitate the computer.
After a quick search I realized the program is called “Syskey“.
If you have a restore point from before this was set, copy the registry hives from the restore point into your active registry’s folder (Normally C:\Windows\System32\config\). If you don’t know how to do this from a non-booting copy of Windows XP just follow these directions to learn how to do just that with the use of a Knoppix live CD. Don’t forget to backup your old hives and to run a system restore after the process is complete.
How did this happen in the first place?
Here is the process to lock your computer using Syskey.
- First bring up the “Run” dialog box by clicking Start -> Run… or by pressing [Windows Key] + R
- Type syskey in the “Open:” field.
- Click OK
- On the new window: choose Update.
- On the “Startup Key” window: choose the Password Startup radio button.
- Type in the Password you wish to set.
- Type in the password again to Confirm it.
- Click OK on the “Startup Key” window.
- Click OK on the Success window.