Solved – This computer is configured to require a password in order to start up.
I have recently ran into a few people who have been received a scam call from “Microsoft” saying their computer was infected, after giving them remote access to their computer and allowing them to make a bunch of changes and run scans showing that there were problems with their computer, they were convinced to pay the fake “Microsoft” company to fix the issues.
Sometimes on the same session and sometimes during subsequent sessions the person who is being scammed decides not to pay or refuses to play along any longer and as a result the fake “Microsoft” employee decides to lock you out of your own computer using a utility called “SYSKEY”
Upon booting back into your computer you see this message: This computer is configured to require a password in order to start up. Please enter the Startup Password below.
This password screen is not part of the normal password list and is not removable. In fact this password is stored in an encrypted location so it can’t be removed using a normal password removal or resetting utility.
The good news is that your computer probably has a backup copy of the registry from before the password was set and before it was encrypted. The files that you need to replace are located in the following location: %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\config
Backup the registry hives in this folder to a temporary location. The files are:
Locate the backup copies in the following folder: %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\config\RegBack
Copy all registry hives from this folder (the same files as listed above) into the %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\config folder.
Reboot the PC.
You may be wondering how you are supposed to do this when you can’t get into your computer because of the password that is on it. I can understand the confusion. In order to follow these instructions you will need to get your hands on a bootable Linux CD/DVD/USB.
It is always recommended that you make a backup copy of any important files before you attempt to perform any fixes that could damage your computer or render it inoperable.
Also, depending on how old the backup copy of your registry is, you may have to re-install some of your programs in order to fix errors that may occur when opening or running them.