Annoying Techies

by vpundir | October 16th, 2007

I have to return my previous company’s laptop to them, so I pick it up and wipe the dust. I need to retrieve my personal files before I send the machine back. But I am unable to log in either to the domain or on the local machine.

Since it has been a while since I used this machine, I reckon that I might have forgotten the password. Thus I write to the company techie requesting him to reset my account password. It is from his response that I learn that my network account has been deleted.

Further, he tells me, there is no local account.

Hmm…so is there a guest or temporary account that I could use to log in and retrieve my files?

There isn’t, I am told. The only account on my machine is a localy cached domain account. No local accounts were created, and for a new domain account to be able to log on the machine requires a pre-established connection to the domain controller for authentication. Of course, for the machine to connect to the domain, one would have to first initiate a VPN tunnel to the network after first logging on to the machine. In other words, Catch 22.

He offers that once he receives the laptop back, he would be happy to scour the Desktop and My Documents of the machine and burn the personal files (if any) onto a disk and mail it to me.

Yeah, and what if I wouldn’t be happy to let him have a looksy? These control-freak techies are among the rare group of people that manage to grind my gears.

Anyway, since no help is forthcoming from that channel, I know what has to be done. I burn the image of a Linux boot disc and Windows sam file editing utility (Click here to download the 3MB image – use this to burn the image to the CD. Do not copy/burn the file to the CD) onto a CD. Then I boot the machine from this CD and set the local machine’s Administrator password to blank.

It’s pretty straightforward after that: I restart the machine, booting it from the hard disk, and logging in as Administrator. Then I go through the hard disk, search around for my files, move all my files to a flash disk, and shut the machine down.

I will courier the machine back to Mr. Techie tomorrow.

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