Posts Tagged ‘Windows XP’

Windows XP SP3 windows updates not working with 100% CPU–this will sort it!

November 22, 2013 Leave a comment

So I am setting up my new environment at home and I decided to create a Windows XP client machine for myself for the rare occasion that I need it to try out some functionality with XP or Office 2003.

So I install Windows XP Service Pack 3 into Hyper-V on my Windows 8.1 Pro machine and I find that the Windows Update will not install anything.  In fact it just kept running with no errors and the CPU would stay at 100%.

Well it turns out that the first thing the Windows Update checks for is updates to Internet Explorer and if you are not up to date with the latest security patch (November 2013 at the time of writing) then you will run into this issue.

The fix… install the latest security fix for either IE6, IE7 or IE8 and then run Windows Update.

That’s it, you’re all done Smile

Original article:

And the fix was found in the comments:

“The secret is to install the LATEST Cumulative Security Update for your version of Internet Explorer. This stops Windows Update from searching for any IE updates and blocks this update bug.

This is a recurring problem so the current latest version changes each month.

The latest updates are dated November 2013 (as of writing this). Download and install the update that corresponds with your currently installed version of Internet Explorer:

IE6: WindowsXP-KB2888505-x86-ENU.exe

IE7: IE7-WindowsXP-KB2888505-x86-ENU.exe

IE8: IE8-WindowsXP-KB2888505-x86-ENU.exe

Thanks to DougCuk for the comment!

For the latest security bulletins, go to this link assuming you are reading this after November 2013:


Resetting a windows user password

October 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I recently had to help a friend across the pond (Houston, TX) blindly over the phone to reset the administrator password on their laptop.

I came across the following excellent article to aid the situation:

However, as usual, the situation was never quite as per the article.

She didn’t know how to boot from CD and the bios wasn’t showing it as a device available in the boot options (F12 on a Dell XPS M1530).

So talking her through the bios setup to enable the CD/DVD boot device, we got there in the in end, popped in the Windows Vista disk and booted into Recovery mode:

  • Next on the language screen
  • On the install now screen, click repair this install
  • Let it find the install on the hard drive and click next
  • Select command prompt and run through the options below (taken straight from the site above)
    Please note the instructions below work on the following operating systems:

    – Windows XP (requires the admin password, so not much use here)

    – Windows Vista

    – Windows 7



1. Boot from Windows PE or Windows RE and access the command prompt.


2. Find the drive letter of the partition where Windows is installed. In Vista and Windows XP, it is usually C:, in Windows 7, it is D: in most cases because the first partition contains Startup Repair. To find the drive letter, type C: (or D:, respectively) and search for the Windows folder. Note that Windows PE (RE) usually resides on X:.


3. Type the following command (replace “c:” with the correct drive letter if Windows is not located on C:):

copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\

This creates a copy of sethc.exe to restore later.


4. Type this command to replace sethc.exe with cmd.exe:

copy /y c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

Reboot your computer and start the Windows installation where you forgot the administrator password.


5. After you see the logon screen, press the SHIFT key five times.


6. You should see a command prompt where you can enter the following command to reset the Windows password (see screenshot above):

net user your_user_name new_password

If you don’t know your user name, just type net user to list the available user names.


7. You can now log on with the new password.


8. Once you have logged on and you are happy that you can access what you need, we need to revert our changes.

I recommend that you replace sethc.exe with the copy you stored in the root folder of your system drive in step 3. For this, you have to boot up again with Windows PE or RE because you can’t replace system files while the Windows installation is online. Then you have to enter this command:

copy /y c:\sethc.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

Hopefully this account of resetting the password helps others as well and thank you to Michael Pietroforte for his article.  My friend can access her business files again and all up and running.

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