Hack into Windows using UtilMan.exe or SetHC.exe

E2B v1.92+ contains some scripts in the \_ISO\docs\utilman folder. These can be used to gain access to an unencrypted Windows system.
 
1. E2B must be on a Removable USB Flash drive
2. Copy a Windows 10 Home or Professional Install ISO to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10 folder

Requirements

  • E2B must be on a Removable USB Flash drive (or E2B USB HDD + WinHelper Flash drive).
  • Optional - Standard Microsoft Windows 8/10 Home or Professional - should also work with WinPE ISOs.
  • Target Windows OS must have OS files in \Windows folder (Vista/7/8/10).
 

Method

If you do not have a bootable Windows ISO, see the bottom of this page.
 
A Windows 10 Install ISO is recommended because it should work on any Windows XP/7/8/10 system. You could use a bootable Win8.1 or WinPE ISO such as Gandalf's PE or ChrisR's Win10PESE ISOs.
 
1. Boot to E2B - Windows Install Menu - Windows 8/10 - select ISO - choose 'Hack Windows (UtilMan.exe).XML'
 
 
Note: Windows PE should automatically assign each hard disk volume a drive letter. If no Windows volumes are found, check using DiskPart that the target volume has a drive letter assigned to it.
 
2. After the files have been patched, boot to Windows and press WIN+U at the Windows login screen (or click on the Accessibility icon or tap the SHIFT key five times) to gain access to the command shell.
 
Then type 2 and press ENTER to create a new ADMIN account.
 
You can now reboot and login as ADMIN (password = admin) - Windows will set up a new C:\Users\ADMIN account for you.
 
Tip: To save rebooting, a quicker method is to click on 'Sleep' and then wake the computer up again.
 
Tip2: if you just want to change a user's password, instead of typing 2, type control userpasswords2
 
 
 
Now you can gain access with Administrator privileges, access files and change passwords, etc.
 
 
3. When finished, repeat step 2 but type 3 and press ENTER to remove the ADMIN account.
This may also restore the original files by running SFC (but due to Windows bugs, it does not always work!).
 
 
 
Check the size of the three files and run Step 4 if they are all the same size!
If the screen is green, then the files have been restored correctly, but you can run Step 4 to delete the C:\Users\ADMIN folder which is now unused.
 
 
4. Repeat step 1 but choose the 'UnHack Windows (remove UtilMan.exe).XML' file to remove the hack and restore the original files.
 
You can also choose to delete the old \Users\ADMIN folder too.
 
This will restore the original utilman.exe and sethc.exe files and check/repair them with System File Checker (SFC).
 
For more details, read the ReadMe.txt file in the \_ISO\docs\utilman folder and this blog post.
 
If you are UEFI-booting from a .imgPTN file, you can copy the \_ISO\docs\utilman folder to inside the image (see section below), but MBR-booting from an ISO will also apply the patch correctly.
 
If you don't usually carry a Windows 8/10 Installation ISO on your E2B drive or a suitable WinPE ISO, you can download a 32-bit Windows 10 Installation ISO and use an ISO editor to delete the large \Sources\Install.wim file to reduce it's size. A 32-bit ISO will patch both a 64-bit Windows OS and a 32-bit Windows OS.
 
Note: The XML files contain a Windows Home generic Product Key - if you see a 'licence error' message, copy the file and edit it so that it contains a generic product key which matches your particular Windows ISO.

 

UEFI-booting

 
If you can boot from an ISO in MBR-mode, you should be able to patch any MBR or UEFI Windows OS.
If your target system can ONLY UEFI-boot...
 
  1. Switch to a WinPE UEFI-bootable .imgPTN file (e.g. Strelec WinPE, ChrisRPESE, Gandalf or a Microsoft Windows Installer, etc.) - Do NOT boot to a WindowsToGo OS.
  2. Copy the \_ISO\docs\UtilMan folder to the USB drive - e.g.  \UtilMan.
  3. UEFI-Boot to WinPE from E2B and ensure that all the OS drives that you wish to 'patch' have a drive letter assigned. Some WinPE's such as Sergie Strelec may not assign drive letters to other volumes.
    If you don't want to patch some OS volumes, then 'offline' them or remove their drive letter (e.g. using diskmgmt.msc or DiskPart).
  4. Run \Utilman\UtilMan1PE_Patch.cmd to patch all volumes with a drive letter that have a Windows OS.
  5. Now remove the USB drive and boot to the Windows OS as usual.
  6. Follow Steps 2 and 3 in the Method section above.
  7. To remove the patch, UEFI-boot from the E2B USB drive again, ensure the drive(s) you wish to unpatch have a drive letter assigned.
  8. Run \UtilMan\UtilMan4PE_Restore.cmd to unpatch the OS.
 
Tip: If your E2B USB drive is a Removable type, you could add a suitable \Unattend.XML file to the root of the image inside the .imgPTN file so that it automatically runs \Utilman\UtilMan1PE_Patch.cmd. If the USB drive is a Fixed-disk type, you will need to add the XML file into the \sources\boot.wim file. I cannot give exact instructions because it depends on what WinPE image you are using.
 
 

Boot to WinPE without needing any ISO

If you have want to hack a Windows 8 or 10 system, you do not even need a Windows ISO on the E2B drive!

We can boot to the system's own WinPE Recovery .wim file to boot to WinPE - it should already be on the Windows system disk.

1. Copy \_ISO\docs\Sample mnu files\Windows\Boot_Recovery_WIM.mnu to the \_ISO\MAINMENU folder

2. Boot to E2B and run the 'Boot to Windows Recovery' menu option. If there is more than one Windows OS, any one will do.

If the system is set to UEFI-boot only, you will need to change the BIOS settings to enable MBR\Legacy\CSM boot.

3. Pick the correct Recovery option to get to the Command console (this varies depending on Windows version). 

4. Run \_ISO\docs\UtilMan\Utilman1PE_Patch.cmd from the E2B USB drive

   Note that this will patch ALL Windows OS's on all disks in the system.

5. Now you can boot to Windows and run 2.cmd as detailed above

6. To undo the changes, boot to Windows and run 3.cmd as detailed above

7. Finally, boot to the Recovery WinPE console again and run \_ISO\docs\UtilMan\UtilMan4PE_Restore.cmd to tidy up.

Note: To boot to the Windows Recovery wim file. a Windows 8.1 or compatible version of bootmgr is needed on the E2B USB drive. E2B will warn you if it is missing.

 

"The User Profile Service service failed the sign-in." "User profile can not be loaded"

If you've encountered the 'User Profile Service failed the logon' error in Windows 10, copy the 'C:\Users\Default' folder from a second, non-problematic PC over to your problem PC using a USB drive and copy it to the same location. Rename the existing folder on your problem PC to something else first, just in case you ever need to revert back for any reason. 

Tip: To access the 'Default' folder on your second PC you'll need to turn on hidden files by clicking 'View' in the folder toolbar and selecting 'Hidden items'.

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