Windows 7 forum


How To Stop My Son From Hacking Admin

by vja4Him_57 / November 12, 2012 8:35 AM PST

How can I stop my son from hacking into my Admin settings on his computer? He is running Windows 7 Ultimate.

I'm using the Parental Controls to set up his time limits for his computer time because he has a Very Serious Computer Addiction and Cannot Control himself. He is getting behind in school and his grades have dropped way too low.

Somehow he figured out how to hack into the Parental Controls, lied and told me that he didn't.

I was able to get into the Admin Account, changed the password to 16 characters, and changed his computer time back to what I had before.

What are some of the options that I have (without taking his computer away)? I already tried taking his keyboard and mouse away, which doesn't always work. Sometimes he gets hold of his older brother's keyboard and mouse. Also, I'm not always around to take his keyboard and mouse away when necessary.

I don't have much money to spend right now, maybe $25 at the most.

Help .....

-- Jim

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All Answers

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It's windows so no stopping it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 12, 2012 8:39 AM PST

Let's say you change the admin password. In less than 5 minutes with NTPASSWD I've reset it and will be the admin a few moments later.

If you want to control a PC, you don't use windows.

Why not move the PC into a family space where you don't have to worry?

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Stopping my Son from Hacking Admin Account ...
by vja4Him_57 / November 12, 2012 11:21 AM PST

My son's computer is already in the living room. I cannot monitor him every minute. He is very sneaky too. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the Operating System he has. Somebody suggested that I try K9, which I will download tomorrow when my son is at school and give it a try .....

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I guess I am much firmer with children than you are
by tallin / November 12, 2012 1:03 PM PST

Personally I would not let your Son access his or your computer unless you are able to monitor him. Is it a Laptop or PC. If Laptop take it with you when you leave the home. If a PC, put a lock on the door where it is kept. I would show him who is boss to be honest. What punishment have you in mind for him hacking into your settings.

Using K9 would be no different to taking the computer away so he cannot use it unless it suits you. He will thank you in the end with more respect if you are firm with this issue. May take time, but he will thank you as he gets older.

Can you also suggest other activities outside the home to interest him. Join him up to a club of interest, perhaps a sports club, book club, or whatever would interest him.

I have to say if my child hacked into my parental controls it would be the last time he used any computer in my home.

kind regards,

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Locking the Door ...
by vja4Him_57 / November 13, 2012 3:43 AM PST

Can't lock the door to the living room, because there is no door! The living room and dining room are all one room. No other place to put the computer, and no place to hide it. Computer is a desktop.

I installed K9 and reduced his hours of computer time even more. We will soon find out if this works ....

I agree that my son will someday thank me, even if I'm not alive to hear him say it. I've told him this numerous times, but he already knows everything, and more than I do.

I've tried desperately to get my son to do other stuff, but he is lost in Cyber Space .... And now he has a new girl friend. He was involved with Color Guard which he really enjoyed and was very good at!

He was also going to Martial Arts school for several years, and extremely good at. He has recently started to review his Katas and has been showing me some of his Martial Arts moves, which is a good sign (that he is doing stuff in Real Life, and on his own too!).

So, I think there is still hope ..... He also knows that I'm not the only person who realizes his serious problem with Computer Addiction. Other people has told him that they can see this problem clearly.

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FIOS or cable?
by James Denison / January 26, 2015 9:28 PM PST
In reply to: Locking the Door ...

Even if FIOS, it will be CAT5 or cable from the interface at the house to the computer modem.

There's this episode of NCIS I love, where Abbie and McGee are frantic to stop someone breaking into NCIS computers, and they are banging around on the keyboards attempting to stop it. Gibbs walks in, sees what's going on, goes over the the wall and unplugs the computers. McGee says, "That works too" sort of sheepishly.

You an do similar. Not so much the power, but the incoming cable. Put a lockbox on it. Inside you can use a single pole light switch to easily turn it on or off. It won't matter if the kid has the computer if his life is on the internet. Suddenly the fun ends except for when you allow it.

In your other post, in another outdated thread, I suggested a tenderizer method that also works.

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Even with K9.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 12, 2012 1:48 PM PST

It's still insecure to the folk that do this. I don't want to write every trick we know here. If this is such a problem, then limit the times to when you can monitor this.

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He must be able to guess the Admin Password
by Mrjoh12 / November 12, 2012 6:57 PM PST

I don't see how he can hack the Administrator password. You may want to use a 6-9 character password as an admin.

1 The time you get his laptop you login with your password or break his admin password and change it to a password like I have suggested.

2 To do this go to Control Panel click User Accounts And Family Safety

3 Then click User Accounts and change the Administrator account password

4 Also if he has another Admin Account set up on this PC delete this from your administrator Account

5 While your in their Also go to Add/Remove programs in Control Panel and Uninstall the Following Programs he may have Installed

WireShark,Packet Sniffer,or Any other File or Folder Unlocker Like Free File Unlocker e.t.c

These programs are hacker type programs because with WireShark he can see if your online with any wifi device

Packet Sniffer he can use to hack the password to your email e.t.c with other file/Folder unlocker Programs when used with other Software

6 Also Remove LimeWire and if this present block the CD burning Software Such as Nero ,Cyberlink the partys of it that can burn CD's

Note LimeWire is used to download burn illegal CD's from the illegal music files.

Don't use a password from your email for your new Administrator Password

Also changing the Administrator Password on a computer won't affect any of software on your computer

avoid any phrases or friends names he knows you have in your phone book

use techinical terms from one or more of hobbies/Interests that hoes not know about.

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I supplied the answer to resetting the Admin in my reply.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 13, 2012 12:26 AM PST

Armed with NTPASSWD, I can easily get around your password.

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Mrjohn12 Here does this not use cmd.exe in Windows 7
by Mrjoh12 / November 21, 2012 5:52 AM PST

some free Antivirus Packages may have firewalls that can block cmd.exe or command prompt as you know it.

Surely most if not all paid antivirus Packages have firewalls that can block cmd.exe or command prompt from as you know it.
Also most paid antivirus Packages have their own password protection system to prevent unauthorised changes been made to all parts of the antivirus Package including The Removal of the Antivirus Package itself

would this stop him using "NTPASSWD" also if you hid all the shortcuts to command prompt from the control panel somehow .

Is there a way hack your way into command prompt using google chrome and some other tools.

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No. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 21, 2012 6:47 AM PST

We booted from that CD, USB stick or other. No command prompt required.

It's really a great tool as I've lost count how many times folk forgot or never knew the admin password.

Windows Passwords for now are not a first line of defense. This may change with UEFI motherboards and Windows 8 but we'll see.


PS. A rather famous quote follows.
"Any code devised by man can be broken by man."

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what software was that
by Mrjoh12 / November 23, 2012 5:44 AM PST
In reply to: No. Why?

However if you stole his memory sticks/Blank CD'S from his room you could see which has the software/software hacking packages he has on any particular memory stick.

Then you could move any of his personal word docs and other stuff that needs on the memory stick/Cd copy them to a computer or whatever and Format the memory stick or CD.

Unless its a CD-ROM he has this Software on. then you will have to copy some files if necessary to another
computer and burn another CD-ROM from a new pack of Blank CD's which are the same brand and type as the one you don't want him to be able to use.

Label it the same as the other one after you have dumped it

This requires Him to be away for a weekend so you don't get caught.

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K9 - Computer Activity History ...
by vja4Him_57 / November 13, 2012 4:44 AM PST

I used K9 to check on the Activity History of my son's computer and the only thing I could find that might be suspicious was "LogMeIn"

I'm guessing that he might have used LogMeIn to sneak into the controls and change his computer time ....

I set K9 for Maximum Security! I have a feeling that might be too high though .... I'm sure my son will let me know if something isn't right .....

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Re: hacking
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 12, 2012 7:18 PM PST

See if your router has the option to limit Internet use to specific date/times. That makes it less attractive to use the PC, because it limits what you can do with it (no facebook, no world of warcraft, only locally installed games, and useful things like a word processor).

To use it yourself outside the allowed time blocks, you need to change it temporarily, of course. But that's easy enough.

Keep the admin-password of the router secret! And lock the router away so it can't be physically reset.


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by Jimmy Greystone / November 12, 2012 9:49 PM PST

Basically, you're looking for a technological solution to a social problem, and that never ends well. It's a square peg in a round hole.

If your son has an addiction, like you say, then the only thing that's really going to help is getting him into therapy. Ask your family doctor if they can recommend any therapists in the area that might be willing to take your son on a reduced or even pro bono basis. I have a family member who is a therapist, who is routinely surprised at the doctors that refer people to them, considering they have never met.

From a technological standpoint, there is absolutely nothing you can do. It's just a never ending game of whack-a-mole. He finds some new hole in your defenses, you plug it, he finds a new one, rinse and repeat.

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Therapy for Computer Addiction ...
by vja4Him_57 / November 13, 2012 3:36 AM PST
In reply to: Basically

My son has been in therapy for years, but his therapist is releasing him next month because he no longer qualifies for service. I've brought up this issue of computer addiction many times, but the therapist seems to be siding with my son, saying that I'm too harsh. My son has suffered severe trauma, which he may never fully recover from.

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Like any profession
by Jimmy Greystone / November 13, 2012 11:05 PM PST

Like any profession, there are good therapists and there are ineffective ones. Sounds like you got the latter, or maybe you are indeed overreacting. It's not uncommon for kids in their early teens to have a radical shift in personality as their body is flooded with a potent cocktail of hormones. Suddenly losing interest in things they used to love, exploring various other things as they figure out who they are. The more you try and clamp down on this, the more you're likely to see them push back.

So maybe instead of trying to fight this so-called addiction, you should figure out a way to embrace it and use it. Skills needed to crack an administrative password could lead to a nice career in IT later in life, so maybe you should figure out some way to take this "problem" and turn it into part of the solution.

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I disagree
by Pepe7 / November 13, 2012 9:05 AM PST
In reply to: Basically

She *could* try locking him out of at least using the internet using a software/hardware (router) combination. She should start by limiting the internet times using off the shelf router solutions. My guess is, that might not be in the wheelhouse of the aforementioned 'addict'.

If that doesn't work, she may have to spend a little more to involve someone with custom programming skills to keep her son from changing the router settings. Most of the time though, I find pc or internet saavy kids not fluent enough to get around such custom measures. YMMV.

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Not really
by Jimmy Greystone / November 13, 2012 11:08 PM PST
In reply to: I disagree

Not really. In 10 seconds I can reset a router to factory defaults with little more than a ballpoint pen. I can also just use a Linux LiveCD distribution to get around any Windows password you set up. BIOS passwords are pretty easily bypassed as well so long as you have access to the computer. You only have to learn the process one time from the computer manufacturer to be able to repeat it ad infinitum.

Note: This post was edited by a forum moderator to remove personal attack on 11/14/2012 at 9:06 AM PT

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You & I are both making assumptions
by Pepe7 / November 14, 2012 2:20 AM PST
In reply to: Not really

I am confident that the 'computer addict' isn't fluent enough to know how to get into (modified) router firmware/ settings, and you are. That's our only difference- we are not disagreeing about what could be achieved with adequate technical skills around the maypole.

Your point regarding being able to reset something is noted, along with using LiveCDs for various reasons (they have made certain routine tasks much easier, that's for sure).

MODS: don't feel the need to censor Jimmy's posts, at least not on my behalf Wink

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I remember a cartoon
by Jimmy Greystone / November 14, 2012 12:01 PM PST

I remember a cartoon from many years ago when the whole V-Chip thing was basically brand new. The cartoon was of a guy setting the password on one of these things, and the caption was along the lines of "Another 30 second challenge for your kid."

Also, creating a custom router firmware is not as easy as you'd think. With maybe a very few exceptions, the companies that make the router hardware don't tend to give out the information you'd need to make that firmware. Then even assuming you base it off of say Tomato or DD-WRT, what happens if the version it was based off of ends up having a major security hole in it? Or even more basic, what happens if you, the parent, forgets the administrative password and you paid someone to remove that? More than that, what's stopping the kid from just pulling the cable from the DSL or Cable modem into the computer directly? Or maybe they go out, buy a router of the same make and model as the router you have, configure the same SSID, WPA password, etc, only now THEY are the ones with the admin password to the router. Or less cloak and dagger-like, they could just get a small router and just yank the WAN feed when they want to use the Internet.

Then if we go back to the programmer idea... Those people are probably going to charge $100-$200/hr, and if the OP has that kind of money, they would probably be better off spending it on a therapist to actually try and deal with the problem, not play a game of whack-a-mole with your kid. No matter how clever you think you are, they're more so. Harsh reality of aging, is that after about 30 or so, it's downhill for your cognitive functions. Not to mention your kids have grown up around this kind of technology, so it's second nature to them, whereas you have to stop and try and figure things out. Hand a 10 year old a cell phone and they'll take to it like it's nothing, whereas you hand someone who's 50-60 (or older) that same cell phone, and odds are it's going to take them significantly longer to work things out. That's just biology. You don't have to like it, but it's happening as we speak. Neurons are dying and are slower to regenerate every day for you, while someone who's under 25 is generating them at a faster rate than they're dying (barring things like heavy drinking, head trauma, etc).

At the risk of someone thinking it's a personal attack, there are holes in your ideas large enough to sail a small navy through. The only real solution, and it's not really a solution, would be to stop all Internet service and get rid of the computer. However, that would have a crippling effect on the job prospects of the OP's son.

At the end of the day, the OP has a social problem, and those cannot be solved by technological means.

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You keep on making more assumptions...
by Pepe7 / November 14, 2012 12:40 PM PST
In reply to: I remember a cartoon

...and working off your original ones. I will repeat, we don't know the abilities of the OP's kid. Password hacking? Yeah, that's impressive <rolls eyes>.

Programming custom firmware? Oh golly(!) Are you *that* certain of your knowledge base that you wouldn't for a second think that someone hasn't already done such a thing and made it available? <pointing to the elementary google search on the second monitor in front of me now> Don't forget that sometimes that adequate technical solutions are sometimes a mouse click/download (or two) away. Often it's going to be a case of one's first hand experiences, and knowing where to find and connect the necessary options/tools to get the job done. Clever young computer 'enthusiasts' <ahem> are often bright, but don't (yet) have well rounded enough experiences to keep up w/ the big boys.

Agreed though, the OP needs more help finding the correct type of doctor to intervene and help his son, whatever the real issue may be. Keep in mind that finding (good!) pro-bono therapists isn't always an easy task either.

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admin, please change your password
by engtianxi / November 14, 2012 12:48 PM PST

Then, computer admin, try to change your password at least 20 characcters long, the password contains at least 4 symbols, 7 small letters, 6 capital letters and 3 numbers.

Change the admin password like this may solve the problem.

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(NT) Did you see how NTPASSWD kicks that to the curb?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 14, 2012 11:43 PM PST
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Precisely. It's amazing to me...
by Pepe7 / November 15, 2012 12:44 AM PST many folks insert themselves into these discussions w/o either reading the whole thread first, or first familiarizing themselves with the technical references mentioned. Silly, really.

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Have you tried Qustodio
by markmiller77e / November 15, 2012 3:21 AM PST

I personally use a free software called Qustodio at home. Light weight and easy to use, it is a complete solution with automatic blocking and real time reporting of time and sites visited. Also, you will be able to view this data for 30 days. It's secure enough and so your son will not be able to play with it. The site is

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Nope. All it takes is admin access to change settings...
by Pepe7 / November 15, 2012 4:14 AM PST

...on Qustodio. So it essentially fails, if the OP's son is (already) able to gain access to admin on the box in question.

That proggie is best suited for much younger kids IMO and E.

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If laying down the law ...
by Edward ODaniel / November 17, 2012 10:36 AM PST

doesn't work go ahead and set a supervisor password in the BIOS (make it something YOU will not forget and something he will not guess) as this link shows

Be aware that the computer will only boot if the password is entered by the supervisor and that if the supervisor shares knowledge of the password sooner or later others know it too. When entering the password you must be sure no one is watching what you type and that no key logger device has been added to the keyboard connection to the PC.

You could also lock the PC into a locked container (with adequate air flow) that does not allow him physical access to the USB ports or the CD/DVD reader which would prevent his running NTPSSWRD or other offline password editors. This would only allow him physical access to the keyboard and mouse.

If he still tries to bypass your locks cancel your broadband internet account or sell the computer.

You might also try making use of the NET USER command as follows as you could use it to limit the Administrator as well as any or all other user accounts. Set the Administrator account limitations to be the same as his own account limitations.

Limiting Usage per user account-

Here are the steps to activate limitations:

1. Click on the Start Menu
2. Click Run
3. Type CMD in the Open textbox and click OK
4. In the command window type:

net user accountname /times:M-F,8am-8pm; Sa,8am-5pm;Su,8am-1pm

Replace accountname with the name of the account you wish to limit. The time command is a bit tricky, but the above example is easy to replace with the appropriate values. Here's microsoft's further information regarding the format of the time command:

Specifies the times that users are allowed to use the computer. Time is limited to 1-hour increments. For the day values, you can spell out or use abbreviations (that is, M,T,W,Th,F,Sa,Su). You can use 12-hour or 24-hour notation for hours. If you use 12-hour notation, use AM and PM, or A.M. and P.M. The value all means a user can always log on. A null value (blank) means a user can never log on. Separate day and time with commas, and units of day and time with semicolons (for example, M,4AM-5PM;T,1PM-3PM). Do not use spaces when designating times.

Here are the steps to turn off limitations:
1. Click on the Start Menu
2. Click Run
3. Type CMD in the Open textbox and click OK
4. In the command window type:

net user accountname /times:all

Once again, replace accountname with the name of the account you wish to change

While this should stump and even stop him it can be changed if he is aware of the capabilities of the NET USER commands although most users are not familiar with them. As the saying goes, "Where there is a will there is a way."

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There's some common sense involved here
by Pepe7 / November 18, 2012 3:30 AM PST

Cancel the broadband service? Not exactly a valid choice since the rest of the house who needs to read their email is penalized that way. Try again.

How long would it take the OP's son to remove the PC from the locked 'contrapation'? Again, we aren't talking about a five year old. Common sense.

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Common Sense?
by Edward ODaniel / November 19, 2012 12:31 PM PST

Since most people have data services with their phones reading email without a cable or DSL connection isn't really much of a problem. The OP didn't indicate that the family really had any NEED for Internet but did have a NEED to restrict its use. No need to try again although you might have thought twice before writing.

How long would it take to remove the PC from a locked container? Would depend on the container. I have one locked in an enclosed support pedestal for a desk and it would take some serious damage to the desk to access the computer. Any kid of mine who destroyed something of mine to use something I had told him to not use would soon discover the benefits of living at home rather than locked up in a cell for a criminal act.

It appears that you might lack some "common sense" if you so quickly rule out suggestions without thinking them through.

I'm guessing that you think this suggestion by you epitomizes "common sense" - "she may have to spend a little more to involve someone with custom programming skills to keep her son from changing the router settings"

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Yes I agree Not very Long By Mrjohn12
by Mrjoh12 / November 25, 2012 1:11 AM PST

with a cordless drill a few screwdrivers or an angle grinder and nail bar depending on which way you have the pc locked away.

This would take anything from 10-30 mins all you need along with this lot is some who can break/cut the steering lock of a car like a car thief.

They experienced thieves who know how to force and cut Locks padlocks of quickly

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