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My laptop is a Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04 LTS dual-boot setup. I've been experimenting with alternative desktop shells on my Windows partition, such as KDE and Cairo.

After setting Cairo as my default shell, I decided to restart my computer and log back into Windows just to make sure everything was working properly. However, after logging in, I found myself left with nothing but the mouse cursor and a blank desktop filled with the default background color.

I know the registry setting I need to change in order to restore Windows Explorer as the default shell from my prior experimentation with KDE, but I obviously can't use regedit if I can't load into a working desktop. However, I can still use my Ubuntu partition with no problems.

This has me wondering if there is a way I can mount my Windows partition in Ubuntu and somehow edit the registry from there. How would I go about doing this, and do I need any extra packages for it?

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I don't think so. Can you boot to the default administrator account for windows 7, run regedit and change the keys in the profile of your user? –  Chris May 10 '12 at 22:05
    
Actually, I just now found I could use Task Manager after logging in by Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and then using File > New Task to manually run a dock I was making in GameMaker. From there I can launch pretty much everything else, so at least I can still fix it from Windows. That being said, I'm still curious if the registry can be accessed from Ubuntu, since apparently noone's asked that before. –  WarriorIng64 May 10 '12 at 22:17

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I believe that's what you're looking for, "Offline NT Password & Registry Editor"(chntpw)

What is chntpw?

chntpw is a software utility for resetting or blanking local passwords used by Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. It also contains a simple registry editor and hex-editor with which the information contained in a registry file can be browsed and modified under linux/unix.

How to install?

You can install it from terminal by running this command:

sudo apt-get install chntpw

Or search for "chntpw" in Software Center.

Additional sources:

Using chntpw in Ubuntu to Hack the Windows Registry

Change or Reset Windows Password from a Ubuntu Live CD

share|improve this answer
    
Very Cool. Good to know. –  Chris May 11 '12 at 0:08
    
Cool...I didn't know chntpw included a registry editor. –  WarriorIng64 May 11 '12 at 1:07
    
+1! Linux/Ubuntu trumps Windows here :+) –  Rinzwind May 11 '12 at 12:11
    
@Rinzwind: Well, not exactly. In a number of cases, chntpw can only clear (or blank) the password for an account - sometimes it can't actually change the password. Still, it is an awesome tool. –  Nathan Osman May 11 '12 at 21:10

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