I’ve just had an afternoon of delving into the guts of my new lovely Acer Aspire One A150 (sapphire blue) because of the confluence of the following circumstances:
A: The electrics have gone haywire in my house (specifically in my room) and I can’t use my desktop PC
B: I bought the laptop (kneetop?) because working in the house is making me stir crazy anyway. I forked out for the XP version because of Flash and Final Draft, both of which have issues working under WINE. I figured i’d easily be able to dual-boot Linux on the machine anyway (a miscalculation, it turns out)
C: Dvorak-layout is a bit easier to use on the netbook’s surprisingly big, but still little, keyboard.
D: I went to a coffee shop to work this morning, and-
E: I was a bit self-conscious and ordered a second large coffee to justify my taking up space there. So-
F: I was hopped up on caffeine, which made me slightly paranoid about leaving my laptop lying around. So I set an Administrator password… which I promptly forgot.
So I found myself back at the house trying desperately to log into the tiny and now implacable machine.
It occurred to me that I may have typed the password in Dvorak, meaning I had to try to back-translate the password as I was remembering it, as was typing it. Then I cottoned on to the idea of setting up my desktop PC in my living room (risking plugging it into the very sockets that caused the electricity problem in the first place), switching to Dvorak layout, typing what I thought was the password in Qwerty and getting the Dvorak output, then typing that into the laptop.
it didn’t work. So I tried to search online for a method of bypassing or changing the password. After having to shut down the PC and moving it closer to the router in order to get a strong enough signal to access the internet, I found a method of creating a bootable USB drive (no CD drive in the Acer Aspire) which would then dig into and change the registry. I have no idea whether this process was illegal, and frankly I don’t care. But it worked.