Neighbor's PC hacked (?) locked out, and stuck in Airplane Mode

  1. Posts : 43
    Windows 10 Home x64 (21H2)

    Neighbor's PC hacked (?) locked out, and stuck in Airplane Mode

    Hi, my neighbor's Lenovo desktop PC has apparently been hacked. He's locked out of the desktop. His MS account password does not work. I'm seeing odd behavior on the login screen. e.g. instead of just a password field, it will say "Unlock this PC", with both user ID and password fields.

    In the bottom right the internet globe is there, but has a little circle with a line through it, and if i click it, it pops up a button that shows Airplane Mode on, and no other options. Clicking the airplane mode button does nothing.

    I successfully changed his MS account password using a phone. However, because the PC is locked to airplane mode, it cannot connect in order to detect the change.

    I have attempted to go to the system reset screen, but all valid options (sys restore, reset this pc, etc) ask for the account password to proceed.

    Is there some way to disable airplane mode? or otherwise work around this?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 61,929
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations

    Hello ziffel,

    You might see if you may be able to enable the built-in Administrator account from a command prompt at boot when you boot from a Windows 10 USB.

    Enable or Disable Elevated Administrator account in Windows 10

    Afterwards, sign in to this "Administrator" account to turn off Airplane mode.

    Turn On or Off Airplane Mode in Windows 10
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 43
    Windows 10 Home x64 (21H2)
    Thread Starter

    Brink, that worked. I was able to create the Admin account and login. however, upon entering, I could see the hackers had disabled a lot of functionality (e.g. could not open the start menu or Action Center). Once in, I used's windows repair tool to repair permissions, reset services, and all that, and that allowed me to have internet again, as well as regain control of the Windows UI. With internet, I was then able to log back in to the main account.

    Thanks a bunch for the help.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 61,929
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations

    You're most welcome.

    Personally, you might consider doing a clean install of Windows to help make sure nothing of the hack is left on the computer.
      My Computers


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