Pranks are fun and rewarding. They require creativity, planning, and execution, making them much more personal than another type of joke. A good prank can take months or even years to plan, but these are usually on a large scale and take the effort of many people to execute.
Unfortunately, we all do not have the time or resources for such endeavors. Therefore, most people focus on small pranks between friends to get our fill of shenanigans.
Computer pranks are the easiest and one of the most fun small scale pranks. Getting on someone’s computer and changing their background, messing with their desktop, or changing their homepage can lead to a good laugh, granted the person is a good sport.
But getting onto someone’s computer when they are not around can be a tall task. Most people have passwords on their machines, thwarting any would-be pranksters.
Well, this problem can be solved with a small tool called KON-BOOT. Rather than cracking a Windows password, KON-BOOT bypasses it and lets you into the computer without typing one in. Then, when you restart, everything is back to normal, that is, everything you didn’t change for the computer prank.
Editor’s note: MakeUseOf does not encourage using this tool for malicious purposes.
To get KON-BOOT, go to their website here.
Scroll down to the following for the download that will boot Windows.
Download either the CD ISO or floppy image. For most uses, the CD will be just fine.
You will have to unzip the downloaded file and then burn the CD image or copy the floppy Image. After that is done, you are ready to start the pranking fun.
Wait until a friend leaves his computer and make sure you have enough time to get the deed done. Pop in the CD and turn on the computer, making sure you boot from the CD. This may require you to hit F12 at the BIOS screen and choose to boot from the CD. You’ll know you’re there when you see the following.
At any time, hit Enter and you should see an ASCII art logo draw onto the screen and a few loading dialogs that should look something like this.
The computer should then boot Windows and, if everything worked, you shouldn’t be prompted for a password. Now you’re ready to do your computer prank.
For good-hearted jokes, I’d advise not doing anything devastating like messing with the system registry or files.
My favorite is to do a screen shot of the desktop (Justin also had it listed in his article Four Funny Ways To Prank Your Parents With The Family Computer). Open Paint, paste the screenshot, save it, and set it as the desktop background. Then hide the task bar and icons. An unsuspecting victim will think their computer has frozen.
You could also set the desktop background to a blue screen while hiding the taskbar and icons.
Both of these usually freak out the victim, but are easily reversible, so no harm is done.
After you’ve finished your dirty deeds, you can just take out your disk and reboot the computer. It will boot as normal, with your playful changes waiting to be discovered.
KON-BOOT is a powerful tool and should be used with discretion. Clearly, it could be used for malicious purposes, but no one like a malicious person.
A computer prank like the one described above though can lead to a good laugh. If your victim is a good sport, hopefully you’ll both be laughing about it!
I should mention that KON-BOOT also works with some Linux distributions, but the process is a little more involved than with Windows. To find those steps, refer to the KON-BOOT website.
Go off, trick your friend, have fun, and stay out of trouble!
Know any other good cyber-prank tools? Let us know in the comments below.