It's happens to all of us that we forget passwords. If you forget the password for a windows account especial the administrator account this can be a real hassle. But don't worry, there are lots of ways of resetting your password for windows so you can have access to your account once again.
Disclaimer. This information is to help you regain access to your own accounts/files. Trying to access other people accounts/files without permission and without them finding out is extremely hard (ie you might get caught in the act, or if you use the information you steal it could lead back to you). Consider the repercussions (ie jailtime), there is so little to be gained from doing so, it's not worth <inevitably> getting caught. Don't do it.
Before I show some ways to get in to your user or administrator account by resetting the password, a quick question. Why? If for example you want access to the files, did you know that simply booting off a live linux CD (or USB thumb drive) can give you access to windows files? After you have access to your files, you can back them up perhaps take the opportunity to update your operating system (I recommend Ubuntu linux as a free and better alternative to windows).
O.K. If you really need to get into windows, you're locked out and need help to reset you administrator or user password, try these different options:
Reset passwords in windows: Option 1, the easy way:
The first thing to check if you forget login password is the most obvious. When Windows is installed it automatically creates an "Administrator" account and unless you change it, windows leaves the password blank. So if you have forget your user account password try this:
- Start windows. When you see Windows Welcome screen / Login screen (you know, where you normally put your password).
- Now try: type in "Administrator" as the user and leave the password blank, then click login
- You might need to Press <ctrl>+<alt>+<del> keys twice and to bring up the Classic Login box. Now type "Administrator" (without quotes) in Username and leave Password field blank. Click login or press Enter.
If you are able to login to windows you can procede to reset your account password from "Start>Control Panel>User Accounts".
- You can also do this in windows Safe Mode. You can boot windows using safe mode by pressing F8 before windows starts loading at the beginning of the boot sequence. In Safe Mode Windows shows the built-in Administrator account in Login screen.
Reset passwords in windows: Option 2, using a reset disk:
Windows XP and similar versions allow an alternative method to recover forgotten password by using "Reset Disk". but only if you created a Password Reset Disk in past. To find out more more about it try these resources:
How to Log On to Windows XP If You Forget Your Password or Your Password Expires
How to create and use a password reset disk for a computer in a domain in Windows XP
Reset passwords in windows: 3rd Method, a backdoor:
If the above mentioned tricks don't work, then try following trick which is actually a loophole in Windows XP Setup and a big security hole:
- Boot using Windows XP Setup CD and follow the instruction like Accepting EULA, etc.
- When it asks to repair your existing Windows installation, accept it and press "R" to run the repair.
- Setup will start repairing your Windows and will start copying files, etc.
- After a few minutes setup will restart your system and when it restarts don't press any key when it shows "Press any key to continue..." otherwise Setup will start from the beginning. Don't press any key and setup will resume where it left.
- Now it'll start doing other tasks and will show a small progressbar with a few details in left side.
- Look carefully at the details and when it shows "Installing devices", press <Shift>+F10 keys in your keyboard.
- It'll open a Command Prompt window. Now type nusrmgr.cpl and press <Enter>.
- It'll open the same "User Accounts" window which you see in Control Panel.
- Now you can remove or reset any account password without any problem.
Reset passwords in windows: 4th Method, tools:
UBCD for Windows:
UBCD4Win is a bootable recovery CD that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem. UBCD4Win is based on Bart's PE. Bart's PE builds a Windows "pre-install" environment CD, basically a simple Windows XP booted from CD. UBCD4Win includes network support and allows you the ability to modify NTFS volumes, recover deleted files, create new NTFS volumes, scan hard drives for viruses, etc.
Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD):
Ultimate Boot CD runs independently of any operating system. It will boot from any Intel-compatible machine, regardless of whether DOS/Windows/Linux/BeOS is installed on the machine. However, you do need an operating system and a ISO-capable CD writer software to create the Ultimate Boot CD from the downloaded ISO image file.
Offline NT Password & Registry Editor:
This is a utility to reset the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your NT system. You do not need to know the old password to set a new one. It works offline, that is, you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a floppydisk or CD. It'll detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts. It is also an almost fully functional registry editor.
Windows Geeks Lost Forgotten Password Service:
Windows Geeks have a program that works instantly to remove any lost or forgotten password. With this program you can get back in very quickly:
Windows Geeks Service
Reset passwords in windows: 5th Method, get your data back and reinstall:
If all fails, then simply reinstall Windows and create new accounts. To recover lost data, you can use Data recovery tools available on net or simply boot into linux (you can use an ubuntu live CD) and you will have access to all files on the disk which aren't encrypted (ie. all the files on the disk unless someone especially encrypted them).
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