Windows: Resetting a Forgotten Password

Posted November 13, 2008 by Troy Newton in Windows

This tech-recipe will show you how to gain access to a computer for which you have forgotten the administrator account password.

 

NOTES
 
– The built-in Administrator account is found on the Welcome screen only if there are no other accounts available, other than Guest, or when the computer is booted into Safe Mode.
– To get Admin account on the “Welcome Screen” make sure that there are no accounts logged in.
– The built-in Administrator account can create and change passwords for all users, but cannot restore a forgotten one.
– When a password is changed, that account will lose all encrypted files, personal certificates and stored Internet Explorer passwords or network resources.
– Press “CTRL-ALT-DEL” twice to get the classic Windows logon box. Type: Administrator. If this account has a password, enter it. Otherwise, leave the it blank.
– Recovering a password is much more difficult. Using a cracking program can take weeks!
 RESET A PASSWORD USING THE ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT

1. Boot into Safe Mode.
2. Log on using the built-in Administrator account.
3. Open: Control Panel -> User Accounts.
4. On the Users tab, select a user name, the password to change and click Reset Password.
 RESET A PASSWORD AT THE LOGON SCREEN WITH THE COMMAND PROMPT
 
At the logon screen, press Shift+F10 to open a Command Prompt with adminisrative priviledges and type:

net user {username} {password}

{username}  =  The Account’s User Name
{password}  =  This will be the new password

 RESET A PASSWORD USING MICROSOFT’S ERD COMMANDER
 
1. Download a 30 day trial from here:

Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 5.0 
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5D600369-0554-4595-8AB4-C34B2860E087&displaylang=en

2. Install it, run it and burn the image to a CD.
3. Boot the CD and run the Locksmith Wizard, found under Start -> System Tools.
4. The Locksmith Wizard is very easy to use, just select an account and input a new password. Too easy!
 RESET A PASSWORD USING OFFLINE NT PASSWORD & REGISTRY EDITOR

Bootable CD (Freeware):
http://home.eunet.no/pnordahl/ntpasswd/bootdisk.html

– This disc can set, reset or unlock the password of any user account.
– You do not need to know the old password to set a new one.
– Works with Windows NT/2k/XP/Vista.

 RESET A PASSWORD USING NT PASSWORD HACK

This will blank the Administrator password (Freeware):
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/tools/ntpassword/ntpasswordhack.zip
 RECOVER A PASSWORD USING THE LOGIN RECOVERY WEB SERVICE
 
Login Recovery is a service to recover passwords for Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista:
http://www.loginrecovery.com/index.php
LINKS

How to reset the Administrator’s password:
http://www.petri.co.il/forgot_administrator_password.htm

EFS, Credentials, and Private Keys from Certificates Are Unavailable After a Password Is Reset:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290260/en-us

Administrator and User Passwords in Windows XP:
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/win_xp_passwords.htm

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