We are human, thus we are not perfect. Doesn’t matter how many times tech gurus remind us to memorize our password and keep it in secure place, sometime we end up with this kind of problem. No thanks to over complicated password combination (blame super fast CPU that can crack 10 chars password within several minutes.
Whatever the reason is, unable to login to our own PC because we forgot our own password is a real problem. Hopefully this mini tutorial will help you out J
Using a Password-Reset Disk
Using a password reset disk is the simplest way to get back in business if you forgot your Windows XP password. Of course, it assumes that you had the forethought to create a password reset disk when you set up your computer.
- Restart your machine, and when the Windows login screen comes up, click your Username and hit Enter.
- Below the login dialog, there will be an option that says “Use your password reset disk” — click there, and a wizard will take you through the process of setting a new password. Have your reset disk ready to load when the wizard prompts you. After that, it’s just a matter of typing in a new password, saving it, and restarting your computer.
For most Windows XP systems, there is a built-in “Administrator” account that can be accessed without a password. But first you have to start your computer in “safe mode.” Follow these instructions, and you should be back in good graces with XP in a jiffy:
- Restart your computer, and when you see the BIOS POST screen (basically, a few seconds after you hit the power button), alternate pressing Ctrl and F8.
- When the Windows boot menu appears, select any of the safe modes offered.
- On the login screen, you should see an “Administrator” login option. If you don’t, press Ctrl + Alt + Del twice and type in “Administrator” and leave the password area blank.
- Windows should now start up, and you can go to the Control Panel and reset your user password.
You can also open Command Promt on any account (under Accessories) and then type “net user (your user name) password” with no parentheses and that automatically changes any accounts password to what you typed in for “password”
Emergency Boot CD is a program that runs off of a CD and can help you boot up a computer when a software or hardware failure is preventing you from doing so. It also includes the Windows Password Wizard, which lets you reset your password. So basically it acts like the Password reset disk (above) that you never created. You can either buy the CD and have it sent to you, or download it and burn to CD yourself.
If you’re feeling brave, or like to play hacker, you can download the free Ophcrack program from another PC, and burn it to a CD.
With Ophcrack, you can create a live CD that has a bootable operating system that will let you start Windows. From there, the program automates the retrieval, decryption and cracking of Windows passwords. If your password has 14 alphanumeric characters or fewer, the program should be able to crack it within minutes.
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.
It contains 100’s of PC tools. It is always a free download.
Offline NT Password & Registry Editor (XP, Vista and 7)
This is a utility to (re)set the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your Windows NT/2k/XP/Vista etc 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 or another system. Will detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts! There is also a registry editor and other registry utilities that works under linux/unix, and can be used for other things than password editing.
Note1: Academic Purpose Only
Note2: Author is not responsible for any damage caused by the misuse of this mini tutorial or software.
Source : Wired