Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
So you've forgotten your password and can no longer log in to your
computer? Never fear, there's a solution! There's a relatively simple
procedure for resetting it. I'll walk you through the process step by
The first step is to download and burn something called the System Rescue CD. The ISO file can be found here: http://www.sysresccd.org/Download You can use any image burning software such as Nero, imgburn or Windows Image Burner to burn the image onto a disk, then put the disk in the CD drive, and boot to the drive by hitting a key during bootup. The key differs based on the make/model of the computer and the bios version, usually you'll see "Press f5 for setup" or something like that, you're looking for the boot menu.
Once you boot to the cd, you'll see a whole bunch of text flying across the screen, this is normal. Just wait until you see this screen:
The first thing you need to do is "mount" your harddrive. This means you're telling the rescue CD that this is the drive you will be using. It also ties your drive to a specific file. I won't go into the details of linux file structure, but the command to do so is this (without the quotes) "ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows -o force" This means you're mounting an NTFS file system (windows file system), located at sda1 (first partition on the first harddrive) at the location /mnt/windows (a file on the system). Don't worry too much about the details of it, it's not necessary for this tutorial.
The password file is located in the System32\config directory in Windows, so use this command to change to that directory: "cd /mnt/windows/WINDOWS/system32/config" Now if you type "ls" you should see something similar to the following. You're looking for a file just called SAM.
There's a command in the system rescue cd called chntpw, this is the command you'll use. Type "chntpw -l SAM" to see all the users to decide which one you need to change the password for. When you find the user you want, type "chntpw -u
If you need more help, I took a video of myself doing the procedure that you can watch. You can see it right here too! Note that I had a few problems during the procedure, and I was running it on a virtual machine just as an example so the change password didn't actually work, but the commands will still be the same, and the procedure will be the same. Also note, when I get the "blank password - no space" error, I do a few other things to try to get around it. Just follow my instructions (ignore my 1 and 2 typing) and you'll be fine.
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