Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

How to reset a password on Windows

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 step.

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 SAM".The best way I've found to change the password is to type "2" (change password), at which point it will ask you to type in the password. After you do so, it will take you through a few prompts (type "y" to change the file). After you get back to your prompt, type "chntpw -u SAM" again to open up your change password wizard again, and this time hit "4" to unlock the user. Then just quit out, and reboot by typing "shutdown -r now". It should prompt you to take the disk out. After that just restart and you should be good!

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.

Posted by on

Computers & Internet Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

How do I reset my password on the Login Screen?


You can reset laptop login password with Smartkey Windows Password Recovery, just do as the following steps,

Step1: Quickly download, install and run this tool on an accessible computer.
Step2: Insert an empty and writable CD/DVD to the computer and start to burn it into a computer password reset disk with Windows Password Recovery.
Step3: Insert the burned password reset disk to the target/locked computer, and set this PC boot from CD/DVD.
Step4: Reset forgotten laptop password with the burned password reset disk in less than 1 minute.
Step5: After computer password resetting procedures finish, reboot your PC, and then you finally reset laptop login password and regain access to your PC.

Jun 04, 2012 | ASUS Eee PC 2G Surf Notebook

1 Answer

How can I get into my Open Office .odt files when I've forgotten the password?


this password is for your open office account correct?

go to log in screen and choose forgot password and follow instructions

let me know how this works for you

if you are adding a password to a file that is a different issue

May 25, 2012 | Office Document Convert Software Computers...

1 Answer

i changed something on my computer so it logged out of skype for me. now when i want to log back in i cant because skype keeps telling me that my skype name and password dont register. after trying 5 different passwords i still am unable to login to skype. please help me!!


Hello,

Here is a link to help you reset your password.

If my answer helped you today please give four thumbs up as thanks!


https://support.skype.com/en-us/faq/FA109/I-ve-forgotten-my-password;jsessionid=42771652811256F26D24ABFE5334FE25

Sep 04, 2011 | Skype IM

2 Answers

i ve been using a gmail account but cant log in with it


Henderson, Probably you have forgotten the password. So, use the "Forgotten Password" option. Your new password will be emailed to your alternative email address.

Nov 08, 2009 | Google Gmail

Not finding what you are looking for?

697 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Computers & Internet Experts

Doctor PC
Doctor PC

Level 3 Expert

7733 Answers

kakima

Level 3 Expert

102366 Answers

David Payne
David Payne

Level 3 Expert

14161 Answers

Are you a Computer and Internet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...