Resetting user password in windows is easy for even a novice windows user. The methods differ for different operating systems. The newer the Operating System, the better the security becomes, Microsoft says. But once the bug is found, it doesn’t make much difference. As Windows XP is the most common Operating system in use now, it is given importance in this article.
“Administrator” is the built in account. It is possible to have other accounts with administrator privileges. Once another account is created, the administrator account is not shown on the login screen.
If you have another account with administrator privilege the task is so simple.
Press Window key+ R to get the Run window. Enter “cmd” in it and click OK to enter the command prompt.
Type “net user administrator xxx”, where xxx is whatever you wish to set as the new password to. Press ENTER and it is done. You can login to administrator account by using the classic login method. For that press ALT+CTRL+DEL twice in the login screen. Enter “administrator” as the user and the new password you reset in the password field.
A Windows Vista or Seven DVD is required for this method.
1. 1. Boot from Windows Vista or Seven DVD. Select “Repair” instead of “Install”. You will get a command prompt.
2. Find the partition in which windows XP is installed. To do that type “drive letter:” and enter. Then type “DIR” and enter to see the list of directories. The XP drive will have “Windows” directory.
3. Type and enter the command (replace “c:” with the drive letter of XP partition.
copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\
4. Type and enter to replace sethc.exe (file that supports sticky keys) with cmd.exe
copy /y c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe
5. Reboot the computer to XP (remove Vista/Seven DVD first)
6. Press SHIFT key for 5 times at the logon screen and you will get a command prompt.
7. Type “net user administrator password” and enter. [Same as in method 1]
8. Type “EXIT” to exit from the prompt.
9. Now, you can login with the new password.
10. Replace back the sethc.exe with this command
copy /y c:\sethc.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe
Use a password reset disk.
Windows XP, Vista and Seven all supports this feature. Go to the control panel – > user accounts to create a Reset Disc. (But this has to be done while you have access to the system itself. Later if you forget the password, it can be reset any time using this disc.)
The following link explains the steps well.
This method uses a security hole in windows XP but do not work for XP with SP2 or SP3.( Works with or without SP1).
1. Boot with an XP CD
2. Accept the license agreement. Press F8 to do that.
3. Select “repair” instead of “Install”. (Press R)
4. Reboot after copying files. (Do not press any key when the message “press any key to boot…” is shown.
5. Look at the left side of progress bar and press Shift+F10 when you see “Installing Devices”.
6. In the command console that appears type “nusrmgr.cpl” and this will give you access to User Accounts Graphical user interface, where you can simply pick an account and change the password.
A lot of third party software is available to reset windows passwords. Most of them are linux based and free.
Some of the good ones are Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s free nt password tool, Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK), Kon-boot tool, NTPWEdit tool.
All these third party software work for Windows XP, Vista and Seven.
Foot Note 1: Commands mentioned in this article should be typed without quotes. ( “ ).