Sunday, October 2, 2011

How To Reset Windows Passwords if you cannot login anymore

Dear readers, I've got many messages asking for a post on resetting windows login password. I've neglected this concept as googling gives you the answer. But, to satisfy your needs, here is a post. :)

If you forgot the password, you can use a password reset disk which is prepared by following the instructions that are given by Microsoft. In Windows XP, we used to have an Administrator account to bypass. Now coming to Windows 7,  there are many solutions. But this post is about using a third party tool. 

Firstly, you no need to re install the Operating System. Use the Trinity Rescue Kit .

You actually have the choice between setting it to a blank password or changing it to a new one.
It can be run from a bootable CD, USB device or network over PXE. The bootable CD is my choice and I always keep one around in case of emergency. Just boot from the CD if you cannot login into Windows anymore because it asks for a password that you cannot remember.
You can start once the message “Welcome to Trinity..” appears on the screen. Use the command    winpass -l to list all usernames of the system. Now enter winpass -u (for instance winpass -u Martin). This will lead to a series of dialogs, make sure to press n when asked if you want to deactivate Syskey.
You are given a choice to
(1) remove the password
(2) set a new password or 
(3) make the selected user an administrator of the system.

The file system is based on Linux which means that you will not see the usual c,d,e drives like you do in Windows. Hda, hdb, hdc are the hard drives connected to your computer and the numbers behind are the partitions of those hard drives. Hda1 for instance means the first partition of the first hard drive which is usually the location of the Windows installation while hdc2 would refer to the second partition of the third hard drive.

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