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How to Reset /Recover Forgotten Windows NT / 2000 / XP / 2003 Administrator Password


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Disclaimer: Following information should be used only if its your system and you have forgotten account password. Don't use this information to access a system which is not yours without permission.


Many times we face this problem when we or our friends forget Windows XP password and can't log into Windows. So here we are posting a few methods / utilities which can be used to recover Windows password:


1st Method:


The first thing which you check if you forget login password. When we install Windows, it automatically creates an account "Administrator" and sets its password to blank. So if you have forget your user account password then try this:


Start system and when you see Windows Welcome screen / Login screen, press <ctrl>+<alt>+<del> keys twice and it'll show Classic Login box. Now type "Administrator" (without quotes) in Username and leave Password field blank. Now press Enter and you should be able to log in Windows.


Now you can reset your account password from "Control Panel -> User Accounts".


Same thing can be done using Safe Mode. In Safe Mode Windows will show this in-built Administrator account in Login screen.


2nd Method:


Windows XP and further versions also provide another method to recover forgotten password by using "Reset Disk". If you created a Password Reset Disk in past, you can use that disk to reset the password. To know more about it, please visit following links:


How to create and use a password reset disk for a computer in a domain in Windows XP


How to Log On to Windows XP If You Forget Your Password or Your Password Expires


3rd Method:


If the above mentioned tricks don't work, then try following trick which is actually a loophole in Windows XP Setup and a big security hole:


A. Boot using Windows XP Setup CD and follow the instruction like Accepting EULA, etc.


B. When it asks to repair your existing Windows installation, accept it and press "R" to run the repair.


C. Setup will start repairing your Windows and will start copying files, etc.


D. After a few minutes setup will restart your system and when it restarts don't press any key when it shows "Press any key to continue..." otherwise Setup will start from the beginning. Don't press any key and setup will resume where it left.


E. Now it'll start doing other tasks and will show a small progressbar with a few details in left side.


F. Look carefully at the details and when it shows "Installing devices", press <Shift>+F10 keys in your keyboard.


G. It'll open a Command Prompt window. Now type nusrmgr.cpl and press <Enter>.


H. It'll open the same "User Accounts" window which you see in Control Panel.


I. Now you can remove or reset any account password without any problem.


4th Method:


There are many 3rd party utilities which claim to recover forgotten Windows password:


Windows Geeks Lost Forgotten Password Service:


Windows Geeks have a program that works instantly to remove any lost or forgotten password. With this program you can get back in very quickly:


Windows Geeks Lost Forgotten Password Service


Emergency Boot CD:


EBCD is a bootable CD, intended for system recovery in the case of software or hardware faults. It is able to create backup copies of normally working system and restore system to saved state. It contains the best system software ever created, properly compiled and configured for the maximum efficient use.


You may download image builder utility which creates image of bootable CD-ROM (.ISO file), plus basic set of system tools. When the image is ready, write it to CD-R or CD-RW, and then everytime you'll need convenient and powerful system tools they'll be just at hand.


It is easy to customize the disk for your needs. You can include to CD any program you like, or remake the structure of CD completely. All you need is to change a few lines in configuration XML files.


Download Link


Offline NT Password & Registry Editor:


This is a utility to reset the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your NT 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 CD. It'll detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts. It is also an almost fully functional registry editor.


Download Link


Windows XP Login Recovery:


Login Recovery is a service to reveal user names and recover passwords for Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista. As long as you have physical access to the computer, your passwords can be recovered.


Download Link


Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD): [Thanks to Rakesh for recommending]


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.


Download Link


5th Method:


If all fails, then simply reinstall Windows and create new accounts. To recover lost data, you can use Data recovery tools available on net but the chances will be very low to get data back.




Note: This information is from: http://www.askvg.com/how-to-reset-recover-...rator-password/

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Note: This information is from: http://www.askvg.com/how-to-reset-recover-...rator-password/

AHhh---Alas,, this does not work for Vista, you lose your password and if you have not made a disk, you have to reformat the C:drive, I just did this, I have learned to really like Vista, but even though this was a bummer, it shows the good security Vista has.

Great information for the other OS though thank you!

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