Your Windows account acts as a barrier to hackers, and protects against inadvertent intrusion, data manipulation, and accidental keyboard touching by family and coworkers who might be using your computer. Your Windows account works with other security features of the Windows operating system and any third-party software that you may be using.
What happens if you forget your password? How do you get into your computer? If you reinstall Windows, you will also delete all of your user settings and data. So you don’t want to do this. However, there are other ways to reset your password
Use Ubuntu Live DVD
Hopefully you have another computer with administrator rights to complete the initial password reset steps as you cannot access the computer in question.
The first thing you need to do is download Ubuntu Desktop if you don’t already have it. You can download it for free from the Ubuntu official website.
Install the ISO Image DVD to DVD Burning Software
There are several recording software options to choose from. For the purposes of this article, we will be using Brasero Regardless of which software you choose to use, the process is very similar.
To install ISO burning software, click Actions in the upper left corner of your Ubuntu desktop. Enter brasero in the search box.
Then you will see a link to the Ubuntu software installer. Click this link to launch the software installer.
Then you will see and click the main list in the Brasero summary. Then click Install.
Enter the root password when prompted and wait for the installation to complete. When finished, press the launch button to launch Brasero
Burn ISO Image to DVD
When Brasero opens, you will see several options for what you can do, for example:
- Audio Project
- Data Project
- Video Project
- Disc Copy
- Burn Image
You want to select the last option, “Capture Image”.
You will now see a pop-up window with options for configuring image capture.
Click the button that says “Select a disc image to burn” and find the ISO image If you just downloaded it, you will find it in your Downloads folder.
In the “Select a disc to burn” box, select the one you want to use. If you inserted a blank DVD, it will appear at this location.
The next step is to click the “Burn” button to start burning the ISO image to disc.
When the burning process is complete, you will have a copy of the ISO image to DVD.
Remove the disc to use it to boot the computer where you need to reset the Windows password.
Create Password Reset Disk
Go back to the computer you are locked on and insert the DVD into your DVD drive. Restart your computer and wait for the welcome window.
Click the Try Ubuntu button. Most computers will automatically boot from DVD if it is in the computer. If your computer does not have a DVD drive, you can download the ISO image to a USB flash drive.
However, if your computer does not automatically boot from the DVD you made, you can hold down the F12 key on first startup. After that, you will be able to select the disc with the ISO image on it. Select your language and go to your system settings.
Click on Software & Updates and then select Community Supported Free and Open Source Software.
Click Close and then reload the repository when prompted.
sudo apt-get install chntpw
Go to the Windows System32 Config directory, right-click any empty space and select “Open in Terminal”.
Enter the following at a command prompt:
chntpw -u user_name SAM
- Replace the username string with the username of the account for which you want to reset the Windows password.
- You will see options such as â€œPromote Userâ€ and â€œEmpty Userâ€. To remove a password:
- Enter the number 1 and press Enter.
- Enter the letter q and then enter
- Type y, then press Enter again to confirm your change
- Remove the disk and restart your computer. When you log into Windows now, you will not need to enter your password since you just deleted it.
If you want to reset your password, you can do it right now in Windows.
The open source Linux community provides users with many tools to help you get back to your locked computer if you forget your password.
SystemRescueCd is a feature rich live Linux distribution that allows users to change their Windows password.
Start by downloading the SystemRescueCd image from the project website
You can use any tool to burn the image to CD, DVD, or USB stick. Read the article How to Burn ISO File to USB Drive in Linux for more information or refer to the process above.
Start by loading your computer into SystemRescueCd Live. Use fdisk (formatted disk) to find the directory containing the / etc. directory. It is usually located on the root drive (/).
Be very careful when using the fdisk command. If you do this incorrectly, you will delete all your data. Get help if you’re not entirely sure you know what you are doing.
The image below shows the command and output in Listing 1.
mkdir / mnt / bootdir
Use the following code to mount your Linux partition to the SystemRescueCd partition:
mount / dev / sda5 / mnt / bootdir
Now use the following chroot command:
chroot / mnt / system
To reset your password, use the command below:
When you log in to your computer again, you will be able to use the root account with the new password.
There is nothing more to worry about if you are locked on your system because you forgot your Windows password. The two processes above will provide you with keys to return to.