Reset Your Forgotten Windows Password
You’ve forgotten or lost the password to all administrator accounts on your Windows XP, 2000, 2003, Vista or 98 computer and need to get in somehow.
OK, firstly if you’re a Windows XP user, I’d highly recommend you try this article first: Lost/Forgotten Windows XP Password.
If that doesn’t work out for you, come back here and continue with this solution.
- You have changed your Windows password and have forgotten the new password
- You have not created emergency reset disks
- There are no other administrator accounts on the system
This problem occurs when the password for all administrator accounts to any of the above systems is forgotten or typed incorrectly when being changed.
Warning – If you have files that are encrypted then these will not be accessible after resetting your password
Disclaimer – proposedsolution.com or the author accept no responsibility for data loss as a result of using this tool
You need the following:
- A PC/Mac you can access and use to create a CD or DVD.
- A writable CD or DVD
- CD or DVD Drive and software capable of writing a CD from an ISO file
- The software (downloadable below)
You can also create either a bootable floppy disk or use a USB drive instead of a CD/DVD. See readme.txt within the software download for details.
Video Instructions: You can now watch a 60 second video of steps 6 to 18 by clicking here.
- On a working PC/MAC, download Offline NT Password & Registry Editor by clicking here (this will open in a new window/tab)
- Extract the ISO file to your hard disk
- Using your CD/DVD burning software create a bootable CD or DVD from the ISO file. You can see instructions on how to burn an ISO to a CD or DVD in Mac or Windows here.
- Insert the newly created CD/DVD into the PC that you want to reset the password on and switch it on.
- If you are prompted to press any key to boot from CD then press any key. If at this point your PC refuses to boot from the CD/DVD then ensure that the system is capable of booting from CD/DVD and if it is ensure that your startup devices are set correctly in the system BIOS. (Setup utility)
- At the [boot] prompt press enter (if required). (video instructions – steps 6 to 18)
- The next prompt will display your partitions and you must choose carefully the correct partition that your windows installation is on. If you have only one the accept the default of  and press enter
- If windows was shutdown incorrectly you will get a warning. At this point you can reboot into windows (if you can access windows as a Standard user) or select Y to force changes
- You will now be asked for the path to the registry. Unless you are an advanced user who knows differently, select the default path by simply hitting Enter
- Now you are asked which part of the registry to load. Enter 1 for password reset and hit Enter
- Next you are asked what to do. Enter 1 to ‘Edit user data and passwords’ and hit Enter
- Now you will be presented with a list of users on the systems. Select one of the users with ‘ADMIN’ next to it by typing in the actual username in the ‘Username’ column and hit Enter
- You will now be presented with information about the user id and also the User Edit Menu. Type 2 and hit Enter to set a new password for the user you selected in step 11
- Type new password and hit Enter
- Type ! and hit Enter to quit
- Now type q and hit Enter to quit
- Type Y to the question ‘About to write file(s) back! Do it? and hit Enter
- Type N and hit Enter to ‘New Run? question
- Remove the CD/DVD from your PC and restart the computer
- All going well, you will be able to login to Windows as normal with your newly set password