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Reset Your Forgotten Password the Easy Way Using the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

We’ve written previously about how to create your own Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, which is based on XP but can still be of use for repairing Vista computers as well. Today we’ll show you how to reset your password easily using that CD.

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For you to be able to use this technique, you’ll need to have created your own boot CD first. This isn’t the only way to reset your password, so stay tuned as we cover even more ways to reset your passwords, and then we’ll show you how to prevent somebody else from doing the same thing to you.

Resetting Your Password

Once you’ve started up the Ultimate Boot CD, you’ll want to navigate through Start \ Programs \ Password Tools and find NTPWEdit in the menu.

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Once the utility opens, you’ll want to click the (Re)open button to open up the SAM file which contains your Windows password, which should show you the list of usernames.

Note that if it doesn’t or you are using a dual-boot, you might have to browse to find the correct SAM file.

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Once you’ve found your username in the list, you can simply use the Change password button. Note that if you are using Vista you probably shouldn’t edit the Administrator password.

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At this point you should be able to reboot the computer and login with your new password. It’s just that simple.

Note: If you have previously encrypted files using the built-in Windows encryption features, changing the password will make them inaccessible. Instead you should try and crack the password, which we will cover in an upcoming post. (Thanks jd2066 for pointing this out).

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/28/08

Comments (29)

  1. jd2066

    There are also other ways listed at http://www.petri.co.il/forgot_administrator_password.htm for resetting passwords too.
    Also like some of the methods on that page I think the one on this page can make NTFS encrypted files inaccessible.

  2. The Geek

    @jd2066

    That’s a very good point which I forgot to mention, it will definitely make encrypted files inaccessible. I should update the article.

  3. Farhad

    Will this work for vista aswell??

  4. Duo962

    Worked fine with Vista when I tested it.

  5. deralaand

    You can also find passwords using OPH crack. This is a bootable Linux ISO that will show you the various passwords associated with different accounts on Windows. (usually in about 5 minutes or less) It will not work with passwords containing special characters such as $#@ etc. For this you will need some crazy time and something called rainbow tables.

    Also look for something called Trinity Rescue Kit. Its another Linux ISO that allows you to “unlock” the Administrator account in Vista or change passwords or even just wipeout passwords.

    Interesting stuff!

  6. CiscoKid

    First, this web site is very helpful. Thanks.

    I have inherited a new to me computer with Windows-XP SP3. I do not have the password. The previous owner’s user name appeared (prior to my modifications below) when starting Windows normally but is not listed in the NTPWedit list after clicking (Re) open on Ultimate Boot. My apparently erroneous thought was reset all passwords for all “users” using the process outlined in your post. These users names included…..

    500 Adiminstrator
    1006 ASPNET
    501 Guest
    1004 Help Assistant
    1007 QBDDataServiceUser
    1002 SUPPORT_388945a0
    1003 SUPPORT_b326ad0c

    Now, when I start Windows normally, when prompted to type control alt delete (at a “Welcome to Windows” pop up window) to enter a password and log on to Windows, the machine does not respond to my input devises at all. Clearly, I have made a novice mistake. (BTW, I am very close to wiping the machine and installing XP or Ubantu from scratch. However, I would like to log on Windows normally before I do so.) Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am a computer user but far from a expert self proclaimed or otherwise.

  7. mzungudownunder

    this software is amazing. I used an xp disc to create the boot disk and then used the boot disk on vista and it worked like a dream. thank you so much, save lots of time and energy! :)

  8. linky

    you should try “windows password reset”.

  9. mda58

    First thanks for the info on this site, really has been great. I have a IBM Thinkpad T42, running Windows XP pro. My kids reset the password. I have the Ultimate Boot CD, and have used it on other PCs. But for some reason I won’t boot on this machine. Is there a way to put it on a Flash drive since it seems that the CD isn’t reading any CD’s. I looked all over the site and I didn’t see a answer. Any help would be great thanks.

  10. happykaka

    http://wiki.e107.org/?title=Forgot_Head_Admin_Password#Solutions_for_recovery_windows_admin_password there is an article about how to reset/bypass/remove windows password. It must be helpful for those who have been locked out of computer

  11. janet

    i have searched thru past newsletters and i know something was said about the process iexplore.exe. is it good to keep and what will happen if i delete it? i have it using up so much memory and causing me to stall and freeze up. and need another advise too…. i have a compaq laptop with windows xp pro. i can’t get it set up for a wireless device. any suggestions? i have tried without firewall and virus on, may different ways. i recall seeing the wlan under connections few years ago but now its gone. how can i bring it back. any suggestions are welcome.

  12. MikeB

    Way excellent! I’ve tried to DL and create the UBCD several times before and it never worked. This time it did. And now with a GUI! A friend inherited her Mom’s (Vista) system when her Mom passed. BUT! She had no passwords. The instructions here and the UBCD4WIN worked perfectly. I set everything to null and created an admin acct for her so she can set things up as she needs. Just an excellent article and utilities.

  13. Lydia Njuguna

    it has been great to find password recovery in the site. for two days now i thought that my machine has corrupted and lost the information in it. i didnt have a solution until i gogleed and found the assistance. but now i do not have the ultimate boot CD. Do i use any booting Cd, or i can get ultimate from you. i would appreciate your help for two days have done no business.thanks

  14. doctormrli

    lost windows password ? you can go into safe mode (F8 when booting up) to recover windows password when you forgot user account password,but if you forgot administrator password ,there is no way to change administrator password when you forgot it,you must use software to recover administrator password .my favorite is windows password recovery tool 3.0 .

  15. nick1983

    any way to reveal the password then all talking of wiping it?

  16. Jimi

    Windows Password Reset Kit 1.5 can help in such a situation. It is small yet very effective. It saved me before, and I must say it works perfect. Give it a try, you won’t regret using it.

  17. azhar

    Nice information. Yesterday one of my friend told me about this utility I would love to try it on my system. thanks once again for your efforts

  18. Greg

    I am trying to reset my Admin password on a Pentium 3 Windows2K Pro. I have used the system resue-Cd and I can’t get past the root cd /mnt/windows/Windows/System32/config command.
    I have tried various versons of the cmd. I am successful with cd /mnt/windows When I try to drill any further it tells me the such file or directory. I also have tried cd /mnt/Windows with no luck, I have tried cd /mnt/windows cd /WINDOWS/System32/config I even tried to go dir by dir. and still no success. Does this work with Win2K Pro? Any help would be much appreciated.

  19. Ranjan_Love

    Does it work on windows 07?????????

  20. Dead Shot

    CHANGE MY PASS WORD

  21. Not Guilty

    how can i crash a forgotten password from my computer without formatting it and recover all my documents from windows 7 ultimate?

  22. Wanda

    I forgot my password I have utimate 7 windows tried everything I dont have acess to a disk or usb

  23. taosaur

    It doesn’t look like anyone is watching this old thread, but any clarification on why “if you are using Vista you probably shouldn’t edit the Administrator password?” What are the consequences?

  24. pradeep

    Thanks for ultimate boot cd.

    hi, i m pradeep kumar, i m searching a syskey password brecking knowledge with ultimate boot cd…plz

  25. Emma

    Thanks! This is indeed a great solution. last time I forgot My password and I use a bootable CD to recover my password and success! Bravo. The bootable CD is created by Windows Login Recovery software and i download it for free. Hope it can help others in the same trouble.

  26. mar

    this works on windows 7 ultimate?

  27. Bob

    I successfully reset a Win7 user account that had administrator privileges ( I couldn’t remember the administrator or this users passwords) using this method. In my case though initially no passwords were displayed using the Start \ Programs \ Password Tools \ NTPWEdit tool. Also the update (RE) Open button was grayed out.
    What I had to do while still booted with UBCD4WIN was first clicked on My Computer and found that the local disk was D: not C:. I then opened a command prompt START–>Command
    I switched to D: by typing D: then pressing enter.
    it won’t hurt to also type in CD\ and press enter to make sure you’re at the absolute root of the partition.
    I then searched for the SAM file by typing DIR SAM /S it can be lower case I just put it in caps so it stands out here.
    Press enter and wait. After a while it reported back the file located at D:\Windows\System32\Config.
    I then typed exit to close the command window and I navigated back to Start \ Programs \ Password Tools \ NTPWEdit.
    I then clicked on the browse button (little square with three dors next to the (RE) Open button.
    Browsed to the D:\Windows\System32\Config folder and there was my SAM file.
    I then was able to follow the above steps and reset the user password.
    I was not brave enogh to reset the actual administrator password as I fortunately had a user account that also had administrative privelileges that I could experiment with.

    So ye in my case UBCD4WIN worked with Windows 7 Ultimate

  28. Blsse

    I realize a safe method to remove the password and it need no

    reinstalling Windows. The program is called Windows Password

    Seeker which has been recommended at about.com. You can Google

    Windows Password Seeker or download it from passwordseeker.com.

    It can reset almost all Windows passwords in seconds. It also

    compatible with windows 7.

  29. william

    jkghj

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