Monday, February 11, 2019

Resetting a Lost Windows Password

So, you need to get into an old Windows system with a forgotten password, or perhaps you're helping out a hapless friend.

Luckily all you need is a bootable Windows disk, preferably Windows 7 or newer.

Note: If this is an encrypted system, you are likely hosed.

There's only a handful of steps to get you logged back in...

1. Once booted into the Install screen, choose Repair my computer

2. Choose Open a Command Window

3. Find the drive that contains Windows, usually C: or D:

4. cd to Windows\System32, then you need two commands

5. copy Utilman.exe \  (this is to preserve the file if you to restore it later)

6. copy Cmd.exe Utilman.exe  (Overwrite confirm: Yes)

7. Exit and Reboot

8. On login screen, click the accessibility app (now Cmd.exe)

9. Reset the administrator password:  net user administrator YourCoolP@ssword

10. Enable the administrator account:  net user administrator /active: yes

11. Now go to the login prompt (may need to choose Other User), and enter .\administrator (to use the local administrator account) and your newly reset password.

12. High-fives all around!