This guide will tell you what to do if you forgot your Windows XP password and how to solve this problem without reinstalling the operating system. In addition, we will consider other possible problems with passwords. Windows 10 and Windows 7 have enhanced security features compared to earlier Windows XP / 2000 systems.
By the way, perhaps one of the frequently used passwords is installed on your PC, see the full list of popular passwords HERE.
In the latest versions of windows, a more effective password system is used, designed for business use, so that no one can access information on your computer without the necessary permissions. This is a double edged sword. Most users forget at least once some important password. And then the user / information owner becomes the “enemy without access rights” for his computer.
Naturally, for each protection method there is a way around it, especially if you have physical access to the computer.
In this article, we will look at various password protection methods for a computer and ways to get around them. We will start not with user account passwords, but with no less important passwords, such as BIOS passwords.
How to bypass BIOS password?
BIOS password - One of the oldest ways to protect your computer from unauthorized access and one of the most common. Why? This is one of the most effective means if the user does not have access to the system unit. Otherwise, it’s the same as locking the house with many locks and leaving the window open.
The default BIOS settings on all motherboards do not store password information. So all you need to do to remove the BIOS password is simply reset the current settings, restoring the default configuration. But remember that resetting the current BIOS settings will destroy not only the password, but also all those settings that you set yourself.
There are two ways to reset BIOS settings. Most motherboards have a special jumper to clear CMOS (the memory in which BIOS settings are stored). Usually this jumper is located near the battery on the system board, but for complete certainty it is advisable to refer to the instructions from the motherboard. On some motherboards, instead of a jumper, there are just two contacts that you need to close with a metal object, for example, a screwdriver, to reset the CMOS.
If your board has a jumper, then turn off the computer to clear CMOS, set the jumper so that it closes the jumper contacts, and press the power button on the computer. Your computer will not start to boot, but the settings in CMOS will be reset. Remove the jumper and turn on the computer again. Most likely, you will see on the screen a request to press F1 to set the BIOS parameters. If you are satisfied with the default settings, press F1 and select ‘Save and exit’ from the BIOS menu. After that, the computer will boot as usual, with the exception of the BIOS password.
If you don’t know where your jumper is located on your board or if it doesn’t exist at all, that is quite possible, you will have to go the other way. Each system board has a battery, which is the power source for the CMOS memory, allowing you to store information. This is usually a standard CR2032 battery.
To clear the CMOS, turn off the computer and remove the battery (you may need a thin screwdriver). After 5-10 minutes, replace the battery and turn on the computer. The default settings will be set in the BIOS, but there will be no password. To continue the download, you will need to press the F1 key, and if you are satisfied with the default settings, select ‘Save and exit’ in the BIOS menu that appears.
As you have seen, all this is very simple on a desktop computer, but with a laptop, the BIOS password can be a serious problem. Due to the frequent thefts of laptop computers, manufacturers made sure that access without a password was almost impossible. So, if you forgot the BIOS password on your laptop, most likely you will have to contact the manufacturer’s service center.
What to do if you forgot your Windows password?
If circumstances developed in such a way that you forgot your Windows password, then we recommend that you reset it using the built-in account called Administrator. This is done in safe mode, while loading or rebooting your PC.
To restore access to your computer, you just need to press F8 and in the menu that opens, in which you will be presented with some additional options for loading your operating system, you will have to select the aforementioned “Safe Mode”. Next, you will need to select a built-in account, which, by the way, by default, cannot be protected by any password.
If you did everything right, since you precisely followed the above sequence of actions while still on the desktop, you should be knocked out a window with a message that Windows is running in the “Safe Mode” you need, which is as simplified as possible. You will need to click “Yes” and go to the Control Panel - User Accounts, where is the icon of the account whose password you want to reset yourself. On the left you should select the item “Change Password” and enter and confirm the new password in the corresponding window. Ultimately, for the above changes to take effect, you will need to restart the PC.
How to crack a Windows password on a computer or laptop?
In order to do this, you will have to follow the following sequence of actions:
- Prepare a CD, or a USB flash drive, on which a special set of resuscitation programs intended to restore Windows should be recorded. You will need to insert it into the drive or into the appropriate port during the subsequent reboot of the computer. This package of resuscitation programs can be prepared independently by downloading programs intended for sharing, saving and restoring data, or you can already download some RBCD 10.0, for example,
- During PC startup, in order to enter the BIOS, press the “DELETE” button. There we will need to change the installation priority and assign a computer boot from the CD-ROM. After that, we visit our boot disk in the drive and reboot the PC,
- Entering me the resuscitation disk, which should appear after the resuscitation software package has been downloaded, we must select an editable copy of Windows and go to the "System Restore" mode - the section that will be located at your very bottom of the page,
- We search for the command line and enter “regedit” there (we look for it in the dialog settings of the same window). We find, and after and select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE section, in which we need to select File, and then Load hive,
- Open the “SAM” file and select the section - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE bush_name SAM Domains Account Users 000001F4. Double-click on the F key located there and go to the very first value located in the line, which we will need to replace with the number 10,
- In the same section, select “File”, and then “Load Hive”. Click "Yes" in order to confirm the unloading of the bush. Close the registry editor, end the installation process in this way, remove the USB flash drive or disk and reboot the computer.
How to find out the password from the computer?
Question: how to crack a password on a computer remains relevant until now. Unfortunately, it’s really possible to find out the password from the computer, it seems possible only by correctly selecting it manually. Therefore, if you are not ready to spend several hours of your free time on this process, we strongly recommend that you simply reset it and come up with some new one.
How to find out the administrator password in Windows 7?
Again, it’s much easier to just reset the password and come up with a new one afterwards. Nevertheless, if you need to find out the password, we recommend that you use the program called Elcomsoft System Recovery Professional for this purpose, from which you will need to make a boot disk. Having correctly configured the BIOS boot from the drive and installing this program, immediately upon entering the desktop, a window will open in which you can see the names of users, including the Administrator, as well as passwords from their accounts.
How to reset password on Windows 7?
Asking the question: what to do if you forgot the password from your own PC, it is absolutely not necessary to use the above methods of recovering it. Password reset in the Windows 7 operating system can also be done using the Net User command. To do this, during the reboot of the PC you will need to press F8. Thus, you can open a Menu that allows you to implement additional boot options for this operating system, in which you will need to choose not just "Safe Mode", but one that would also support the command line. Being in it, you will need to select the built-in Administrator account and in the window of the Interpreter of commands, immediately after that, a system prompt will appear where you will need to enter net user “username” “password”.
We assume that you yourself understand that instead of “username” you will need to enter the name of your local user account, and instead of “password” you will need a new password. If you did everything correctly, then in order to close the window, you will need to register on the command line: exit and restart the PC.
How to reset password on Windows 8?
In the case of this operating system, things are much simpler! Password reset on Windows 8 can be done as follows:
- On the login screen, you will need to click on the special power icon, which is located in the lower right corner of your screen,
- Next, you need to press the Shift key and click "Restart",
- Click "Troubleshoot",
- Click “Reset PC”,
- Click "Next" and the system will automatically reboot in order to start preparing for a password reset.
1.Set up the command line launch in front of the Windows login screen
— If you ever downloaded Windows itself (any), then you should know that in BIOS in the settings you need to switch to the drive. And by default, it will boot from the Windows 7 installation disc.
- After that, in the window for selecting language parameters, click "Further"- click"System Restore» — «Further» — «Command line«.
- At the command prompt, type regedit and press Enter. The registry editor will open.
- Highlight a section HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINEas shown in the picture below. Then, from the File menu, select Download Hive.
- Go to the drive where Windows 7 is installed (the letter may differ from the usual C), and open the file:
- Enter a custom name for the bootable section. In the example, 888.
- Go to the section
Then double-click on the option:
-CmdLine, type cmd.exe and click OK.
-SetupType, replace 0 with 2 and click OK.
- Highlight section 888 in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then from the menu File select item Unload a bush.
- Remove the installation disk, close the registry editor and command prompt, click Reboot in the recovery options window.
2.Resetting the password, changing or creating a new user, and logging in
After the reboot, continue the usual login to Windows 7. Before entering the system, you will see a command prompt window.
To reset the password, enter the following command and confirm its execution by pressing Enter:
net user username new_password
Important! If the name or password contains spaces, enter them in “quotation marks”.
In the figure below, the password tL942G8dWp is set for the user Adm7:
It so happens that you can forget the account name and it doesn’t matter, enter the net user command, without parameters, to see all available accounts.
Create a new account
If you do not have a single administrator account, you can easily create one. To do this, sequentially enter the following commands, pressing the Enter key after each.
For Russian (localized) Windows:
net user username password / add
net localgroup Administrators username / add
net localgroup Users username / delete
For English Windows:
net user username password / add
net localgroup Administrators username / add
net localgroup Users username / delete
The teams sequentially perform the following actions:
* Create a new user.
* Adding a user to the Administrators group.
* Removing a user from the Users group.
If you want to set an unlimited password action for all accounts, enter the command at the end:
net accounts / maxpwage: unlimited
When finished, close the command prompt window.
Windows 7 login
You now have an account with administrator rights and a new network password. I personally completely removed the password, or rather disconnected it, and I think it’s nothing for me at home. True, all users have different situations and look at your discretion. Just select a user and log in to Windows:
How to reset Windows 7 admin password?
It is best to reset the Windows 7 administrator password through the Windows Command Interpreter. Follow these steps:
- First, run it. You can do this by adhering to the following path: Start - Run - Run the program - cmd. In the opened menu of the Command Interpreter, you will need to enter: control userpasswords, after which you will see a window called "User Accounts",
- Highlight the account that you want to reset the password from and do not forget to uncheck the box “Require username and password”
- In the window that opens, you will be required to enter and then confirm the new password. Next, in the command boot window, you will need to enter Exit and restart the PC, as usual.
View passwords stored by Windows
In addition to access passwords for various users, Windows stores a number of other equally important passwords: an Internet connection password, mailbox passwords or access to web sites. As a rule, there are a lot of them, so it is quite natural that they are forgotten over time.
The operating system offers an “autocomplete” function for passwords and other frequently entered information in browsers (Google Chrome, Yandex.Browser, Opera (Blink), Firefox, Explorer 11, etc.). So it’s not uncommon for a user to enter a password once, but after a few months, of course, cannot remember it. Everyone understands that important passwords need to be recorded, but not all do it. And if you don’t remember the password, how to find it out, because it is displayed as a series of asterisks: ******?
The solution is offered by programs from different manufacturers that can get a password from this string of stars. There are quite a lot of freeware programs for decrypting Windows passwords or hidden passwords from input lines in various browsers.
We will use the Asterisk Key program from Passware. This is an easy-to-use freeware program that analyzes passwords hidden by asterisks and reports them to you. It is very easy to work with her. Just select the password line and press the ‘recover’ button.
Of course, there are commercial versions of programs, which, as a rule, have a large set of functions. For example, Password Recovery Toolbox scans the system and determines the saved passwords, data saved for automatic completion, Outlook Express passwords, passwords for connecting to the Internet, etc. This information is then presented in a convenient form. A few more alternatives to the programs described above: Pwdcrack, Peeper Password or Password Viewer.
Windows XP user passwords
Windows XP stores user passwords in a modified form. For example, the password “password” will be stored as a string like this: ‘HT5E-23AE-8F98-NAQ9-83D4-9R89-MU4K’. This information is stored in a file named SAM in the folder C: windows system32 config.
This part of the SAM file is encrypted with the syskey system utility to improve password security. The data necessary to decrypt the information after syskey is stored in the system file in the same folder. But this folder is not accessible to any of the users. Only the operating system itself has access to it during its operation. You can access SAM and system files only under the control of another operating system or by connecting the drive to another Windows computer.
Reset user passwords in administrator mode in windows XP
All versions of Windows XP have an administrator account. This name gives the user full access to the system and the ability to reset the passwords of all other users. This can save you if for some reason you cannot log in with your normal user password. The specifics of using the administrator password depends on the version of Windows XP: XP Professional.
The administrator password is set during the installation of the operating system. If you wrote it down or simply hit enter, leaving it blank, then you can easily log in as an administrator and reset user passwords. To enter the system in administrator mode, on the screen with the system welcome, press CTRL + ALT + DEL twice, a window for entering the administrator password will appear.
Когда компьютер загрузится, зайдите в ‘startcontrol paneluser accounts’ (пускпанель управленияучетные записи пользователей) и измените необходимый пароль. Коль вы уже здесь, это хорошая возможность исправить свою ошибку, если вы оставили пароль администратора пустым. Кроме того, желательно изменить название учетной записи ‘adminisrator’. Это название известно всем, и его используют первым, чтобы получить доступ к вашему компьютеру. Для изменения названия учетной записи нажмите правой кнопкой мыши на ‘my computer’ (мой компьютер) и выберите ‘manage’ (управление). Раскройте ‘local users and groups’ (локальные пользователи и группы) и откройте папку ‘users’ (пользователи). Нажмите правой кнопкой мыши на запись ‘administrator’ и измените ее.
Эта система не даст вам просто так получить доступ к компьютеру в режиме администратора. Сначала понадобится загрузить компьютер в режиме защиты от сбоев. To do this: restart the computer, immediately after testing the BIOS, press F8 several times, select ‘start Windows XP in safe mode’ in the menu that appears (load Windows XP in crash protection mode). When the computer boots up, log in with the username ‘administrator’. There is no default password. Now you can change user passwords by going to ‘start control panel user accounts’ (start control panel user accounts). When you're done, restart your computer in the usual way.
Create a password reset disk
Windows XP allows you to write to a regular diskette information that provides the ability to reset the password. Naturally, if you have already forgotten the password and can’t access the system, you won’t be able to create any disk, but it’s worth it to set up such a diskette in advance to protect yourself from such accidents.
To create a diskette: go to 'start control panel user accounts' (start control panel user accounts), select the name under which you are logged in, select 'prevent a forgotten password' in the related tasks menu passwords), follow the instructions of the starting wizard.
To reset passwords using a floppy disk: if you enter the password when entering the system incorrectly, the system will ask, or you have not forgotten it, at this point you can use your floppy disk following the step-by-step instructions of the operating system.
Be careful: if you used the built-in capabilities of Windows to encrypt files and folders, but did not install the operating system update (service pack 1), deleting the password will lead to the loss of encrypted information.
Utilities for changing passwords Windows XP / 7/8/10
There are special utilities that allow you to edit or reset user passwords for Windows XP / 7/8/10. The principle of operation of most of them is to download the minimum version of an alternative operating system, such as DOS or Linux, under which you can access files with passwords.
An example of such a utility can be found at this address: http://home.eunet.no/
pnordahl / ntpasswd / Operating instructions, as well as files for creating a Linux boot disk, are available on the same site.
Please note that if you used the functions of the operating system to encrypt files and folders by changing the password using any program, you will lose access to encrypted data. In this case, the following method may help, allowing you not to replace the forgotten password with a new one, but to find out the old one.
Password cracking and decryption
If nothing else helps, but you have physical access to the computer, then not everything is lost. You can rewrite the config and SAM files and try to decrypt the passwords that are stored in them using special third-party utilities. As we already said, for this you will have to use an alternative operating system, such as DOS or Linux. And when the files are at your disposal, you can use one of the programs for decrypting passwords, for example, LC4 or Proactive Windows Security Explorer.
- Access to another computer.
- At least two empty floppy disks.
- An archiver designed to work with the command line, for example, RAR.
- A DOS or Windows 98 boot disk (the image of the required disk can be obtained at http://www.bootdisk.com/) or the minimum version of Linux (for example, Knoppix). There is no need for bootable disks if you can simply connect your hard drive to another computer. If you use a DOS boot disk, and partitions on your hard disk use the NTFS file system, then to access them you need a program that allows you to view partitions in NTFS format, for example, NTFSDOS, under DOS.
- A program for obtaining passwords. We recommend using Proactive Windows Security Explorer, since the beta version of this program is free, and the free version of LC4 is very limited.
Using a bootable flash drive:
- If your hard drive has NTFS partitions, copy the NTFSDOS file to your bootable USB flash drive.
- Copy the archiver (RAR) to the bootable USB flash drive.
- Boot the computer from this flash drive. If there are partitions with NTFS, type the NTFSDOS command, this program will show which letter is assigned to your system disk, and you will need to use it instead of the letter C in the next paragraph.
- Archive system files with passwords. For example, if you use the rar32 archiver, the corresponding command will look like this: Rar32 a -va: systemandsam c: windows system32 config system c: windows system32 config sam If the files do not fit on one USB flash drive, the archiver will ask you to insert the second.
Each of the programs you have selected will list the accounts found in the SAM file. Select the ones you need to identify passwords for. If you are using Proactive Windows Security Explorer, select Atack type: Brute-force. If you used only numbers in the password, check the box ‘all digits (0-9)’. Start the process of password selection using the command from the Recovery menu.
Password guessing can last from 10 minutes to several hours, or even several days, and may fail. Especially if the password uses letters in different registers, numbers and special characters.
This is a good way to check the strength of your passwords. If you just want to verify your password, follow the steps above and see how long it takes to find it.
Windows password cracking software
There are a lot of software tools that can help you crack a password in Windows. In addition to the above program, there is also a Windows Admin Password Hack. But, unfortunately, it cannot be called relevant anymore, since it only works in Windows 2000 / XP. Its closest replacement is the MultiBoot 2k10, which, in fact, is a rich boot disk.
In any case, if someone from your loved ones forgot the password for Windows 7, or if you yourself were forced to come across this - do not despair, there are plenty of solutions to this problem. Well, in order to questions: how to crack the password on the laptop - you no longer have, we strongly recommend that you save them somewhere, in notes inside your own smartphone, for example.
We hope that you do not have to resort to the methods described by us. To avoid such a need, remember that all important passwords must be recorded. And if there is a real need to protect information on your computer, then use passwords from characters in both registers and numbers and do not use ordinary words. In this case, your passwords will be very difficult to crack.
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