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Tool to reset Windows 7 Password?

Posted on 2012-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I was wondering if there's any way to use a Windows PE CD created in Windows 7 to reset a forgotten Windows password? Perhaps there's a free utility I can add before creating the ISO file?
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Question by:mcpp661
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Run5k earned 500 total points
ID: 37705838
If you are trying to reset a Windows 7 local password and/or enable an account, download the freeware ISO file from here:

Petter Nordahl-Hagen's Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

After you have burned that ISO to disc, boot up into the Linux environment and reset your password.  I have been using this utility to help people with their forgotten Windows passwords for over ten years, and unless the hard drive has actually been encrypted it has worked every time! Here is a comprehensive tutorial on how to utilize it:

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/ontpre-screenshot-guide.htm

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/ontpre-screenshot-guide-p2.htm

There are two important steps within that tutorial that warrant extra attention:

- When you reach the User Edit Menu stage of the process it's best to select "1" to Clear (blank) user password.  You can always change the password to something more secure after you successfully log into Windows with the blank password.

- When you reach Step FOUR: Writing back changes, you will be queried with About to write file(s) back! Do it? [n].  If you inadvertently pressed Enter on this screen the changes won’t go into effect.  You need to specifically type "y" first for the updates to be written to the operating system.
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by:Run5k
ID: 37705870
That being said, if you really want to utilize a first-party tool from Microsoft they do exist, but you would need to have access to the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack as a Software Assurance customer, MSDN subscriber, or through a TechNet subscription.  With that, you could create a Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) disc that is essentially a Windows PE disc with a comprehensive set of recovery tools, including a password reset utility.

Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 37705899
I have all the MS DaRT discs including the old ERD Commander discs and have found that Peter Nordahl's password reset utility is quicker and more reliable. Plus it works on all the NT family of Windows from NT 4.0 thru Windows 7 and it doesn't matter whether it's a 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows.
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