forgot windows 7 password

Posted on 2012-08-21
Last Modified: 2013-02-23
User has forgotten user (not BIOS) password for Windows 7 (Starter) on an Acer Aspire ONE netbook.  Anyway to reset it without wiping drive and reinstalling Windows?
Question by:easybill
    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    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

    After you have burned that ISO to disc, boot up into the self-contained 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:

    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.
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    ...and if the Aspire ONE netbook doesn't have an optical drive, there are also instructions on Petter Nordahl-Hagen's web page showing us how to install his utility on a bootable USB drive.

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