I found an interesting article over on Logical Expressions that provides users of the Windows operating system with a clever solution to restore access to their account even if the Windows XP user account password cannot be remembered.
This is clearly a security issue because all users, not only the user who forgot the password, can change it. The only requirement for this to work is that you have a Windows XP CD at hand that you need for this to work.
I don't want to repeat the whole article, just the essence of it. Fire up your Windows XP CD, boot from it, select Repair and let the repair process finish the restoration. Reboot when its finished and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10.
A console appears, enter nusrmgr.cpl and you have graphical access to your user accounts. You can change or remove passwords for all accounts here directly in the menu, and use the control userpasswords2 command on the prompt to configure accounts for login without password authentication. You will have to continue with the repair process though, it won't work otherwise.
A pretty handy solution, the article also gives tips on creating a password rescue disk.
Another solution that may be viable in some situations is the following. If you have a second administrator account, you can simply sign in to that account to change all other user account passwords from with the Windows interface.
Administrators need to open User Accounts in the Control Panel. There on the Users tab they can reset the password of any local user account. Once the password has been reset enter a new password and confirmation password and click ok to set it. The user from that moment on has to use this password to log in.
Additional information about this procedure, and how to change a user password with limited rights, are available on this Microsoft documentation site for the Windows XP operating system.Advertisement
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