It is human to forget passwords, this is actually happening to everyone once in a while. Fortunately there are ways to recover passwords if you fail to remember them. Many web based services send it to you again, you can use tools like Snadboys Revelation to check on passwords in Windows that are hidden with *****. There is however no obvious way to recover or change a forgotten password in Windows.
Many users get that desperate that they reinstall Windows to be able to choose a new password. This is not necessary and I'm going to tell you why. You do need a little tool called NT Passwords which has to be burned to a CD after unzipping it. You can use tools like Nero Burning Rom to burn the ISO file. The tool works with Windows 2000 and XP only, no Vista support yet.
Boot your system from CD and you should see a prompt that asks for user input. The first step would be to select the partition of your Windows installation. After that the program asks for the path to the Windows registry, this depends on your version. For xp it would be "windows/system32/config", for Windows 2000 "winnt/system32/config".
Just press enter in the next dialog which will lead to the password reset options. Press enter again because choice  "Edit User Data and Passwords" is what we want.
Enter the username that you want to change the password from, remember it is case sensitive. You will be prompted to enter a new password. If you want you can change the passwords for other accounts as well or leave the program by hitting "!", then "q" to quit and Y to accept the changes.
The last step would be to remove the CD from the drive and boot into Windows as usual.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.