Windows passwords tutorial

<< Prev
Next >>

Introduction

It sometimes happens, for various reasons, to forget the password or to lose the notebook or mobile phone in which we wrote the Windows password.
If I only had a user password and there is an administrator, then it will be able to reset the password or delete / create usernames and passwords. But if there is only one administrator with the right to administer, then it is more complicated.
Windows provides us with the option to create a password reset disk.


Create reset password disk


- Connect a USB stick or SD card to your PC (laptop).
- Click the Windows key + S (Search) key, type: User account and click Change User account (or go to Control Panel and go to Change User Account).


Account

- Click Create a password reset disk:


Account

- Click Next:


Account

- Choose the storage medium for the reset disk (in our case the USB stick) and click Next


Account

Type the current password of your PC and click Next


Account

The password reset disk will be created. Click Finish and disconnect the storage media from your PC (laptop)


Account

This password reset disk is very important and should be kept with care. If the windows password is forgotten, connect the USB stick or SD card to the PC and start the PC.
- In the login screen, no password is typed, but click Reset password.
- Choose the storage medium (USB stick or SD card, which is the password reset disk) and click Next.
- Type a new password and reconfirm it.
- Click Finish. Disconnect the storage media from your PC and restart the PC. Enter the new password you just entered and everything is ok.


As not many PC users have created a password reset disk, it would seem that the only solution is reinstalling the operating system.
If we were as cautious and have at least 2 disk partitions (eg disk C and D), and on disk C we have Windows and on disk D we have saved the most important files, then when reinstalling the Operating System we will only lose data on disk C (including installed programs) and the data on disk D will remain intact.
Or we can remove the HDD and mount it on another PC / laptop as a secondary HDD, and then we can save the remaining files on disk C (but Windows can not be used anymore).
For such situations, password reset programs have appeared, such as: Windows Password Recovery Pro, Password Removal Tool, iSeepassword Windows Password Recovery Pro, Windows Password Refixer, PCUnlocker that creates a bootable USB stick and which when booting the PC , can reset the password.
But they are not free, and the free version can not reset the password, but only other options.
So the only free solution would be reinstalling Windows (with lost programs installed).


But there is still hope. Test the strength of Linux. (this path is only indicated by those who are initiated in Linux and understand the commands in the Terminal. Any mistake can lead to the final destruction of the installed Windows).


Password reset for Windows 7/8/10 using Linux

We downloaded a Linux distribution (in our case the Ubuntu 18.04 iso image on 64bit).
- Create a bootable USB stick with this distribution (as in the previous tutorial).
- Insert the stick into the PC (with Windows with forgotten password) and start PC. Ubuntu 18.04. starts. A window appears asking if we want installation or just testing (Live Ubuntu on the USB stick).


Ubuntu

Click on the Try Ubuntu button (no installation). The main Ubuntu screen will appear.


Ubuntu

First we set up the Internet connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) to be functional. Then click the bottom left button to access applications:


Ubuntu

Click on the Ubuntu Software Center.


Ubuntu

Check the Community-mainained free and open-source software (main) option and click the Revert button. The application update process will start. We will then open the Terminal and update to the Ubuntu repository. To do this, we type in the terminal:


sudo apt-get update


Ubuntu

Now we will install the utility we need to reset the Windows password, which is called chntpw (and found in the Ubuntu repository). To do this, we type in the Terminal:


sudo apt-get install chntpw


Ubuntu

Once this program is installed, we browse System explorer in Windows C (now called like / dev / sda1), then in the Windows / System32 / config directory. We will notice that there are SAM files where user and password information is stored.
In this directory (config), right-click, we will open the Terminal.


Ubuntu
Ubuntu

To view existing users and their rights, we will type in the Terminal:


chntpw -l SAM


The list of users will appear, as in the following image.


Ubuntu

Choose from the table the name of the user for whom we want to reset the Windows password (get Windows without password, in our case for the Danny user) and type in the Terminal:


chntpw -u Danny SAM


Ubuntu

The prompt will appear: Select: [q]> and a few options. We will type 1 (which means Clear (blank) user password) followed by Enter.
When you press Enter, it clears the number 1 (as if pressing backspace) and nothing seems to happen, but the password was reset.
Now type q (which means Quit editing user, back to user select). We are asked if we want to save the changes made. Type y (yes) and close the Terminal.
Disconnect the USB stick from the PC and restart the PC. Windows will start correctly without the password. That's all.


<< Prev
Next >>