I lost my windows password and can't log in. What do I do?
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I Lost / Forgot my Windows Password. What do I do?




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QUESTION: I'm locked out of my computer because I forgot my Windows password. What can I do?

XP

If you have windows XP, there is a good chance you can get in by booting to safe mode, and then goto the control panel ---> user accounts ----> select your user account, and then delete password. Reboot computer and your password will be removed. This wont work on all XP systems, but worth trying first because it's easy and works on most XP systems. To access Safe mode, tap the F8 key when the computer is first turning on until you get to a menu that lets you select "Safe Mode" or "Safe Mode with Networking".

Windows 7 / Vista / XP

Method 1 - Factory Restore

A factory restore will wipe the computer to its original factory state and will wipe the windows password from the machine. The computer will look and behave exactly how it did when it was brand new. The downside is if you have important files that aren't safely backed up you will loose everything! A lot of factory restores have an option to back up your files before proceeding but not all have this feature. Also very rarely, some models will require the administrative password to start the factory restore without a CD, although this is really quite rare.

XP generation and older PC's rarely allow a factory restore without the disc that came with the computer, but Vista and Windows 7 generation computers almost always allow a factory restore without a CD.

To learn more about Factory Restores including how to back up your files before proceeding, please read our factory restore guide, or contact your computers manufacturer for proper instructions.

Method 2 - Reinstall Windows

If you can't do the factory restore and you have a windows installation disc. You can reinstall Windows which will remove the password. Remember if you have files that you need saved, Windows 7 should automatically back up the files into a folder called "Windows.Old". I still recommend you back up files before doing the install by booting to an Ubuntu Linux Live disc which bypasses the password and lets you access the files.

Method 3 - Linux Live CD or USB

Linux is 100% free and you can run a full operating system live from a CD, DVD, or USB Flash Stick without installing. By booting to Linux at startup, the computer. By booting to an Linux CD or DVD at startup, it will automatically bypass the password and let you access all the files on the hard drive. From there you can backup your files onto an external hard drive and then do the factory restore.

Once you are booted to Linux you can then delete or change the windows password. We recommend you use the Linux "Distro" called Backtrack Linux. It's a security distribution that comes with all the tools you need to delete, change, or crack the Windows password. Other Linux editions will work, but you'll need to have internet access to download and install the tools that Backtrack already comes with by default. It shouldn't matter which edition of backtrack you use, but we suggest you try the older edition 4, because most of the instructions are for that edition, and the newer editions have a slightly different interface.

For instructions on how to change the password, please visit http://www.wikihow.com/Change-a-Windows-User-Password-Using-Backtrack-4 or check out the guide at http://tools.question-defense.com/Cracking_Passwords_Guide.pdf

Also please watch the video below.



Method 4-Ophcrack

Ophcrack Live CD is a Windows Password cracker. You can download it for free and burn to a CD or DVD and boot to the disc at startup. Please watch the videos below to see Ophcrack in action.










ACTUAL CHAT LOG WITH QUESTION FROM Free Tech Support Chat

23:52:21 guest132 plz sumone help i have a acer laptop and my kid put a password on it and i need in it plz help sumbody
00:06:46 guest336 guest336 changes nickname to Geek1
00:06:49 Geek1 hi Guest132
00:06:53 Geek1 sorry I wasnt around
00:07:01 Geek1 You still around?
00:07:10 Geek1 I can help you with the password. Thats a common problem we get
00:08:57 guest132 okay plz if u will
00:09:15 Geek1 first...
00:09:21 Geek1 I need to find out what type of password..
00:09:30 Geek1 when you turn on the computer....
00:10:00 Geek1 does it ask for a password RIGHT AWAY..the very first thing....or does it load for a while...give messages...and then ask for a password..
00:10:13 guest132 its the one wen u turn on the laptop it boots up then it starts windows 7 and asks for a password
00:10:15 Geek1 its hard to word
00:10:21 Geek1 ok good
00:10:36 Geek1 so there are multiple ways to reset the password.....
00:11:05 Geek1 the easiest is to restore the laptop to factory reset....BUT you must back up your files first.
00:11:16 Geek1 do you have any files that need to be backed up?
00:11:23 guest132 there are no files i really need
00:11:31 Geek1 what version of windows is it?
00:11:40 Geek1 cuz if its XP...its SUPER easy to get in
00:11:50 Geek1 you just boot to safe mode and delete the password
00:11:53 guest132 its windows 7
00:11:58 Geek1 k...
00:12:03 Geek1 there are other ways as well.....
00:12:11 Geek1 you can download a disk called ophcrack
00:12:18 Geek1 and you boot to that disc...
00:12:22 Geek1 and it cracks the password.
00:12:32 guest132 where do i find it
00:12:33 Geek1 can take some time if they made it very long and robust.
00:12:36 Geek1 its free
00:12:41 Geek1 google...I can get you the link
00:12:44 Geek1 other ways.....
00:12:49 Geek1 (my favrotite way)
00:12:53 Geek1 download a linux disc
00:13:00 guest132 can it be put on usb
00:13:03 Geek1 like ubuntu....from ubuntu.com....boot to it....
00:13:05 Geek1 yes it can
00:13:07 Geek1 but
00:13:10 Geek1 its tricky
00:13:16 Geek1 easier to put on a dvd/cd
00:13:21 guest132 okay the screen is up for the password
00:13:37 Geek1 well you'd have to use a nother computer for those options...
00:13:39 Geek1 lets make it easy....
00:13:47 Geek1 you have no files needed to be backed up
00:13:53 Geek1 so just reset it to factory reset
00:14:03 Geek1 could I have the model number please?
00:14:06 guest132 i have another computer and the passworded one is beside me
00:14:12 Geek1 k
00:14:23 guest132 how do i factory reset if i cant get in it
00:14:37 Geek1 its usuually very easy.
00:14:42 Geek1 you boot to a special mode
00:14:45 Geek1 by tapping a key
00:14:48 guest132 acer aspire 5750z
00:14:48 Geek1 usually f11
00:14:51 Geek1 or f9
00:15:00 Geek1 k one moment...I'll get you the instructions
00:15:03 Geek1 its VERY easy
00:15:06 Geek1 usually
00:15:27 Geek1 getting the instructions now....
00:15:34 Geek1 remember, you will LOOSE everything
00:15:40 Geek1 it will behave like it was rihgt out of the box
00:15:43 guest132 k
00:15:46 Geek1 you will have to reinstall all programs
00:15:51 guest132 k
00:17:14 Geek1 first instructions I see:
00:17:16 Geek1 Press F2 ... Use the arrow keys and enter button and select "Main". Use the arrow keys and select D2D and enable. Press F10 to exit saving changes... Now try holding Alt and pressing F10 at start up again...
00:17:35 Geek1 wait sorry ignore that...
00:17:39 Geek1 just turn off the computer
00:17:56 Geek1 then when you first turn it on....hold down alt and tap f10
00:18:02 guest132 k its shutting down now
00:20:23 Geek1 still shutting down?
00:20:35 guest132 okay it say recovery managment
00:21:02 Geek1 great
00:21:19 Geek1 you want to do a system recovery to factory reset
00:21:23 Geek1 the wording might be different
00:21:41 guest132 restore operating system to factory defaults is that wat i need to do
00:21:47 Geek1 thats when you know you are doing the right thing
00:21:47 Geek1 but it will warn you "CAUTION YOU WILL LOOSE ALL DATA"
00:21:48 Geek1 yes
00:22:10 Geek1 that will delete the password and reset it to out of the box mode
00:22:31 Geek1 the other methods for cracking/deleting the password are really advanced methods.
00:22:36 guest132 how about a dell
00:22:50 Geek1 what version of windows is the dell running?
00:22:55 guest132 7
00:23:11 Geek1 it should also have a factory reset option
00:23:21 Geek1 unless on the VERY rare chance it came with a dvd instead
00:23:43 Geek1 almost all PC makers within the last 3 years include a "factory reset" partition
00:24:01 Geek1 Just curious. Where did you find our website?
00:24:11 guest132 how do i get to the factory reset on the dell
00:24:20 Geek1 what model is it?
00:24:11 guest132 how do i get to the factory reset on the dell
00:24:20 Geek1 what model is it?
00:24:23 guest132 i jus googled
00:24:28 Geek1 A lot of dells will tell you
00:24:32 Geek1 right when it starts up
00:24:51 Geek1 it will say press # key for system recovery
00:24:54 guest132 its a inspiron
00:25:08 Geek1 to find out...just google "model number factory reset"
00:25:33 guest132 it doesnt show a number
00:25:40 Geek1 its most likely f12
00:25:58 Geek1 turn it off....turn it on....tap f12 over and over
00:26:06 guest132 k
00:26:06 Geek1 some dells are f11
00:26:13 Geek1 sometimes f9
00:26:40 Geek1 rememeber you will loose ALL data...backups are a good thing to do regularilty
00:28:12 Geek1 be back in one second
00:28:15 guest132 i havent put anything on either one of them yet so its no biggie to lose anything
00:28:21 guest132 k
00:30:50 Geek1 back
00:30:55 Geek1 nice!
00:31:05 Geek1 factory reseting is the WAY TO GO
00:31:15 Geek1 if you can..always do it..it fixes all software problems...always
00:31:18 guest132 okay f9 or f12 does sumthing diff
00:31:22 Geek1 hardware problems obviously not
00:31:40 Geek1 do you know the exact model?
00:31:44 Geek1 I can look it up
00:31:55 Geek1 there are a lot of different dell inspirons
00:31:59 Geek1 thousands
00:32:03 guest132 how do i look for the model on the dell
00:32:04 Geek1 for the last 12 yers
00:32:11 Geek1 it should be on a sticker
00:32:14 Geek1 with a service tag
00:32:24 Geek1 somewhere on the computer..is it a laptop or desktop?
00:32:32 guest132 n5030
00:32:42 guest132 laptop
00:32:42 Geek1 k one moment
00:33:42 Geek1 first instructions I see say: Press and Hold 0 (Zero) then turn-on your Laptop. It will then take you to restore menu, select the last one on the list for a full factory restore.
00:34:09 guest132 k ill try that
00:34:11 guest132 k ill try that
00:34:35 Geek1 k. I'm still looking. that person wasnt 100% sure
00:35:03 Geek1 oh its an easy one...
00:35:06 Geek1 try this...
00:35:14 Geek1 try f8
00:35:23 Geek1 then it should have an option in the menu
00:35:29 guest132 k
00:35:36 Geek1 oops the order of the last messages was wrong
00:35:43 Geek1 try f8
00:35:46 Geek1 f8
00:36:04 Geek1 then select it from the menu
00:36:07 guest132 alt f8?
00:36:14 Geek1 no just f8
00:36:18 Geek1 turn it off...
00:36:22 Geek1 turn it on..and tap f8
00:36:31 Geek1 sorry for the doubles
00:36:43 Geek1 this browser has issues..I'm going to switch
00:37:00 guest988 joins My room
00:37:05 guest988 guest988 changes nickname to Geek2
00:37:09 Geek2 That should be better
00:37:10 guest132 it says advanced boot options
00:37:14 Geek2 yes. much better
00:37:24 Geek2 nothing about system restore?
00:37:45 guest132 none of them say factory reset
00:38:03 guest132 Geek1 quit (timeout)
00:38:14 guest132 directory services restore mode
00:38:23 Geek2 K everyone is saying its somewhere in the f8 options
00:38:26 Geek2 multiple people
00:38:30 Geek2 its hiding somewhere in there
00:38:38 Geek2 I wish they would give more specific instructions
00:38:43 Geek2 I'll find it
00:38:50 Geek2 oh restore mode!
00:38:56 Geek2 goto restore mode
00:39:05 Geek2 the terminology is always different
00:40:06 Geek2 any luck?
00:40:18 Geek2 guest132 quit (timeout)
00:40:30 guest132 k
00:40:40 Geek2 its working now?
00:40:58 guest132 the acer is restarting looks like from scratch lets hope
00:40:59 Geek2 Just curious, are you in Eugene, Oregon?
00:41:06 Geek2 it will be from scratch
00:41:23 guest132 no north carolina why/
00:41:29 Geek2 cool!
00:41:37 Geek2 This is a business in Eugene, Oregon
00:41:46 Geek2 I help people from everywhere though
00:41:52 Geek2 where did you find the site?
00:42:09 guest132 on google
00:42:23 Geek2 cool.
00:42:52 Geek2 if you get a chance. Please like us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eugene-Computer-Geeks/226660334011653
00:43:07 guest132 ok no prob
00:43:07 Geek2 Twitter: http://twitter.com/EugeneComputerG
00:43:13 Geek2 Thanks.
00:43:21 guest132 the dell is giving men problems
00:43:28 Geek2 whats its saying?
00:43:43 guest132 my name is jason wats yours
00:43:48 Geek2 Cameron
00:44:12 Geek2 you aren't able to get the dell into factory restore mode?
00:44:25 guest132 man the acer is doing its thing
00:44:36 Geek2 it will take quite a while
00:44:37 guest132 no the dell is retarded
00:44:45 Geek2 usually takes 20-50 min
00:44:55 Geek2 whats going on with the dell?
00:45:12 Geek2 Did you select "restore" from the f8 menu?
00:45:55 guest132 it isnt giving a option to restore wen i hit it it asked for another password
00:46:26 Geek2 thats strange. It shouldn't ask for another password
00:48:34 guest132
00:49:02 guest132 the dell isnt doing it an other suggetions
00:49:39 Geek2 whats the problem that you are having with the dell in the first place?
00:49:55 Geek2 you're recovery partition might have been damaged
00:50:13 Geek2 I know for sure with your model it is f8
00:50:22 Geek2 that should give you a menu...
00:50:31 Geek2 with "safe mode with networking"
00:50:34 Geek2 "safe mode"
00:50:38 Geek2 and a bunch of other options
00:50:49 Geek2 if that isn't working...something must be really wrong
00:50:59 Geek2 then you need to get a disc from dell
00:51:04 Geek2 they usually aren't too expensive
00:51:07 Geek2 $30 or so
00:51:13 Geek2 and then you could boot to that disc
00:51:31 Geek2 if you could be more specific about what happens after you press "f8" that would be very helpful
00:52:09 Geek2 that disc would have all the software needed to do a factor restore
00:52:29 guest132 it gives those options u jus mentioned but wen i choose one it dont do wat the other one did
00:52:49 Geek2 Could you list all the options off?
00:52:58 Geek2 in order please/
00:53:36 guest132 yeah give me sec
00:55:22 Geek2 k
00:58:12 guest132 safe mode, safe mode wit networking, safe mode wit command prompt, enable boot logging, enable low resolution video, last known good config, directory services restore mode, debugging mode, disable auto restart on system failure, disable driver signature enforcment,and start windows normally
00:58:21 guest132 there they r
01:02:22 guest132 if i had ur number i wud send u a pic of the screen and wat it says
01:08:35 Geek2 oh sorry
01:08:36 Geek2 back
01:09:07 Geek2 what happens when you select "directory services restore mode"?
01:09:32 Geek2 sorry to make you type those out...but that did help
01:09:48 guest132 it runs a list of files and restarts
01:10:17 Geek2 shoot. It should have another option...very strange indeed.
01:10:24 Geek2 a few things you can do...
01:10:26 guest132 the acer is installing updates and doing its thing this dell isnt doing anything
01:10:51 Geek2 thats because "directory services restore mode" isn't the right one...its missing
01:11:00 Geek2 you tried tapping f12...
01:11:16 guest132 no not yet will do now tho
01:11:22 Geek2 k
01:11:29 Geek2 also...f2
01:11:31 Geek2 esc
01:11:32 Geek2 delete
01:11:38 Geek2 try all of those
01:12:54 Geek2 If you cannot perform a Dell Factory Image Restore by pressing the F8 key whle booting up and choosing "Repair Your Computer" you will need to manually format and reinstall Windows. This utility formats the operating system hard drive partition prior to restoring the factory image. This means data on that partition is deleted and cannot be recovered.
01:13:08 Geek2 ok scratch that..Im pretty sure none of those are going to work
01:13:27 Geek2 so you don't see "Repair Your Computer"...when you press f8?
01:13:44 guest132 yes
01:14:04 guest132 it asks for a password too
01:14:26 Geek2 really???
01:14:37 Geek2 thats very odd...
01:14:44 Geek2 someone must have set a BIOS password
01:14:58 Geek2 the only way to remove that password is to take out the watch battery on the laptop
01:14:58 Geek2 the only way to remove that password is to take out the watch battery on the laptop
01:15:04 Geek2 then turn it on with the watch battery out
01:15:14 Geek2 they are usually a bit of a pain to remove on laptops
01:15:18 guest132 system recovery op[tions
01:15:19 Geek2 sometimes a HUGE pain
01:15:29 Geek2 yes try that!
01:15:34 guest132 wat watch batteryu
01:15:46 Geek2 there is a watch battery INSIDE your computer
01:16:00 Geek2 but wait...
01:16:15 Geek2 you see an option for system recovery??
01:17:51 guest132 it says to access the command prompt as well log on useing admin account asks for password
01:18:13 Geek2 very strange...
01:18:18 Geek2 I wish I could see it somehow..
01:18:43 Geek2 I'd like to be able to tell you what type of password it is, so I can give you the correct method
01:19:00 guest132 its a grey box that says system recovcery options
01:19:05 Geek2 from what you are telling me..It doesn't sound like a BIOS password
01:19:32 Geek2 thats really messed up. Dell must have a lame feature on your computer where it requires a password to reset to factory..
01:19:43 Geek2 *the password not a password
01:20:00 Geek2 I would call dell and they should be able to work you through the steps for free
01:20:09 guest132 yeah the other one is doing great
01:20:14 Geek2 at the very worst you might have to order the cd
01:20:20 Geek2 cool.
01:20:29 Geek2 Can you not get into the dell at all?
01:20:41 Geek2 you're also locked out of the dell?
01:20:44 guest132 okay ill try that how do i mark this chat room so i can find it easy again
01:21:02 guest132 no the dell has a user password
01:21:06 Geek2 you can bookmark it or add it to your favorites...depends on what browser you use
01:21:17 Geek2 do you know the password for the dell?
01:21:26 guest132 no
01:21:44 Geek2 thats very odd that it wont let you restore to factory reset
01:21:44 Geek2 thats very odd that it wont let you restore to factory reset
01:21:50 Geek2 it should without the password
01:22:01 Geek2 thats one of the main reason people use that feature!
01:22:22 Geek2 wish you were in town. I'd be able to figure out really quickly by looking at it
01:22:39 Geek2 very hard through a chat
01:22:48 guest132 yes it is
01:22:54 Geek2 If I were you, I'd call Dell
01:23:07 guest132 ive tried everything u hav told me
01:23:13 Geek2 I have software that lets me control your computer, but you have to download it...and know the password
01:23:23 Geek2 yea. Something isn't right with it
01:23:32 Geek2 sometimes the recovery partition becomes corrupted
01:23:38 Geek2 and you need to order a disc from dell
01:23:47 guest132 i will call them later and see wat can be done
01:23:50 Geek2 if you call them, they will have better instructions then I can give
01:24:13 Geek2 If I had that model in front of me I'd be able to give better instructions
01:24:24 guest132 wat is the name of this web site of yours it doesnt give me a bookmark option anywhere
01:24:25 Geek2 they have ALL the info on ALL models
01:24:42 Geek2 its "Eugene Computer Geeks"
01:24:53 Geek2 just type that into google and you will find us
01:25:08 guest132 i will rremember that thanx for ur help bro
01:25:09 Geek2 or like us on facebook...and you will be able to find us that way too
01:25:14 Geek2 no problem. Any time

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