So you forgot your Windows password or you bought a used one and the person forgot to remove the required passwords… what do you do? Fortunately we have a tutorial for you here about how to get your Windows machine working again.
Here are a few ways to get into your Windows machine:
1. Use a Linux Live CD To Retrieve The Files
You can use any Linux Live CD to get into your computer and grab the files. Download the .ISO file for any Linux distribution (such as Ubuntu) and burn it to a CD. Put the CD in any computer you want to access and select the option to boot from the CD.
When opening the CD, click on “Try Ubuntu.” After that you can access most of the files on the hard drive from the Places menu in the menu bar. Select the Windows drive and you will be able to see that NTFS formatted drives work fine.
If you are still struggling to get root access, you can open a terminal window and type Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Then type in “gksudo nautilus.” Leave the password as blank. You will then have access to everything.
2. Reset Your Password Using A System Rescue CD
You need to download the .ISO for the System Rescue Live CD and burn it to a CD. You will need to boot from the CD and select the default option after the blue screen comes up. Then type fdisk – 1 in the command-line interface to see all of the partitions and drives on your computer.
Pick the Windows partition, which is usually the largest NTFS partition and remember the name of it (example: /dev/sda3)
Type in the following command (replace the /dev/sda3 based on what it says on your computer) :
ntfs-3g /dev/sda3 /mnt/windows -o force
Then type in this command to get into your config folder:
In this folder you want to edit the SAM file to get the list of users:
chntpw ?l SAM
Now type in the command and replace my name with the username that you want to reset the password:
chntpw ?u “Amit Chowdhry” SAM
Then press 1 and hit Enter. This clears the user password and makes it blank again. When it asks you if you want to write hive files, hit “y.” Then type in “reboot” to restart the computer. When you boot Windows, you can log in to the user account without the password.
3. Hack The Password Using Ophcrack
You can use software called Ophcrack to crack a Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 operating system. To hack the Windows 7 password (use the Windows Vista LiveCD ISO on the Ophcrack Download Page).
Ophcrack will take a little while to boot up and you’ll notice the software attempting to crack with different passwords at the top pane. When it finds out the correct password, it will let you know. If it doesn’t find out the password, then it will also notify you that it cannot figure it out.
Prevent Your Computer Password From Being Hacked
I would recommend using encryption tools for your files and making your password very long (14 characters or more). Make sure that the password that you set is easy for you to remember and is not a dictionary word. This way you don’t forget your password and end up having to hack it using one of the above methods.