Forgot Windows XP Password – Reset without Knowing It
When we forgot Windows XP password, we may visit Microsoft official site to ask for help. But we often get this info, “If you do not have a reset disk or cannot log on as an administrator, unfortunately, you may have to reinstall Windows OS and all other programs that were installed on the computer before you can use the computer again. This is for security. Without these safeguards, anyone could reset a password to anyone else’s computer and gain access to private information. (Source from Microsoft official info.)
This is said that we have only two ways to reset a lost Windows XP password, using password reset disk and via login with another account with admin privileges. Because of this, lots of people think that they have to reinstall windows system when they were locked out of Windows. However, here are some methods which can be used to reset Windows XP password without data lost.
Method-1 Reset Windows XP password in Safe Mode when I forgot my Windows XP password
In fact, you may know that when we installed Windows XP, it automatically created an account “Administrator” with blank password. So when you forgot Windows XP password you can get into Safe Mode as this built-in administrator and reset other users’ password:
1. Start system and hit F8 until Windows Advanced Option table appears. Select Safe Mode and press Enter.
2. In the login screen, type “Administrator” (Without quotes, Note: Do this If you do not know any other administrator user account) in Username box and leave the password box field blank. Press Enter and you should be able to log in Windows XP.
3. Now you can reset your account password via “Control Panel -> User Accounts”.
4. Pick an account you want to change.
5. Select Change the password or Remove the password.
6. Type the appropriate information and click Change Password.
NOTE: If you created a password for the built-in administrator, this method may be invalid unless you know the password.
Method-2 Reset Windows XP password via delete SAM files
In Windows NT / 2000 / XP, system uses SAM(Security Account Manager) to manage the safety of user account. SAM uses Security Identifier to perform Account management. The Security Identifier(SID) was created with the user account, and once you delete the user account, the SID also be deleted at the same time. One SID with only one account even if the same user name created in different time will with different SID. Therefore, once an account is reconstructed, it will be given a different SID, and won’t keep the original jurisdiction. SAM performs with /System Root/system32configsam file. This file is a Windows NT/2000/XP user account database, all user name and password and related information can be stored in this file.
Now a solution appears: When forgot my Windows XP password, we can delete the SAM file, then start system, it will rebuild a clean SAM file automatically with no password inside. However, if you delete the SAM, some systems will start to go wrong in some cases.
If you cannot access system as administrator or have not created a password reset disk, you can use the second method. But this method is complicated that you have to boot DOS and it will make the system in risk.
Is there another simple and efficient solution can be used to reset Windows XP password? Answer is affirmative. Recently there are lots of windows password recovery tools on the network, but it is not every tool can solve the problem quickly. These programs can reset the password within several minutes, and the operation is simple. Supports all Windows versions, such as Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows server 2008/2003/2000 and Windows vista etc. You only need a blank CD or USB Flash Drive to complete the task.
Method 3 Use Windows Password Rescuer when you forgot Windows XP password
- Purchase Windows Password Rescuer Personal full version and install it on another computer you can access. Plug in a writable USB flash drive. Run the software and create a boot disk by burning to USB.
- Plug in the newly created USB to your locked computer, set the computer to boot from USB.
- After restarting, Windows Password Rescuer will run and display a friendly interface. Click an user account from list and click Reset Password. When a confirm message pops up, click YES.
- Now you have successfully reset the password as blank, click Reboot to restart you computer then you can login Windows XP without password!
This is a fast and simple way that even PC novice can do it. I highly recommend the last method to you when you forgot Windows XP password, because it has no limit in any versions of Windows XP and all system setup and files will not be lost.