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In this Humble Hacker tutorial, we will reset a Windows 7 password. This also works with Windows Vista and Windows XP.
NOTE: This tutorial is for educational purposes only, and for whenever you forget your password on YOUR computer.
There are so many passwords that I have had to remember. Social networking accounts (twitter and facebook), gaming consoles, STEAM, email services, debit card and credit card pin numbers, computer passwords and more. Forgetting your passwords suck. Forgetting the answer to a security question too…now that’s even worse.
But if you’re locked out of your Windows PC, this the fastest and easiest way to get your account back.
What We Want
So what are we trying to accomplish today:
- Access to our windows account (Duh!). We will do this by resetting out account. It will be much faster than password cracking, and we always set up a new password once we’re logged in.
What We Need
To reset your Windows account, you will need the following materials:
- Another WORKING, WINDOWS computer. There are some things you need to download and set up first, so borrow a friend’s laptop if you don’t have another one.
- A USB drive. Make sure it is empty and has at least 1GB of space.
- An internet connection. To follow this tutorial and download the required files.
- A drive to learn. Otherwise you can just live with your locked computer.
Once you’ve got all the required materials/devices, we can begin!
HACK IT UP!
- First things first, turn off your locked computer and set it aside. We will come back to it later. Now power up your (or your friend’s) working computer and log in.
- Open up your favourite web browser and download to the desktop the “Reset Windows Password Disk Image” from the following link: http://bit.ly/18JYNAa. I have scanned the file numerous times for viruses, but you can always double check by scanning it with your antivirus software too. You should end up with a file on your desktop with the name: rwps.iso
- Now, you need to download the “Passcape IsoBurner”application to your desktop as well. You can get it at:http://bit.ly/10MFPr4 . You will get a file with the name: pib.zip
- Extract the pib.zip file to the desktop.
- Once the extraction is complete, plug your empty USB driveinto the computer. Open your extracted folder (should be calledpib) and start the “IsoBurner” application.
Now you will be looking at the IsoBurner application screen, do the following steps:
- Select “Create Bootable USB disk” and browse to rwps.iso as the sourced iso image file. Click next.
- In the “Available USB Drives” drop down menu, select the name of your empty USB drive. Then click the Create button.
- Once the program has finished burning the image to the USB, click on the Exit button. You can now unplug your USB drive and set this working computer aside. Now we will move on to the locked computer.
The next few steps deal with your locked computer, you should go get it now and complete the following steps:
- Make sure your locked computer is off.
- Insert the USB drive. Now turn on the computer and repeatedly press a function key to open the boot menu. In Sony VAIO laptops, this function key is F11. In Toshiba computers, the key is F12. Some other makes use a F8 key. You should check your computer’s manual (if you haven’t thrown it out) for your specific boot menu key.
- If successful, you will now see a screen that “Windows is Loading Files” followed by a screen that reads PASSCAPE RESET PASSWORD. If you do not see these screens, you either pressed the wrong function key, or you may have waited to long. Just force-restart your computer with the USB plugged in and try pressing the right key again. This should be pressed BEFOREseeing your computer manufacturer’s logo.
Moving on, the following steps will deal with the Passcape Reset Password screen:
- Leave the settings as-is. The language can remain English, the recovery mode should be set to SAM, and the drop down menu should read: “Reset or Change User Account Password”. Click Next.
- In this next menu, do not change anything. Just click Next.
- Now, you will see a list of all the computer’s accounts. Select the account you are trying to reset. This account will have a “lock” symbol next to it. Click Next to proceed.
- Again, do not change anything in the next menu. Just click Reset/Change. A dialog will pop up saying “Do you want to create a Roll Back* file?” Hit Yes. Save the RollBack file to the desktop. You will get yet another pop up to announce that the Account has been successfully modified and that you can close the program, REMOVE the USB and restart your computer. Just hit the OK button.
- Now, click the Exit button, and click Yes to restart the computer. ONCE the computer is off, remove the USB.
- Your computer will now boot up. Your account’s password will have been reset (so there is no password) and you are successful.
HOORAH! I recommend that you keep your Password Reset USB for another day. You never know when you’ll need to reset your account again. Also, you can go into your Control Panel and set up a new password for your account. Security is important.
Please remember to share this post, and leave a shout-out in the comments if you run into any problems.
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