Need help retrieve forgotten Vista password

January 20, 2010 at 23:10:33
Specs: Windows XP
I have forgotten my windows logon pasword. I am afraid to cut my computer off for fear I won't be able to get back into it. Please help me retrieve my password or by pass it, either one. I need a baby steps tutorial since I am not too computer savvy as you can see. Please help. I'll stay online untill I get a response.

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January 21, 2010 at 07:40:07
OK, so you're logged in now, and you've forgotten your password. Unfortunately, if you've forgotten your password, there's little you can do while logged in to your user profile. But, not to worry... Windows XP is so easy to bypass passwords. I'm assuming that you're a home user, and unless your machine was set up professionally, your computer has more backdoors than a sleazy bar.

Before doing this, TRY to remember your password. I'm not trying to chastise you, but could you provide some insight as to how you could log in to Windows with your password, and then forget it once you're logged in? If I were a betting man, I would say that you changed your password in the control panel, and then immediately forgot what it was. Do you have a password hint? You could have provided one when you first installed Windows or at the Users Control Panel. Regardless, we're going to do this with minimal problems.

As much as you probably don't want to, you're going to need to shut your computer off. Now, if you absolutely could not bear it if this process doesn't work and you're afraid of being locked out forever (which is impossible with an XP machine.) Use a USB drive and back up your most vital documents. Personally, it's an unnecessary step, but it's there for you.

OK, with your computer turned off, follow the procedures:

1. After 30 seconds, turn the computer on.
2. Start pressing the F8 key until you get a menu of options.
3. Use your arrow keys to select the following option: Safe Mode with Network Support.
4. Press enter. You'll see a scary screen with a bunch of text flying by. It's normal. Booting into Safe Mode may take longer than normal. Be patient.
5. You're probably set up to use the welcome screen. When it comes up, you'll notice that there's a NEW user account... It's a chess piece and it says ADMINISTRATOR. Congratulations, you've found the hidden ADMIN account, and it DOESN'T have a password. What was Microsoft thinking?
6. You guessed it, click on the ADMINISTRATOR account and log in to that profile.
7. Once the desktop is loaded, click Start, go to control panel, and double click the User Accounts. *icon only visible if you are in Classic Control Panel view. Switch to classic view.
8. The system will show you the user profiles installed on the computer. Click your profile (the one that you don't know the password to.)
9. You'll see some options on the left hand side of the window, one of which is to "RESET PASSWORD." Click on that bad boy. Because you have ADMIN access, you'll just go through the steps, establish a new password, and you'll be done.
10. Close all windows, log out, and shut down the machine. Turn it back on and enter your new password when prompted.

Wow, isn't is scary how easy it is to completely remove or change a user password in Windows XP? Please, upgrade or plug the security holes (that would require a book.)

... there is a possibility that this won't work. Maybe this backdoor has been plugged by MS, but I doubt it. Then again, I haven't used XP since Vista came out. Haven't looked back. Now using Windows 7. What a major improvement.

Best of luck to you!

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January 21, 2010 at 07:49:22
@#$%^&# but you did not hear it from me (hacking tool) you just happened to Google it and found it your self.

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January 21, 2010 at 09:17:09

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Related Solutions

January 21, 2010 at 10:38:48
Bad bad badd....
You do not need to do all of this to get it back.

If you can log into any user on there, Simply click
Start > Run then type CMD then press enter.
For Vista, Click the start button, type CMD press enter.

Then type Net user
Then enter, You will get a list of usernames.
Then type 'Net user' again, This time put your username after it then a space, then your desired username.
For me it would be like this.
Net user Matt Newpassword
My passworld will become 'Newpassword'

This will change that usernames password to hello
If you want to change your password to one you prefer, Replace 'hello' with the password you want.

And there you go, You can log in with that new password.

Can't log into any user?
Run your PC in Safe mode with Command prompt

Then when CMD comes up do the same as above.
I hope that helps.

Need help? Just ask. :)

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January 21, 2010 at 10:41:27
LOL, shows you how useful passwords are, though.

Um, isn't that what Patric said?

Any ways those only work if he has not run any updates or if the user he can log in with has administrator rights.

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January 21, 2010 at 11:51:00
"Bad bad badd...."

I agree.

patrickvogt's instructions have one very important glitch.

If you change or remove the password that way, ALL of the personal settings, files, etc. for the user you don't know the password for are DELETED - e.g. in XP and 2000, everything in \Documents and Settings\ the user you don't know the password for\ all subfolders of that - and the parent folder \the user you don't know the password for - and they DO NOT show up in the Recycle bin.
- e.g. if the user used Outlook Express or Outlook, all the email and assocaited files, attachments, are stored there by default. Everything in My Documemts or whatever Vista calls it and it's subfolders will be gone for that user. Data for programs the user installed, or other Microsoft programs, is often stored there.

If you change the password Matt's way, all that stuff is still there.

We're assuming you actually have the legitimate right to access the user. People who don't often claim they have forgotten the password - e.g. a thief, or someone who bought a computer from someone who stole the computer, knowingly or unknowingly.
How likely is it someone would forget a password they have to use every time they use a user - very unlikely.

Since there is no way for us to verify whether a person has the legitimate right to access the user, I would suggest, Matt, that you do not supply that info in future on this site. In fact, you should delete that info in your post.

If you DO NOT have the legitimate right to access the user, you can still use patrickvogt's instructions to create a new user, if you can access the Administrator mode.
"you've found the hidden ADMIN account, and it DOESN'T have a password."

It doesn't by default, but one may have been installed.

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January 21, 2010 at 14:05:34
Good point I redacted my post.

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