A recent call was from a client who’s son had “forgotten the windows password”. If this call had come from a stranger I would have been concerned about a stolen laptop… but as I knew the family this was not an issue.
It is actually fairly easy to reset a password on XP.
Method 1: Take a rest, and try hard to remember the forgotten password
Have a coffee, or even come back after a few days, you may found that you suddenly ‘remember’ your Windows password.
Method 2: Try No Password Administrator Login Backdoor
In Windows XP (not Windows Vista as Administrator account is not enabled by default), there is built-in Administrator user account, that has administrative credentials, enabled by default, and without any password to protect the account from been access. If you didn’t change this Administrator’s password, then try to sign in to Windows XP without password using the method below.
Start system and when you see Windows Welcome screen / Login screen, press ctrl+alt+del keys twice and it’ll show Classic Login box. Now type “Administrator” (without quotes) in Username and leave Password field blank. Now press Enter and you should be able to log in Windows.
Method 3: Reset password from another user account with administrator credentials
If you cannot log on to Windows by using a particular user account, but you can log on to another account that has administrative credentials, follow these steps on how to do the trick:
Log on to Windows by using an administrator account that has a password that you remember. You may need to start WinXP in safe mode.
Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type “control userpasswords2″, and then click OK. Click the user account that you forgot the password for, and then click Reset Password. Type a new password in both the New password and the Confirm new password boxes, and then click OK. There are a lot of tools and utilities that can be downloaded and used to recover, reset, retrieve or reveal existing password.
If these methods do not work then there are bootable CD available which allow you to “blank” any existing XP password.