Change Windows 7 password and now can’t remember the password? You are given a spare computer but don’t know the login password? The administrator account is locked out after too many failed password attempts? Is there a way to get around these password problems?
Windows encrypts user account passwords on your hard drive to provide better security. It even prevents any external tampering while Windows is running so that the only way to reset / recover Windows password would be through a boot CD. With the right boot CD you can circumvent Windows security restrictions and reset the password directly.
If you’d like to learn how to recover Windows password, there are multiple methods of doing so – some are easy and some are painstakingly difficult – but each of them comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are 2 best Windows password recovery tools for you to recover or reset forgotten Windows 7/Vista/XP passwords.
Method 1: Reset Windows Password (Recommendation)
We’re going to start off with the easiest method of cracking Windows password and access a Windows PC, which is using a Windows password reset CD. All you need to do is download the ISO image of Reset Windows Password utility. Next, you will have to burn the ISO image file you just downloaded onto a CD. Boot the computer from the CD and The boot CD allows you to safely reset any pre-existing admin or user account password. You will then be able to reboot and quickly log back into Windows with an empty password.
This method is quite easy, which can help you instantly reset local admin/user passwords on Windows 7/Vista/XP. It can also reset domain administrator passwords on Windows Server 2008/2003/2000. One main flaw is that you can’t access EFS encrypted files after resetting Windows password. But EFS is rarely used so this isn’t a big concern.
Method 2: Recover Windows Password
If you’re facing the challenge of an EFS-encrypted PC, the only option you have left is to use a brute force attack to crack Windows password. Now, this can take from a few hours to days, depending on the speed of your PC and the complexity of the password, so patience is a must. You will need to download and burn the Ophcrack Live CD and boot the computer from the CD. After it loads up all the files, you will be brought to a GUI, where you can start to crack your password.
Although this method works on EFS encrypted files and operating systems, there is still a big problem as it can’t recover every Windows password, especially complicated passwords as that requires a few weeks or even months to crack a password. So you do have a small chance to recover the original password. Another problem is that Ophcrack Live CD doesn’t support domain controller.
Method 1 should be able to solve all major problems of forgetting Windows password. It’s also much easier to use and more effective than Method 2. But each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses. Which password recovery tool is better for you to unlock your computer? It all depends on your situation.