If you’ve forgotten or lost your Windows password, you may think that you’ll have to reinstall Windows and lose all your data.
This is not necessarily the case. A recent client was in this exact situation and we successfully removed his password using the following technique.
- Prepare a Linux Live CD or USB Dongle (we used Ubuntu Desktop 12.4.1 on an 8Gb USB Dongle)
- Boot to Linux on the computer that needs its password removed
- Install “chntpw” and use it to remove the password from the desired user account
There are risks to this process and it should be undertaken by a professional technician and used as a last resort as it modifies the Windows SAM file (used to store password hashes for user accounts).
Our client has now regained access to his computer and is very happy, as was expected!