It is not something that happens very often but it might happen to you at some point. if you forget your Windows XP password or your password expires and you cannot create a new one there are several ways you can regain access to your computer, from using password reset disc, thru changing passwords via a different account to password recovery and password cracking tools.
Method 1 – use password reset disk.
If you created a password reset disk for Windows XP, reset your password by using the password reset disk. Here is how to create and use a password reset disk
Method 2 - Log on as an administrator to reset the password
If you cannot log on to Windows XP by using a particular user account, but you can log on to another account that has administrative credentials, follow these steps:
1. Log on to Windows by using the administrator account that has a password that you remember.
2. Click Start, and then click Run.
3. In the Open box, type the following command, and then click OK: control userpasswords2
4. Click the user account that you forgot the password for, and then click Reset Password.
5. Type a new password in both the New password and the Confirm new password boxes, and then click OK.
Method 3 - Use password cracking and recovery tools
Password-cracking tools are usually disks containing Linux operating system that have NTFS access and special application that can read the registry and rewrite passwords.
There are several free tools for Windows
- Offline NT Password & Registry Editor - This is a utility to (re)set the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your NT system.
- John the Ripper password cracker - John the Ripper is a fast password cracker, currently available for many flavors of Unix
- Windows Password Recovery - Login Recovery is a service provided for the legitimate retreival and recovery of windows passwords. Passwords to be decrypted are added to a queue, however due to the number of requests received, it can sometimes take up to 48 hours for a password to be decrypted. This service is provided free of charge, on the basis that you accept there may be a delay of up to two days.
- EBCD – Emergency Boot CD - EBCD is a bootable CD, intended for system recovery in the case of software or hardware faults. It is able to create backup copies of normally working system and restore system to saved state. It contains the best system software ever created, properly compiled and configured for the maximum efficient use. It can change password of any user, including administator of Windows NT/2000/XP OS. You do not need to know the old password.
- Proactive System Password Recovery - Proactive System Password Recovery (PSPR; former Advanced Windows Password Recovery) is a program to recover most types of Windows passwords.