Thread: Password Reset
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17 May 2010  
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
Password Reset

How to Reset a Windows Password in Regedit at Boot

This is a fairly simple way to reset / change your Windows user account password if, for whatever reason you can't gain access to your account.

Note   Note
A big thank you to Everlong for helping me sort the last steps of this.

This tutorial can be used to reset the password in Windows 7 or Vista.
information   Information
If you don't have a proper Windows installation disk, have a look at the link below to create a repair disk that can be used to reset your user account password in Windows 7 and Vista.

(Windows 7) System Repair Disc - Create

(Vista) Create a Recovery Disc - Vista Forums

warning   Warning
Making changes to the Windows Registry has the potential to disable the PC, if you have any concerns over using the information set forth here please feel free to post a question in this same tutorial and we will be glad to help.

Be Advised: if you use this method to reset you're user account password ANY / All access to encrypted files stored in the account will be lost.
Let's get Started!

1) The Boot Priority in the BIOS needs to be set to boot first from the optical drive; insert your Windows disk and re-start the PC.
At the first screen select your language then Repair your computer then it'll do some searching, at System Recovery Options dot Use recovery tools then select the OS and click next; while there make note of the OS drive letter, it may not be C: like mine is D:.
Password Reset-recovery-tools-next.jpg
2) At the next screen select "Command Prompt" then in the Command window type "regedit" (without the quotes) and hit enter.
Password Reset-command-prompt.jpg
3) In the Registry Editor window that opens click to select "HKey_Local_Machine" then at the "File" menu select "Load Hive".
Password Reset-choose-hklm.jpg
Password Reset-hklm-load-hive.jpg
4) In the "Look In" in the "Load Hive" window that opens navigate to (in my case) LocalDiskD:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM and click "Open".
Password Reset-choose-os-drive.jpg
Password Reset-system.jpg
5) In the "Load Hive", "Key Name" box give the new key a name e.g. " 123 " (it can be whatever you like) and click OK.
Password Reset-key-name-123.jpg
6) In the left pane of the registry Editor window click the " + " sign to expand the "HKey_Local_Machine" key then click the " + " sign to expand the "123" key then click to select the "Setup" key.
Password Reset-123-setup.jpg
7) Now in the right pane right click "SetupType" and select "Modify", set the "Value data" to " 2 " and click OK.
Password Reset-setuptype-modify.jpg
Password Reset-setuptype-value.jpg
8) Again in the right pane right click "CmdLine" and select "Modify" and set the "Value data" to "cmd.exe" and click OK.
Password Reset-com.jpg
9) Now just as a precaution, close the Registry Editor at the "File" menu click "Exit"; then in the Command window that's still open type "regedit" and hit enter to open the Registry Editor again.

10) In the Registry Editor click the " + " sign to expand HKey_Local_Machine and click to select the new "123" key, at the "File" menu select "Unload Hive" and click "Yes" for the "Are you sure ..." question.
Password Reset-123-key.jpg
Password Reset-123-unload-hive.jpg
Password Reset-123-unload-hive-yes.jpg
11) Now close the Registry Editor at the "File" menu click "Exit" then in the Command window type "exit" and hit enter to close the Command window, then remove the Windows disk and restart the PC.
Password Reset-re-start.jpg
12) When the PC restarts a Command window will open, in that window type "net user <username> <new password>" mine is (net user "Bare Foot Kid" Test6) be advised: if you have a username like mine, with spaces, you must use " " quotes around the user name; when you get the "Command Completed Successfully" type "exit" in the Command window and hit enter; at the logon screen use the new password you chose.
Password Reset-test6.jpg
Tip   Tip
If you like, you could type net user in the command prompt and press Enter to see a list of all names for each user account on the PC to help use with step 12.

Password Reset-net-user.jpg


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