In order to remove the Windows password* you will have to get deep down into your operating system where its hidden treasures (like the OS's passwords) are stashed. Guarding access to these passwords is your enemy: the SAM or SAM ""Security Account Manager". You'll have to fight him to get your treasured "passwords", but you won't have to fight alone. Your trusty sword in this battle against the Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 guardians isn't the legendary Excalubir; it's NTPWEdit which will be used along with a live Windows-based operating system. If you're worried about your armor, don't be. You've got Hiren's Boot. Just remember this: even heroes of password recovery become villains when they try to use an unauthorized version of Windows.
Tools You'll Need
Hirens Boot (read the instructions and download the CD which includes NTPWEdit)
NTPW Edit (This download will only work if you have a live Windows CD to run it from.)
Now you're ready to watch and follow the Windows 8 and 8.1.0 instructional videos below.
Or, if you're running Windows 7.0, follow these instructions.
And the instructions for Windows XP are in this video.
- Configure the BIOS so that the computer boots from a CD, DVD, or USB drive (video)
- Insert the Hiren's Boot CD 15.2 and boot up the computer.
- Start in Mini Windows XP mode.
- Go to the HBCD Menu icon, then Programs, then Passwords/Keys, then Windows Login, and finally run NTPWEdit (Reset User XP/Vista/7 Password).
- Click the (Re)Open button.
- In the User list box, select the User who's password you want to change.
- Click Change password.
- Enter a new password.
- Click OK.
- Click Save changes.
- And be sure to share this tutorial on Facebook or any other social network you use 😉
After these steps all that's left to do is restart, remove the Hiren's Boot disc and start Windows. Enter in your new password and VOILA! You have defeated the Guardian of the Passwords despite all of their encryption.
If you run into any problem during battle, such as: not being able to boot from the USB drive where Hiren's Boot was created or not being able to find where the passwords are hidden - just read the following helpful information.
How to Boot the PC from a USB Drive
Before following these steps be sure to connect your USB drive.
- Press the function key to enter BIOS. If you aren't sure how to do this, just do a quick Google search for "how to enter BIOS with HP (enter the model number here)". Typically, you can enter the BIOS using the F2, F12, or ESC keys.
- Start the PC and immediately begin pressing the function key multiple times until you see the BIOS screen.
- Navigate to the Boot Order option and set the PC to boot from the USB drive. Then save and exit BIOS.
If you've already found the SAM folder but still can't get the Change password button to work, you could try resetting the SAM folder permissions:
- From inside Mini Windows XP find and then right click on the SAM folder.
- Choose Reset NTFS Permissions to eliminate the current permissions and gain access to the SAM folder.
- Go back to Step #4 and restart the video from 1:16.
*Note: This process eliminates the previous password and replaces it with the new password of your choosing.