How can I reset a admin password that is forgotten?
March 27, 2015 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I have a Toshiba laptop with Windows 7 running and two user accounts on it. One has admin rights and the password has been forgotten.

I have tried multiple things to try to get it to reset without success including:

1. Using alt ctrl del to get to classic login box in order to type administrator in username and leaving password empty to reset. It won't get me to classic login box.

2. using "net User" at DOS command to replace password.

3. starting in safe mode

I do not have a password reset disk and even though one site said I could still create one and use it won't let me.

Everything I have tried fails. Are there any other options other than a clean install of windows (which I don't think I have disks for)? I assume there is probably some sort of reboot type of way to get in, but I am not an expert on pc's and am not sure how to do it safely.
posted by maxg94 to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
It may help to know what kind of "not letting you" it's doing. What are the error messages does it give you when you try each of these?
posted by BungaDunga at 2:22 PM on March 27, 2015

I've used this utility to reset a Windows admin password. You install it onto a USB stick and boot your computer off of it. It's not a very user-friendly site and the instructions on how to get it installed onto a USB stick aren't very clear, though.
posted by zsazsa at 2:38 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you have a linux boot CD or some other bootable media around, use "the sticky keys" trick. Basically, you replace the sticky keys executeable to give you a command prompt at the login screen and then use the "net" command to reset the password. Worked great for me.
posted by cosmicbandito at 2:49 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Trinity Rescue Kit is free, and fairly easy to use. Upload it onto a usb drive, or burn it onto a disc. One caveat--the replace password option hasn't worked for me, just the delete password:
posted by nicholai88 at 2:54 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: "not letting me" meaning it keeps showing me the username and asking for the password even in safe mode or after trying other things when it tells me I should be able to log on
posted by maxg94 at 3:22 PM on March 27, 2015

Came here to recommend ntpasswd that Zsazsa mentioned, was my goto a while ago, but haven't used it recently
posted by TheAdamist at 3:48 PM on March 27, 2015

Enable your super administrator?
posted by slipthought at 4:18 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thirding Zsazsa. I use that often.
posted by deezil at 4:32 PM on March 27, 2015

nthing Zsazsa. I used it just last week! Like nicholai88 said about Trinity, blanking the password seems to work better than replacing it. You can always replace the password once logged-in anyhow.
posted by destructive cactus at 4:38 PM on March 27, 2015

Yeah, use the thing zsazsa's links to, blank out the password, reboot, log in as that user, immediately go to change the password, try to think of what to use, and then you'll remember the old password.
posted by aubilenon at 5:05 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Zsazsa's got it. I recommend against a blank password in general, but it's always easiest to blank it with ntpasswd and then correct it later.

I usually find NTpasswd as part of Hiren's Boot CD, a great collection of utilities that can be run from a bootable CD or USB drive. If you're looking for the easy way to make this into a bootable USB drive, use this windows utility, Universal USB Installer.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:40 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I posted a question about a similar problem a couple of years ago and was able to resolve the situation with Trinity Rescue Kit (plus a couple of followup questions and a lot of hand-holding—I've since used TRK without any problems).
posted by she's not there at 6:38 PM on March 27, 2015

« Older How to backup Windows Sever w/ Exchange on-prem...   |   Long Form History Podcasts Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.