16 Dec 2013

Two ways to reset Windows 7 password

After my popular post on resetting Windows XP password earlier (read it here), this is a post on resetting password for Windows 7. There maybe many other ways to do this, but i am listing down here two methods that are typically easier.

Note: Even though there are no known issues, try it at your own risk

Method 1: Using Windows 7 installation disc or repair disc

Pre-requisite:  In order to run this method, you either need to have Windows 7 installation DVD, or a Windows 7 System Repair disc. If you have a flash drive, you can create a Windows 7 System Repair disk from another computer.

Follow below steps:

  1. Insert either of the disc into your CD/ DVD drive and then restart your computer. 
  2. Click on the Repair your computer link.
  3. Select Windows 7 from the operating system list and then click the Next button.
  4. From System Recovery Options, choose Command Prompt.
  5. With Command Prompt now open, execute the following two commands, in this order:

    copy d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\password\

    copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe
  6. On execution, you will get a prompt to the overwrite, answer with Yes.
  7. Remove the disc/ flash drive and then restart your computer.
  8. When the Windows 7 logon screen appears, click the "Ease of Access" icon on the bottom left corner (looks like a blue hand with index finger up)
  9. Command Prompt will open. Execute the command below, replacing the username and whatever new password you'd like to use:

    net user [username] [[password]
  10. Close the Command Prompt window.
  11. Login with your new password!

Note: To reverse the changes you've made, repeat above steps (1 to 5).  Type the below command
copy d:\password\utilman.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

Confirm the overwrite and then restart your computer.

Method 2: Using Ubuntu CD

Pre-requisite: In case you do not have Windows 7 DVD, you can use Ubuntu. Download it from here.

Follow below steps

  1. Burn the downloaded ISO to DVD. You have an advantage of ability to run the Ubuntu operating system without installing it.
  2. Insert the Ubuntu DVD in your CD drive and restart your computer and hit enter to boot from CD.
    You need to set the boot options to boot from CD/ DVD in case you have not done it earlier.
  3. Once booted, select “Try Ubuntu” and wait for the operating system to load.
  4. Browse through the Taskbar and click “Places”, select the hard drive you use for windows 7.
  5. Select the folder “Windows” then click the “system32” folder.
  6. Under the folder, search for  Utilman.exe, right click the file and re-name it as Utilman1.exe.
  7. Under the same folder, search for cmd.exe. Right click on the file, select "Save a copy", and then re-name the copied file Utilman.exe.
  8. Remove the CD from the drove and reboot the desktop.
  9. When Windows is loaded and you are greeted with the login screen, click the icon for “ease of access” at the bottom left. Instead of the ease of access program we will have command prompt.
  10. In the command prompt type below command.

    net user [username] [password]
    where username is the account you are trying to log into and password is your new password.
  11. Log in with your new password.

Warning: messing around in the command prompt can cause system damage!


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