Forgot User Password (WinXP)?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Ali H. writes:

" Dear Infopackets Team,

I've somehow managed to lock myself out of my Windows XP machine as my passwords no longer work (for both my user account and the administrator user). Is there any way I can login to Windows without having to reinstall or format my laptop? All my important documents are in my laptop. Please help! "

Doug's Response:

Actually, this isn't hard to get cleared up.

First, you should try booting into Safe Mode. Doing so will let you into the system without having to enter a password. To do so:

  1. Turn on the machine.
  2. Press F8 repeatedly on the keyboard until the Boot Menu Appears.
  3. Use your arrow key on the keyboard to scroll down to Safe Mode, and press Enter.

The computer should boot into Safe Mode and without prompting you to enter a password and you can access your documents.

Dennis has also published an article some time ago that addressed a similar problem:

Cannot login to Admin Account (WinXP)?

The above article will tell you how to reset your user password (as well as the Admin account). Hint: don't forget to give your user account administrator access so that you can perform other administration tasks. Once you've got everything set up properly, reboot back into Normal mode.

At this point you can also choose to make a "Password Reset" diskette incase you forget your password again. To create the diskette:

  1. Click Start -& Control Panel -& User Accounts.
  2. Click Administrator name.
  3. Under Related Tasks, click Prevent a forgotten password.
  4. Follow the directions in the Forgotten Password Wizard to create a password reset diskette.
  5. Store the diskette in a secure location that you will *not* forget about.

Please be aware that anyone using this disk can access your system with your account.

Hope that helps!

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