Today at THE Tech Scoop, we tried out the Windows password recovery software, Password Resetter.
I normally try to keep good track of all my user names and passwords but every now and then I’ll set something up quickly as a test and in my haste, I will forget to write it down. There have also been numerous times when friends or relatives will call me with a question like “how do I find my password if I lost it?” or some other scenario where they cannot get in to their computer for some reason that makes me scratch my head.
As I was looking at my test system (happens to be a windows Vista 32bit laptop), I realized that I had indeed created an id on this machine and I was no longer sure what the password was for that account. This was perfect since I now had a real world scenario to test out.
Here are the amazingly easy steps I took to reset my password (followed with adding in a new one)
1. Go over to www.passwordresetter.com and download/purchase the software.
2. Run the installer. This is your standard Windows install package. You’ll select a language, a location to place the files, etc and of course you will need admin rights on the machine.
3. Type in your product key to activate. This will be a 28 character long alphanumeric key.
After you enter it, the software will verify your entry with their servers, so you will need internet access.
4. Launch the application. From here you choose Burn Disc or Prepare USB. I chose Burn Disc, though I imagine preparing a USB would be just as easy. Be sure to have a blank recordable CD or DVD on hand if you choose the burn disc option.
5. After you select burn disc from the left menu, you’ll see a list of available drives. Select the correct one and hit “Burn” Grab a cup of coffee or play a quick iPhone game while you wait.
6. The disc is done! Now take the new disc to the offending computer.
7. At the computer where you’ll be loading the disk, make sure the boot order picks up CDs before the hard drive. You may already be set up like this but if you’re not you’ll need to at least temporarily change your boot order. PCs vary on how to do this – usually you have to hit some function key while the computer is booting and that will take you to a set up screen, this is before you get in to windows. You’ll have to review your own computer’s instructions to be sure or watch the booting process carefully. Many computers flash instructions across the screen on how to enter setup before going in to windows.
8. Load your new CD and reboot the computer.
9. Select your language –
10. Pick the user id you want to reset. In this case mine is “useraccount” – note: the guest account is disabled.
11. Press the Reset Button.
12. Agree to the popup warning message and reboot. Seriously, it is that easy.
13. When you get back in to Windows the password will be blank so all you have to do is enter your user id or click your user icon (depends on your version of Windows). Be sure to go set a password and REMEMBER it or store it in a secure, encrypted location. The fastest way to set a password is to hit Ctrl+Alt+Del and select “Change Password.” Again, the exact look varies based on the version of Windows you’re running.
Password Resetter made this whole process extremely simple. It took perhaps 10 – 15 minutes from start to finish and that included stopping to grab screen shots and burn a disc. Plus, now I have a boot disc that I can use over and over in case I forget my passwords again.