Lost Windows XP Administrator Password

The other day a buddy of mine had lost access to his Windows XP Administrator Account because he forgot his password. He turned to me for help and as usual I was willing to lend a hand. The following tutorial covers the process of resetting your administrator password on Windows XP or NT Operating Systems. Windows stores its user information, including encrypted versions of the passwords, in a file called sam. This file is commonly found in \winnt\system32\config. This file is also a part of the registry, in a binary format and not easily accessible. We will be using a utility called Offline NT Password and Registry Editor to preform the recovery.

Resetting a Lost Windows XP Administrator Password:

  1. Download the Offline NT Password and Registry Editor.
  2. Extract the ISO from the zip and burn the ISO to a CD or DVD using your favorite CD Burning utility
  3. Reboot your Windows XP computer and set your BIOS or Boot Menu to boot from the CD
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to reset your Windows Administrator password