If you can’t log in to a MW/Windows computer because you have lost/forgotten your password, then use Live Linux CD and the chntpw application. This should work for all NT-based version of Windows (Windows 2000 and later, including Windows 7).

Note that encrypted files on the MW/Windows hard disk encrypted (using the built-in Windows encryption) may not be available after changing the Windows password as we describe here.

Boot your computer from the System Rescue CD (<sourceforge.net/projects/systemrescuecd/> to obtain a command line.

Mount the MS/Windows disk. It might be /dev/sda1 or /dev/sda2.

$ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows$ ls /mnt/windows

We should see in the directory listing a WINDOWS folder, and under that a system32 folder. If not, then it might be the wrong partition. So try /dev/sda2.

Then:

$cd WINDOWS/system32/config/ The file SAM contains the Windows registry, which includes the passwords. To list the users we can use the command: $ chntpw -l SAM

$sudo chntpw SAM Some text will appear and we will see a list of all of the users of the system. At the User Edit Menu:'' prompt at the bottom of the terminal window choose to clear the password to blank. We can always set a new password in Windows once you log in. To do this, enter1’’ and then y’’ to confirm. To reset or change the password of a user other than the administrator, enter: $ sudo chntpw -u <username> SAM