Have you ever forgotten your Windows log-on password? It's a dreadful feeling, isn't it? It happens to the best of us, but if you plan ahead, you won't ever have to worry about it again. Here's how to create a Windows 7 password reset disk:
Creating the reset password disk
Step 1: Insert a USB flash drive into your computer (or a floppy disk if you're stuck in the Stone Age).
Step 2: Type "reset" in the Windows search box and select Create a password reset disk.
Step 3: When the Forgotten Password Wizard appears, click "Next."
Step 4: Select your USB flash drive and click "Next."
Step 5: Once the wizard finishes creating the reset disk, click "Next" then "Finish."
Using the reset password disk
Step 1: Insert the password reset disk into your computer.
Step 2: At the Windows 7 Welcome screen, click on the link labeled, "Reset password." It will appear just below the password field after a failed log-on attempt.
Step 3: Click "Next" when the Password Reset Wizard appears.
Step 4: Select the drive where the password reset disk is located.
Step 5: Type in your new password and password hint then click "Next."
Step 6: If successful, you'll receive a confirmation window saying, "You've successfully reset the password for this user account."
That's it. Now you know how to create a password reset disk and recover your password. Remember that the password reset disk only works for local accounts (not domain accounts). Also, if you use the password reset disk, you can use the same disk again in the future without the need to update it.
If you don't have a password reset disk but need to recover your password, try installing Parted Magic onto a USB flash drive and using the chntpw tool. It's not as elegant as the password reset disk, but it beats reinstalling Windows.