A guide to recovering from Windows 7 Home Premium User Account lost password, cannot login, login problem

 

Login problems can occur because a password has been forgotten or because a user profile has become corrupted.  There is no Windows 7 utility for then bypassing the login requirement - see Microsoft policy about lost or forgotten passwords.

Here are recovery methods for Windows 7 Home Premium in a rough order of most data preservation & least total aggravation.  If one recovery method cannot be used because its requirements cannot be met then review the next recovery method & so on down the list. 

You only need to succeed with one recovery method so after you succeed skip to the Precautionary measures guidance further down in this thread.

Whilst the total content of this thread is necessarily large as it presents every recovery method I have found to be useful, I have split each procedure up into individual tasks that I believe can be followed with trepidation by any user who is prepared to work carefully through each one sentence by sentence & step by step. 

I have repeated common procedures so each recovery method is self-contained except for a small number of explicitly identified procedures provided in external links [as I had no means of testing these particular procedures].  I have used screenshots to provide reassurance that each step is proceeding as it should but I have included all instructions in the text itself.  If you are not going to have any web access during these procedures, you can select the whole of any thread & paste it into a Word document, you can save the web pages or you can download the pdf files shown on the contents page.

I tested the draft version of these procedures by using it as my instruction manual when working through each of these recovery methods & precautionary measures.  I used Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 x64; I believe that these procedures are also valid for Windows 7 Home Premium without SP1 and for 32 bit Home Premium.  

These recovery methods address the issue of Windows 7 logging-in only and assume that you do not have any passwords set up in your BIOS.  If you do then you will need to use your BIOS password(s) as you normally would in addition to following the procedures given here.  Advice about recovering from problems with these BIOS passwords might be provided by the PC maker’s support sites & forums.

These recovery methods address the issue of Windows logging-in on independent PCs only.  Users with corporate PCs should consult their IT support section as recovery methods might have already been prepared using enterprise-wide network procedures & tools.

I am not the brains behind these recovery methods or precautionary measures.  I have learnt from Windows Help, from Windows 7 Help & How-to, from PC manuals, from threads in this forum and from other internet sites such as Seven Forums.  All I’ve done is collate the information into one thread - because personally, when faced with the stressful situation of not being able to login, I do not want to have to search everywhere and cross-check against multiple links in recovery procedures.

None of these recovery methods involve any password cracking.  Whilst such utilities can apparently be found online, any utility capable of doing this might also be doing something else behind your back such as planting malware to subvert the system or steal information.  Protecting your system against such utilities, and others, is discussed briefly in Precautionary measure 6 - Secure your PC.

Answer
Answer

Table of contents          [PDF version]

Each recovery method & precautionary measure is a separate post in this thread.  You can use this table of contents to skip straight to each section.  A link back to this table of contents is given at the end of each procedure.

Recovery methods

Recovery method 1 - Immediate steps          [PDF version]

Recovery method 2 - Password reset disk          [PDF version]

Recovery method 3 - Try to promote a Standard user account          [PDF version]

Recovery method 4 - System restore          [PDF version]

Recovery method 5 - Password reset by another Admin-level account          [PDF version]

Recovery method 6 - Profile fix by another Admin-level account          [PDF version]

Recovery method 7 - Login using Built-in Administrator account          [PDF version]

Recovery method 8 - Enable the Built-In Admin account or reset a password using the Sticky Keys trick          [PDF version]

Recovery method 9 - Enable the Built-In Admin account using the Registry          [PDF version]

Recovery method 10 - Rescue your data files          [PDF version]

Recovery method 11 - Windows Backup System Image restoration using System repair disk          [PDF version]

Recovery method 12 - Windows Backup System Image restoration using Windows 7 Installation Disk          [PDF version]

Recovery method 13 - Third-party backup utility’s System Image restoration          [PDF version]

Recovery method 14 - PC restoration using PC maker’s utility          [PDF version]

Recovery method 15 – Reinstallation using an existing Windows 7 Installation Disk          [PDF version]

Recovery method 16 – Create, then reinstall using, a Windows 7 Installation Disk          [PDF version]

Precautionary measures

Precautionary measure 1 - Create two additional admin accounts          [PDF version]

Precautionary measure 2 - Make & test a Password Reset Disk for every account          [PDF version]

Precautionary measure 3 - Make & test a System repair disk          [PDF version]

Precautionary measure 4 - Make & test a Windows 7 SP1 Installation Disk          [PDF version]

Precautionary measure 5 - Make frequent system images & file backups          [PDF version]

Precautionary measure 6 - Secure your PC          [PDF version]

Further problems

Try*3 - a user
Dell Inspirons 7779, 1545, 9300; Windows 10 Home x64 & Pro x86; Office Pro 2007; HP DJ2540; HTC UPlay [Android 6.0], MyPhoneExplorer

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Last updated August 6, 2020 Views 89,404 Applies to: