Administrator password forgotten and can't log on to it.

I forgot my administrator password and cannot log on to it. I didn't create a disk or write down the password somewhere. Now the computer is pretty much useless.

Is there anyway that the password can be reset? Or even the system being reset?

Answer
Answer
You can change your password to something you will remember from another administrative user's account. If you only had one administrative user account and you've forgotten the password, all is not lost. You might then want to follow the general recommendations for setting up user accounts in Windows 7 that I'll give you at the end of this post.

Doing all this requires a certain level of computer skills. You know yourself best and whether taking the machine to a competent local computer tech (not a BigComputerStore/GeekSquad type of place) is the better solution for you.

If you have a Windows 7 installation DVD (not a recovery DVD) you can boot the system with it. Select the default language, then choose "Repair your computer". Then select "Command Prompt". At the command prompt type:

net user administrator /active:yes [press Enter]
net user [insert your user account's name here] [insert new user password like 1234 here] [press Enter]

[Note: Do not type the brackets!]

Remove the installation DVD and reboot the computer. Now you will be able to log into your user account using the password you set; i.e., 1234.

If you don't have a Windows 7 installation DVD (only have a recovery disc), the computer mftr. may have given you the Windows 7 System Repair option (not a System Recovery!) on the diagnostic menu. This diagnostic menu is the same one where you can choose Safe Mode. Get to this menu by repeatedly tapping the F8 key as the computer is starting up. If you don't have this option you can make a bootable Windows 7 Repair DVD from the file at this link:

http://neosmart.net/blog/2009/windows-7-system-repair-discs/

Note: All the Neosmart recovery disc downloads are torrent files. There is a good explanation of torrent files at the Neosmart website. You will need a torrent client such asmuTorrent to get the files. The torrent client will download the .iso file with which to create the bootable DVD. If you are creating the bootable DVD in an older operating system (XP, Vista), you will need to use third-party burning software such as Nero, Roxio, or the free ImgBurn (http://www.imgburn.com ) to burn the .iso as an image, not as data. Windows 7 can burn .isos natively.

Once you have fixed things, log into the extra administrative account you will make per the suggestions below and disable the built-in Administrator account again for security purposes:

Start Orb>Search box>type: cmd
When cmd appears in Results above, right-click it and choose "Run as administrator" [OK]. Now you will get the command prompt. At the command prompt type:

net user administrator /active:no [enter]

Exit the command prompt.

General Recommendations For Setting Up Users In Windows 7:

You absolutely do not want to have only one user account. Like XP, Vista and all other modern operating systems, Windows 7 is a multi-user operating system with built-in system accounts such as Administrator, Default, and Guest. These accounts should be left alone as they are part of the operating system structure.

You particularly don't want only one user account with administrative privileges in Windows 7 because the built-in Administrator account (normally only used in emergencies) is disabled by default. If you're running as Administrator for your daily work and that account gets corrupted, things will be Difficult. 
It isn't impossible to activate the built-in Administrator to rescue things, but it may be more than you want to do. Better not to put yourself into a bad situation to begin with.

The user account that is for your daily work should be a Standard user, with the extra administrative user (call it something like "CompAdmin" or "Tech" or the like) only there for elevation purposes. Running as a Standard user is best practice for security purposes and will help protect your computer from infection. After you create "CompAdmin", log into it and change your regular user account to Standard. Then log back into your regular account.

If you want to go directly to the Desktop and skip the Welcome Screen with the icons of user accounts, you can do this:

Start Orb>Search box>type: netplwiz [enter]
Click on Continue (or supply an administrator's password) when prompted by UAC

Uncheck the option "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer". Select a user account to automatically log on by clicking on the desired account to highlight it and then hit OK. Enter the correct password for that user account (if there is one) when prompted. Leave it blank if there is no password (null).

MS-MVP - Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!

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Hello,
Microsoft Support Engineers cannot help you retrieve passwords of files and features in Microsoft products that are lost or forgotten. For more information regarding this policy please refer to the sticky below

 

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistasecurity/thread/3eba3150-8742-4264-be9f-0daaad2282cd
Lisa
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.

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Last updated January 29, 2021 Views 5,086 Applies to: