Assume that you just came back from a long vacation and now you are ready to work. You turn on your Windows XP computer and then it asks you for a password.
Is this computer in the domain? No, it’s your personal computer.
Ok, do you have another account you can log in as the administrator? Not really, because you didn’t create another account.
Don’t panic, think and recall the password. Nope, still can’t remember it. Sounds like you might have to reinstall?
Wait a minute, you might be in luck. There are several options available for you.
Insert your Windows XP and reinstall. It will preserve your files and existing settings.
If it’s a desktop computer, take out the hard drive and put it on another desktop computer. Make this hard drive the secondary drive. You should be able to see and copy the files. However, you still won’t be able to log in to it.
Search on the Internet for a tool that will reset your local administrator password. There are many out there. Some are free and some charge a fee. One free tool you can use is called Offline NT Password & Registry Editor.
It doesn’t have a fancy name but it does its job. You copy the files to a CD and boot your computer with it. It will scan your system and then allow you to clear (blank) your administrator password. Afterward, you reboot and you should be able to log in without a password. Be sure to change the password after you log in.
The recommendation is to use Option 1 because it will come in handy more than once. Your friends and family will thank you for it too.