Windows passwords are essential to the security of the data living in your computer. Unless you have a strong, long, and unique password containing a mix of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special symbols, it’s easy for anyone to get in and steal your personal information. In many cases, however, a complex password can be easily forgotten by the authorized user or the owner of the PC. What do you do in such situations? If you’re in just such a fix, there are basically two ways to handle it: either recover the password or reset it. Both methods need special tools, which is exactly what this article will reveal to you.
Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD)
UBCD is essentially a way to create a bootable media drive or disk that contains something called the chntpw tool, which resets your Windows password instantly by manipulating the Windows Registry. It is widely used by Windows users running Windows 7 and earlier versions.
The process involves downloading the utility to a physical disk to create what is called a Live CD. This contains the partition utility called Parted Magic and also the chntpw utility. These various tools work in collaboration to allow you to ultimately reset your Windows login password. You will need to create the Live CD, then run the program by booting from the disk. This will allow you to reset the password and set a new one, or simply blank it out. The downside of using this utility is that it is primarily meant for manipulating your drive partitions, but it contains a whole bunch of useful tools as well, of which password resetting is one.
Androidphonesoft Windows Password Recovery
Androidphonesoft Windows Password Recovery is by far the easiest way to handle a forgotten or lost Windows password. It works by removing the password rather than recovering it, which takes a huge amount of time if your password is complex. By resetting it to blank, it eliminates a massive chunk of time and gets you access to your locked PC in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days. It is fully tested with all brands of PCs from top manufacturers like Samsung, LG, etc.
The way it works is by letting you create a password reset disk on a secondary PC where you have admin rights. The software does everything for you, from downloading the required ISO file to burning it to create a bootable disk or USB drive. You then boot your locked computer from this media, choose the Windows version and the user account, and instantly reset the password for that account. There’s very little user input involved, and certainly no complicated tasks to execute. The success rate is 100%, and you’ll be accessing your untouched data in no time.
Hashcat Password Cracker
Hashcat is primarily a command-line utility to recover your password rather than reset it. It’s a great tool, but you need some experience working with password hashes so you can first extract them and then crack them with multiple attack types to reveal the password.
Hashcat is not recommended for new users because the command itself has so many syntax variations. You have to retrieve the hashes and dump them to file, then apply various decryption methods like rainbow tables, brute force, and dictionary, and even then there’s no guarantee that really complex passwords can be retrieved in this manner. There are some GUI options that make it easier, but you still need to know exactly what you’re doing before you even begin.
LCP Password Recovery
LCP is essentially a security audit tool for Windows and works in much the same way as Hashcat and other password recovery tools. However, it is a little easier to use because it gives you specific instructions for what to do at each stage. The main difference is that it comes with a native graphical user interface, which means you don’t have to enter command line inputs to get the job done.
LCP works in a stepwise manner. First, you extract the hashes using one of several options, including local system SAM files and other types. You then define the attack types to be used for the recovery process, followed by verification of the existing password. In some cases, the account might not have a password or the hash may not be found, which is why this step is required. The final step is to start the recovery and wait for the password to be displayed in the LCP window.
All these methods work really well on older Windows versions like Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Some will even work on Windows 8 and 8.1. However, on the latest Windows 10 versions, PassMoz is the only one that’s going to work 100% of the time. That’s because it gets constant updates to keep it matched to the latest major Windows 10 updates that come out every six months.