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How to Reset/Remove your Windows XP Administrator Password

December 21st, 2011 No comments

So, you forgot your Windows XP Administrator password? If not, you wouldn’t be reading this post, would you? But well, even if you haven’t forgotten your password and are reading this post, this could help you someday in the future to recover it. So, read on.

Passwords can be hard to remember because many software programs, websites etc. require you to use strong passwords. For example, a website called ClickBank needs its members to have a password with:

  • 2 upper-case letters (e.g., A, B, C, D…)
  • 2 lower-case letters (e.g., a, b, c, d…)
  • 2 numbers (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4…)
  • 2 special characters (e.g., !, @, #, $…)
    A password having all the things noted above would be very difficult to remember. And, there are other passwords that you need to remember. Of course, such difficult passwords help in that they don’t let others log into your accounts, because others can’t guess them.

But how can you remember such long and difficult passwords? One option is to use password programs like RoBoForm which remembers all of your passwords and you just need to remember one master password to log into all of your accounts, programs or websites.

But what if you have forgotten your Windows XP Administrator password? Programs like RoBoForm work only after you’re logged into Windows. So, how do you log into Windows without knowing your Administrator password? Even the Recovery Console cannot help you if you don’t remember the Administrator password. But don’t despair. There is a way out! This article will show you how to remove or change an Administrator password.

1. First of all, make sure that your CD drive is the first boot device. You can do this by entering the BIOS/CMOS setup and changing the boot device. In some computers, pressing a key brings up a boot menu containing a list of boot devices.

2. Either way, insert your Windows XP CD into the CD drive and boot your computer from it. If you receive a message to press any key to boot from CD, just press any key on your keyboard.

WindowsXP_Setup_Press_any_key

3. Windows XP setup will start loading files. Wait till you get the following screen and then press the Enter key to setup Windows. (Don’t worry, nothing from your old Windows XP will get deleted.)

WindowsXP_Setup_Welcome_to_Setup

4. Accept the license agreement by pressing the F8 key.

WindowsXP_Setup_Accept_License

5. After accepting the license agreement, you will be asked if you want start a Repair process. Press R to start the Repair process.

WindowsXP_Setup_Repair_Screen

6. Windows XP Setup will now check your hard disks for any errors and after that, it will start copying files. Let it do this step. This may take some time, so have patience.

WindowsXP_Setup_FileCopy1    WindowsXP_Setup_FileCopy2

7. After the file copying is done, the computer will reboot. Let it reboot and then boot normally. If you’re asked to press a key to boot from CD, don’t press a key this time. Let it boot from the hard disk on its own.

WindowsXP_Setup_Reboot_Screen

8. After the computer reboots, Windows XP setup starts installing (repairing) Windows, as shown below.

WindowsXP_Setup_Preparing_Installation

9. Keep an eye on the bottom left-hand side of the setup screen. When you see a green progress bar saying “Installing Devices”, press the SHIFT + F10 key (i.e., keep the SHIFT key pressed and then press the F10 function key).

WindowsXP_Setup_Installing_Devices

10. This would open a command prompt window wherein you can type commands. If the current folder, as shown below, is not C:\Windows, just type cd .. to come out into that folder. You may also type cd\windows to go into the Windows folder.

Now, while in the command prompt, type the command NUSRMGR.CPL and then press the Enter key.

WindowsXP_Setup_NUSRMGR

12. The User Accounts window opens. Click on “Change an account” and then select the Administrator account.

WindowsXP_Setup_Change_Password_1

13. When you see the below screen, asking you what do you want to change about Administrator’s account, click “Change the password”. 

WindowsXP_Setup_Change_Password_2

14. Now in the next screen, type a new password for the administrator’s account. You may even leave it blank if you want to, but it’s not recommended. Type the new password once again to confirm. You may type a password hint in the space provided. Now, just press the Enter key to change the password to your new password and then close the User Accounts window.

WindowsXP_Setup_Change_Password_3

15. If you just want that Windows should not ask you for the administrator password, open a command prompt by pressing SHIFT + F10 key, as above, but instead of NUSRMGR.CPL, type CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2. When you get the following screen, just uncheck the checkbox which says “Users must enter a username and password to use this computer. From now on, Windows won’t ask you any password for any user.

WindowsXP_Setup_Remove_Admin_Password

16. Type the command, exit in the command prompt window to exit it.

WindowsXP_Setup_Exit_CMD_Prompt

 17. The installation process would continue. On the following screen, just click ‘Next’. Or, if you want to change the regional and language options, click the customize button and do so. Once you’re done, click ‘Next’.

WindowsXP_Setup_Regional_Options

 18. Windows XP Setup continues to install Windows and finishes in a few minutes.

WindowsXP_Setup_Registering_Components   WindowsXP_Setup_Saving_Settings

 19. After saving the settings, the computer restarts and then you get a welcome screen as shown below. Click Next.

WindowsXP_Welcome_Screen_1

 20. You may or may not want to turn on automatic updates. Select your choice and then click Next.

WindowsXP_Welcome_Screen_2

 21. when asked for registering with Microsoft, select “No, not at this time” and then click Next. 

WindowsXP_Welcome_Screen_3

 22. On the thank you screen, click Finish. 

WindowsXP_Welcome_Screen_Finish

23. You get the following screen, asking you to logon by clicking your username.

WindowsXP_Logon_Screen_1

24. At this point, press Ctrl-Alt-Del twice to get the following logon screen and then change the username to Administrator. Provide the password you just changed and click OK. Leave it blank if you removed your Administrator password.

WindowsXP_Logon_Screen_2

25. Windows XP starts normally and you can start working. 

WindowsXP_Desktop