What to do if you Forgot your Windows PC Password

Forgot Your Windows PC Password?

Well don’t just stand there. A free utility, Ophcrack, will be able to find your Windows PC password- assuming it is not an “uncrackable” password. Here is how you use Ophcrack.

Step 1: Download Ophcrack

First you need to go to this website- http://ophcrack.sourceforge.net/download.php?type=livecd– and download the CD version based on which Windows operating system you are trying to crack.

Step 2: Burn Ophcrack

You will end up with an iso file. Now you need to burn the iso file to a CD- For example a CD-R or CD-RW. Download InfraRecorder from http://infrarecorder.org/?page_id=5 and run the exe file to install InfraRecorder. After you finish the Installation Wizard and complete the installation, open up InfraRecorder. (Make sure you are an Administrator as in Windows XP, InfraRecorder doesn’t have access to my CD drive when I am a limited user.) A window will pop up with several options on it. Click “Write Image”, or you can go to Actions>Burn Image on the bar at the top. Browse to your downloaded Ophcrack iso files, and open it. A window will pop up with options on how you want to burn the file. This is when you put the CD in your CD drive. Make sure “Copies” says one, and leave the other options as default. Now a window will pop up with the progress of the burn. Wait for it to finish, and then eject your CD. You are done burning an Ophcrack Live CD!

Step 3: Boot into Ophcrack

Now this should be easy or hard, depending on your computer as all computers are different. You will need to change the boot order of your computer so that the CD drive boots first, instead of your hard drive as usual. On some computers, right when you turn it on, you will see some text saying “Press (a key) to enter or run setup.” Or on some PCs it will say “F12 (Or any other key) for Boot Menu.” Press the key repeatedly, and you will be into the Bios Settings! Use the arrow keys to find the Boot Menu, Advanced Bios Features, Boot Sequence, or Bios Features Setup! Every Menu is different for each computer. Or, if you are lucky and access the Boot Menu, it is only a matter of putting the burned CD in your CD drive, and using the arrow keys to highlight and select CD-Rom Device! Or you can have a boot up screen with NO mention of a setup key or Boot Menu. Of in this case, simply press all the “F” keys on your keyboard rapidly until you find the key that allows you to access the Bios Setup. (This may take several tries until you get it right.)

Once you find and configure the CD Drive to boot first, put the burned CD in your CD Drive and restart your computer.

See http://www.hiren.info/pages/bios-boot-cdrom for a complete Boot CD drive first guide, with handy pictures to guide you through.

Step 4: Watch the Magic Happen

After you boot into Ophcrack, a desktop environment will appear. A Window will show up, and will start to crack your Windows Password. This may take a while, depending on how complicated your password is. When it finds the password, it will list it next to your username. Be sure to remember your password! Now you can exit out of Ophcrack, remove the CD, and login to Windows with your password! (On a side note, if you want to change the Bios settings back so your hard drive boots first, redo Step 3 over again. But be sure to set your hard drive as the first boot device this time.)