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Reset Your Password on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 2003 Server, Windows NT using USB Drive

In my earlier article, I described various tools that can be used to reset Windows password. To use these tools, I have to create a bootable CD from the ISO image given.

I have encountered one problem recently whereby one of the laptop passed to me has no floppy and the external CD-ROM is missing. Worst still, nobody knows the Windows Adminstrator login password.

Luckily, the notebook supports booting from USD hard drive. After going through the tools that I have, I managed to reset the password using my thumb or pen drive.

The tool that I used is Offline NT Password & Registry Editor. To do this is very simple.

  1. Download the bootable CD or ISO image from the website.
  2. Using another computer, create a bootable CD from the image.
  3. As described in the README.txt in the bootable CD, do the following
    To make a bootable USB drive / key:
    1. Copy all files from this CD onto the USB drive.
       It cannot be in a subdirectory on the drive.
       You do not need delete files already on the drive.
    2. Install the bootloader:
       On the USB drive, there should now be a file
       Run this from a command line, like this:
            j:\syslinux.exe -ma j:
    replace j with some other letter if your USB drive
    is on another drive letter than j:
    If it says nothing, it did install the bootloader.
    Please note that you may have to adjust settings
    in your computers BIOS setup to boot from USB.
    Also, some BIOS (often older machines) simply
    won't boot from USB anyway.

In case your notebook does not support booting from USB hard drive, here are some useful links

HP Drive Key Boot Utility

How To Boot From A USB Flash Drive

Thanks to the developer for this awesome tool !!

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