How to Recover a Forgotten Windows 7 PC password with Windows 10 installation media.

This is a way to get into an updated Windows 7 PC that has fixed the previous way of getting in without a password.

Prerequisites: Command prompt knowledge, windows 7

Difficulty Level: Member • Nerd • Platypus

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Expected Outcome: Password is reset and the computer is usable by the member.

Tools Required: The affected PC with charge (if desktop also a monitor, mouse & keyboard).

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 5.00.45 PM-1

Steps to Perform

  1. First power off your computer.
  2. Then insert the USB drive that you have that contains the Windows 10 install media.
  3. Restart your computer again, Hitting the delete button at boot (Or whatever specific button a laptop or desktop needs) to open the computer's BiOS.
  4. Once in the BiOS, you will need to change the boot drive from the built in drive that Windows is booting off of to whatever you named your USB with windows 10 installation media. It may look like this.(1)
  5. You will then need to reboot the PC by clicking save and exit which will launch the install media.
  6. After the computer boots off of the Windows 10 installation media, click repair my PC.(2)
  7. Once the repair menu is open, click on “Troubleshoot”(3)
  8. Then in the troubleshoot menu open the command prompt.(4)
  9. You are going to use this command prompt to rename 2 specific files in your system 32 folder on the hard drive where Windows is installed. Once the command prompt is open use cd C:\Windows\System32 to navigate to that computer's system 32 folder. (it may not be in the C drive make sure you know which drive you need to navigate to)
  10. Then type in ren utilman.exe utilman-1.exe. This will change the name of the utilman program that you can access on startup to assist people who are impaired.
  11. After that type ren cmd.exe utilman.exe this will change the utilman program to open the command prompt when you click on it on boot up. The button for utilman looks like this.(5)
  12. Then once you have done that, close the command prompt and restart the computer.
  13. Once you reach the Login to Windows screen, Just click on the small blue circle in the bottom left hand corner.
  14. Now Type net user in the command prompt and press enter.
  15. Now, you can figure out the username which you want to change the password from here.(6)
  16. Now suppose username is compaq
  17. type net user compaq* in cmd and press enter.
  18. now it will ask you to type your password and then confirm it.(7)
    1. Now close cmd window and type your new password in window login screen
  19. Voila! You are in.

Make sure to follow steps 6-9 to navigate back to CMD and System32 to change the settings that were altered for this process.

- change CMD-1 back to CMD

- Change CMD back to UTILMAN