This is something that can happen to many people:
You think you entered your windows password correctly, but then you realise it wasn’t what you thought it was… and you have tried all combinations you can think of.
Or: Your 7 year old son decides to change the password, but 24 hours later (about a 10 years in child-time), he has forgotten it!
So what do you do?
I have found 2 utilities that work well at clearing the password, so that you can, once again, login to the computer.
Of course, you must have access to another computer, in order to create the CD/USB-Drive that will allow you to reset the windows password.
These techniques rely on starting the computer from a CD or a USB drive, so that the password can be cleared from the main windows drive… while windows is not running.
The best utility I have found to reset passwords is: Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
Negatives: It does require more technical skills to use, as it does assume you understand something about your computer.
Positives: It can clear the password for any Windows system: from windows NT, up to Windows 7. The user interface is text-based, so it will work just about any type, speed and age of computer.
The default settings are worked out intelligently, so that you don’t really need to think too much about what to do… but if you stray too far from the defaults, then you run the risk of corrupting your windows system.
Another utility I have found is: PC Login Now
Negatives: The Graphical User Interface will fail on some of the more modern PCs… since there is no text-based fall-back, you will not be able to clear the password using PC Login Now in these cases (and it happened to me!)
Positives: The Graphical User Interface means just about anyone can use this, with a minimal risk of stuffing up.
My favourite is Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
Your mileage may vary.