Resetting Windows password with chntpw

This procedure is done with Ubuntu live USB booted on the locked-out Windows PC.

This procedure is for UNENCRYPTED (non-Bitlocker) Windows drives only. Forgotten passwords for Bitlocker encrypted Windows PCs should refer to Microsoft Bitlocker password reset guidance.

Prerequisites

Fast boot (auto partial hibernate on shutdown) data must be discarded by:

  1. power on
  2. press F8 to discard hibernation data

Reset password

  1. boot Windows PC from Ubuntu Live USB
  2. open Ubuntu file manager. In the left panel, click on the name of your Windows partition to automatically mount the partition.
  3. click the Ubuntu start icon and open Software & Updates. Check the multiverse and universe boxes under the Ubuntu software tab, and click the refresh button.
  4. from Ubuntu Terminal
    sudo apt install chntpw
    
    blkid
    

    Note the UUID of the windows partition, it will be a hexadecimal number.

  5. from Ubuntu Terminal
    cd /media/ubuntu/*/Windows/System32/config
    
  6. Open Ubuntu-based Windows password reset program. (NOT FOR BITLOCKER SYSTEMS as all user files would be erased!)
    chntpw SAM -i
    
  7. 1) edit user data and passwords
  8. 1) Clear the user's password
  9. q to save and exit.
  10. Reboot PC into windows and choose a new password for the account

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