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SUMMARY

This article describes how to create and use a password reset disk for a computer that is not a member of a domain in Microsoft Windows XP. If you experience problems, troubleshooting steps are provided at the end of this article.

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to create and use a password reset disk for a computer that is part of a workgroup, or that is not connected to a network. You can use a password reset disk to gain access to your Windows XP-based computer if you forget your password.

For additional information about how to create a password reset disk for a computer that is a member of a domain, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306214 How to create and use a password reset disk for a computer in a domain in Windows XP

How to create a password reset disk

To create a password reset disk for your local user account, use one of the following methods.

Requirements

The following methods require one blank, formatted floppy disk.

Use a computer administrator account

If you logged on to the computer by using an administrator account, follow these steps to create a password reset disk for a user account:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, click User Accounts.
  3. In the User Accounts pane, click the account that you want to work with.
  4. Under Related Tasks, click Prevent a forgotten password to start the Forgotten Password Wizard, and then click Next.
  5. Insert a blank, formatted disk into drive A, and then click Next.
  6. In the Current user account password box, type the password for the user account that you chose in step 3, and then click Next.

    Note If the user account does not have a password, do not type a password in the Current user account password box.

    The Forgotten Password Wizard creates the disk.
  7. When the Progress bar reaches 100% complete, click Next, and then click Finish.
  8. Remove and then label the password reset disk. Store the disk in a safe place.

Use a limited account

If you logged on to the computer by using a limited account, follow these steps to create a password reset disk for your user account:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Pick a category, click User Accounts.
  3. Under Related Tasks, click Prevent a forgotten password to start the Forgotten Password Wizard.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Insert a blank, formatted disk into drive A, and then click Next.
  6. In the Current user account password box, type your password, and then click Next.

    Note If your user account does not have a password, do not type a password in the Current user account password box.

    The Forgotten Password Wizard creates the disk.
  7. When the Progress bar reaches 100% complete, click Next, and then click Finish.
  8. Remove and then label the password reset disk. Store the disk in a safe place.

How to log on to the computer by using a password reset disk

If you forget your password, you can log on to the computer by using a new password that you create by using the Password Reset Wizard and your password reset disk. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the Windows XP logon screen, click the user name that you want to use. The Type your password box appears. Press ENTER or click the right-arrow button. You receive the following error message:
    Did you forget your password?
    You can click the "?" button to see your password hint.
    Or you can use your password reset disk.

    Please type your password again.
    Be sure to use the correct uppercase and lowercase letters.
  2. Click use your password reset disk. The Password Reset Wizard starts. The Password Reset Wizard permits you to create a new password for your user account.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Insert the password reset disk into drive A, and then click Next.
  5. Type a new password in the Type a new password box.
  6. Type the same password in the Type the password again to confirm box.
  7. In the Type a new password hint box, type a hint to remind you of your password if you forget the new password.

    Note This hint is visible to anyone who tries to log on to the computer by using your user account.
  8. Click Next, and then click Finish. The Password Reset Wizard quits, and you return to the Windows XP logon screen.

    Note The password reset disk is automatically updated with the new password information. You do not have to create a new password reset disk.
  9. Type your new password in the Type your password box, and then click the right-arrow button to log on to the computer.

Troubleshooting

  • The password reset disk cannot be used to reset the password on another computer.

    The password reset disk that you create can only be used with the computer it was created on. For example, if you have two Windows XP-based computers that have the same user names and passwords, a password reset disk that you create on the first computer cannot be used to reset the password on the second computer.
  • The password reset disk contains sensitive information.

    Other users may be able to use the password reset disk to gain access to your computer. For this reason, store this disk in a safe and secure location.

Properties

Article ID: 305478 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 4.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB305478

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