Resetting a User Account Password

Introduction

This page includes guides on how to reset user account passwords on Microsoft Windows (XP/Vista/7), Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7 and Ubuntu Linux

Windows

Note: After each command, you will need to press enter to confirm it.

This guide uses the Offline Windows Password & Registry Editor CD which is available from: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/bootdisk.html. Copies are available in the CD rack behind the helpdesk.

  1. Boot from the CD in the usual manner
  2. First screen: “Press enter to boot....”: Press enter.
    Boot the CD
  3. Standard Windows 7 system will show as two partitions, one 100MB and one larger. Select the larger one (usually number 2). To do this, if it was option 2, you would type 2:
    Standard Windows 7 system will show as two partitions, one 100MB and one larger. Select the larger one (usually number 2). To do this, if it was option 2, you would type 2:
  4. What is the path to the registry directory? - You can almost certainly just press enter at this point, unless the user has not installed Windows in the default directories.
    What is the path to the registry directory? - You can almost certainly just press enter at this point, unless the user has not installed Windows in the default directories.
  5. Next, Select option 1 for [sam system security]
    Select which part of registry to load?
  6. Select option 1 for Edit user data and passwords
    Select option 1
  7. Select username: Default will be Administrator, you do NOT want this. Instead type in the username of the primary user account.
    Select username: Default will be Administrator, you do NOT want this. Instead type in the username of the primary user account.
  8. This will display the information about the account. Select option 1 to clear the password.
    Select option 1
  9. If successful this will show “Password cleared". Type ! , then enter then q , then enter.
    If successful this will show “Password cleared". Type ! , then enter then q , then enter.
  10. About the write file(s) back! Do it?. Type y
    About the write file(s) back! Do it?. Type y
  11. It will give you the option for New Run, press enter.
    Press enter
  12. Restart the computer.


Mac OS X 10.3 to 10.6

  1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc and restart the computer.
  2. When you hear the startup tone, press and hold down the C key until you see the spinning gear.
  3. When the Language Chooser appears, select your language and click Continue.Choose Utilities > Reset Password.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to change the password.
  5. Quit the Installer and restart your computer while holding down the mouse button to eject the disc.
  6. You can change your login keychain password in Keychain Access to match your new account password to unlock your keychain when you log in.

Mac OS X 10.7

  1. Hold “Option” at boot and select the “Recovery” disk at the boot menu
  2. Wait for “Mac OS X Utilities” menu to appear, indicating that you are booted into recovery mode. If this does not appear, use the Lion disk in the cupboard in the Help Desk ENSURING THAT IT IS PLUGGED INTO AN ETHERNET CONNECTION.
  3. Click on the “Utilities” menu and select “Terminal”
  4. Type the following:
  5. resetpassword

  6. Confirm the user account and then the password change and reboot Mac OS X 10.7 as usual with your new password

Linux (Ubuntu)

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/resetpassword contains a through guide to this. Ensure that you follow the step on remounting the file system, otherwise you will get a token manipulation change error and it will not reset the password.