How to Recover Lost Windows Passwords

If you’ve lost your Windows password and you’re locked out of your computer, you can use the Ophcrack LiveCD to recover your password(s). This tutorial will guide you through doing just that.

Please note: This guide was originally published back in 2007. Quite obviously, a lot has changed since then. Ophcrack still exists, and still works. With that said, the steps and screenshots used in this guide have changed, as Ophcrack has been updated several times. This article is staying online as a historical/archived document, and should be treated as such.

  1. Start by downloading the Ophcrack Live CD. This is the longest part of the entire process, as it’s about 455MB.
  2. Burn the .iso file to CD. If you need help creating a boot CD from the .iso file, see this tutorial.
  3. After you’ve burned the .iso, set your computer to boot from your CD/DVD drive (make sure the CD is in the drive).
  4. You’ll be presented with the Ophcrack LiveCD menu. Leave the default selected and hit enter on your keyboard (or just wait 5 seconds for it to automatically boot).

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  6. Slax, the version of Linux that is packaged with Ophcrack, will start up.

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  8. Ophcrack will start on its own, and the passwords for each of your Windows users will be cracked and displayed on screen.

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  10. Write down the password(s), remove the CD from your CD/DVD drive and restart your computer. Now you can log in to Windows again.

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