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Windows 7 - Login Password Recovery Options

Forgetting your Windows 7 login password can, in the worst case scenarios, require a complete re-installation of Windows and, in doing so, you'll lose all of your files. If you've forgotten your password, you should first try some methods for retrieving it before you take such drastic actions, however. If you've tried absolutely every password that you think it possibly could be, you should try following these steps before giving up.

1 – Using a Password Reset Disk
Windows 7 provides you with the possibility of making a password reset disk which will walk you through the process of securely retrieving your password. If you don't have one of these already, you should make one next time you get the chance, as this can save a lot of hassle later on.

To make a password reset disk, you'll need to have a blank floppy disk or a USB flash drive. You can start the wizard for creating a password reset disk by typing "password reset" in the start menu search box and pressing Enter. The wizard will guide you through the process.

If you have a password reset disk already, then this is the first method you should use for recovering a lost login password. To do this, plug in the USB drive or insert the floppy disk containing the password reset data and click the "Reset password" option on the login screen. The password reset wizard will open and you'll need to choose the drive containing the password reset data. In the next step, enter and confirm your new password. It's also a good idea to enter a password hint that will help you to remember your password in future. Click "Next" to continue and then enter your new password.

2 – Using a Hacking Tool
There are various third-party hacking tools for hacking into your computer and recovering your password. Due to the fact that most people wanting such a program will be in a fairly desperate situation, they tend not to be cheap. There are also no guarantees that a password can be recovered.

Password hacking tools for recovering your Windows logon password use a wide variety of methods. The most basic method is a dictionary attack, which tries every word in the dictionary including every variation of that word. The process normally only takes a few minutes. If, however, your password is a little more complicated, you may need to use a brute force attack which will try every combination of letters, numbers and, if you choose, symbols.

For longer passwords, the brute force recovery method quickly becomes impractical. For anything over about five characters in length, the amount of time it takes to retrieve it increases exponentially. If you've got a complicated alphanumeric password a dozen characters in length, for example, you can probably expect to wait a few thousand years for your password to be recovered!

Some login password recovery tools provide some more advanced methods which increase the possibilities of recovering a password, at least if you remember certain parts of the password such as numbers and words contained within it. If all of these methods fail, however, you will have no choice but to reinstall Windows, losing everything in your user account folders in the process.


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