can't log on - forgot password (oops)

NoOp glgxg at
Sun Aug 19 23:57:23 UTC 2007

On 08/19/2007 01:13 PM, Jimmy Wu wrote:
> Does chntpw work on laptops?  I have a WinXPPro laptop that I changed the
> password to a while ago, but I've forgotten it because I usu. leave it on,
> and haven't let it shutdown in a while.  I tried chntpw, but it didn't seem
> to work.  This is my company-issued laptop, and it would be really bad if I
> got locked out and couldn't use it.
> Hope someone can help.
> Thanks
> Jimmy

I see no reason what difference it would make using chntpw on a laptop
or desktop - it should work just fine on either. However, you might want
to review the link that Bruce gave
( closely. See: 4.

How did you try chntpw?

Here is what I did (from memory so verify as you go along):

1. Boot from a knoppix CD - I suppose that you could use an Ubuntu Live
CD, but in all honesty I've never managed to get an ULCD to operate
properly on older hardware - besides, the Knoppix HW drivers just seem
to always work.
2. Set a knoppix root password (it's in the menus, I can't recall where
- system perhaps, but if you need it I'll boot another machine to check).
3. Brought up a browser (IceWeasel is their FireFox)
4. Did a google search on chntpw and found the link to:
5. Clicked on i386 in that package to download the .deb file & it then
loads to the Knoppix desktop.
6. Mounted the windows drive from the Knoppix DT: right click|Mount
7. Right clicked on the mounted windows drive icon (hda1 was mine) and
set it for read/write. Note: if you have problems setting R/W, then
double click the icon to open the mounted drive & right click to
Properties and set it from there. The drive *must* be set to R/W for
chntpw to work.
8. From the Knoppix desktop, clicked on the chntpw file that was
downloaded and followed all the prompts to install.
8. Opened a terminal window in Knoppix & then cd'd to:

cd mnt
 cd hda1
  cd WINDOWS (mind the caps)
  cd System32
    cd config

man chntpw is here:

9. sudo chnptw -l to list the usernames

10. sudo chntpw -u <username> SAM
and followed the prompts.

I set the PW to blank (recommended) by entering the '*' (askterisk) at
the password prompt.

11. Logged out of Knoppix ( and rebooted into
WindowsXPPro. At the prompt I provided the username (it was
Administrator in this case) and hit enter... Booted right up and I was in.

Note: please note from my other post(s) that I eventually determined
that the WinXP install was from an academic network license rather than
from an individual user install/license. So I ended up deleting by
reformating all and just installed Ubuntu instead. I've another legal
WinXPPro w/MS Office etc on another machine that I can use for
troubleshooting. I was/am just happy to get the new hardware...
particularly since I found out it is an actual Intel MB to boot :-)

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