However, there are many different ways to reset your password for Windows OS, but what if you are using drive encryption that would wipe out all your necessary files in case you changed the password unethically? Yes, it is time to crack the password instead.
To get the job done, there is a tool named Ophcrack that can easily crack your password without having to change it. Follow these steps to proceed:
Step-1: Download Ophcrack
At first, visit the Ophcrack’s official website and download its CD image. Here you will get three options to download, XP, Vista/7, and Live CD (without tables) make sure you grab the right one. The only difference between XP and Vista downloads is just the “Tables” which Ophcrack uses to reveal the password.
Once the .iso file gets downloaded, just burn it to a cd using the guide below.
In case your PC/laptop doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive, such as notebooks, etc. You must then download universal USB creator from PenDriveLinux.com and this single USB can be used with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 if you copy the needed tables to the drive.
Note: To make your USB drive compatible to all the versions of Windows, it is good to download free password tables from the Ophcrack’s website. There are free tables and paid tables as well. The paid tables will get the job done much faster and will be able to crack more complex passwords, which free ones may not. Also, the paid tables may not fit over a USB drive as they range in size between 3 to 135 GB.
Now the next thing is to extract these tables to \tables\Vista_free on the USB drive and they will be used by the Ophcrack automatically.
Step-2: Boot from CD or USB
Now the next step is to get your PC booted from a CD or a USB that you just created.
(Note: On some PCs, the boot order can be changed either from the BIOS settings or push a key to show the boot menu.)
After having successfully booted from the external media (CD/USB), Ophcrack should start automatically and so it will start cracking passwords for all the users on the PC.
(Note: If you are getting a blank screen or Ophcrack doesn’t start automatically after booting, try restarting the computer and selecting the manual or low RAM options on the live screen boot menu.)
Having successfully booted with Ophcrack, Ophcrack will start automatically and begun to crack passwords for all of the users on your computer.
Note: If you are facing problems with Ophcrack, like a blank screen, etc. then restart the computer and select manual or low RAM options on the live CD boot menu.
In case the passwords are complex, it may take a bit longer than usual to reveal the passwords. And maybe sometimes, it may not be able to crack the password, with free tables. The cracked passwords will be displayed as plain text, just note them down and reboot the machine to login. Free tables may not be able to crack all the passwords, but paid tables mat cost between 100$ to 1000$. In such cases, it is better to reset your passwords by other means.