How To Change Any Windows User Password Using NTPASSWD

As time goes by, one does not always remember to follow the correct procedures, forgetting important steps. Like asking for a person’s passwords when he hands off his/her laptop for you to fix. Of course, we have our tricks: namely a linux based app called NTPASSWD.

ATTENTION! This article involves editing of system files, which should be done with a clear mind!

How to make a bootable CD containing NTPASSWD:

  1. Download the latest ISO from
  2. Burn it to a CD using your favorite burner app

How to make a bootable USB drive containing NTPASSWD:

  1. Download the latest ISO from
  2. Unpack the contents of the ISO file (using WinRAR for example) onto a FAT/FAT32 formatted USB drive (does not need to be empty)
  3. Make the USB drive bootable by open a command prompt and running the following command, substitute the letter ‘J’ with the correct letter of your USB drive:
    J:\syslinux.exe -ma J:

How to reset an Administrator’s password using NTPASSWD:

  1. Reboot with the CD or USB stick inserted (you may have to change boot priorities in your BIOS)
  2. The default settings ought to be sufficient, so if everything works, press Enter at each prompt after carefully reading them. The defaults is stated within square brackets, e.g [Administrator]
  3. When you get to the part of which user you wish to change/reset the password for, either press “Enter” for Administrator, or input the correct username.
  4. Now the fun part: Enter 1 (one) and press Enter to blank out the password.*
  5. When done, press “q” to quit, and enter “y” on the next prompt to confirm that you want toΒ  commit the changes to the Windows system files.

Now, reboot and try logging in!

*Always prefer to blank out the password as opposed to changing it to something else.

This entry was posted in Windows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to How To Change Any Windows User Password Using NTPASSWD

  1. Morten says:

    Well this post, i find very interesting! Good work ! Keep it up!

  2. mark says:

    What a waste of time, it dont work, the boot disk dosnt find any hard drives. Laptop is a Panasonic Toughbook CL-31.
    Windows XP pro Service pack 3.

  3. CyberKenny says:

    @mark: You have multiple options if NTPASSWD doesn’t work as advertised.
    Consult the FAQ at and read the paragraph regarding It cannot find any Windows disks or paritions.

    The real problem may be that the current version of NTPASSWD probably doesn’t contain the correct drivers for your model, but other tools might still work.

  4. Ross says:

    On doing a password reset, I get to:

    “openHive (sam) File does not seem to be a registry file”

    {There was an original problem with W7 not being able to access the User Profile – even with correct p/wd]

  5. Paul says:

    Thank you very much!

  6. K Boobalan says:

    good work, i reset windows server 2003 administrator password,
    very very thanks

  7. David Mulroney says:

    AWESOME, thanks sooo much! A little side note, all the defaults work great, except the last step, save is defaulted to No.

  8. Chris Stone says:

    When I try to make my USB drive bootable using “F:syslinux.exe -ma F:” I receive a message “Accessing physical drive: Access is denied.” Do you know why I would have an access problem?

  9. roy a. bunch says:

    I have a Toshiba Satellite and forgot password that I changed. What can I do to recover the laptop. I need it for work online.

  10. Ian says:

    If you get an “Access Denied” message in the cmd prompt, you need to run cmd as administrator.

    Search your computer for “cmd.exe”, right-click the application and click “Run as Administrator”.

    To get my laptop to boot from USB I had to change some settings in BiOS:
    -change boot priority so PC boots from USB first
    -disable Secure Boot
    -change UEFI to CSM

    Then after clearing the password I had to reverse all these settings to get the PC to boot normally. Once I did that the password was removed. The program really works – just need to tinker around with it a bit depending on your PC. Don’t give up!

  11. Baker says:

    This worked for me to access the passwords but I cannot logon still as I get the error “you cannot logon because the logon method is not allowed on this computer” it wants me to connect over vpn first any ideas how I can stop the VPN from kicking in so I can logon locally?

  12. CyberKenny says:

    @Baker: Is this a domain joined/company computer? If so, do you possess the rights to alter the computer’s configuration?

  13. Karen says:

    You are amazing!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I was about to give up…..I have downloaded 2 different brands of software & followed the directions on several web pages……this worked.

    Notes: I had to shut down from the shut down, restart or sleep option, and then book from the USB (followed the Windows start up, F12 Boot). I didn’t shut down properly the first time and it did not work. I’m working on an older desktop used only for backup which is the reason I forgot the password lol

    Acer desktop, Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 2 GB RAM, Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pk 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *