Last night when I was about to format a client’s PC I came across a situation wherein I needed to access the PC to recover valuable data, but the problem is I don’t have the administrator password to access the hard drive and my client also forgot his password. Another problem is I will not be able to change his password because his PC has only one administrator account so I have to rely on other methods. The options that I’ve think of is to put my client hard drive to another PC as a slave or install a second copy of the operating system. But hey there must be a much more easy and faster way to regain access.
That way is to try to reset the administrator password to something you do know and allow you to access to the user profile and the data. In most cases, this is the best solution. However, If the data is encrypted using the Windows XP Encrypting File System (EFS) or other encryption, you probably will not be able to gain access to those encrypted files by changing the administrator password.
I also searched and found a tool that can reset administrator password this is Petter Nordahl-Hagen’s Offline NT Password & Registry Editor This is absolutely one of the best free tools to reset the administrator password and gain access that I have ever used. It modifies the encrypted password in the registry’s SAM file allowing you access to the account in Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista systems.
They also provide a bootable CD and floppy images to be able to modify the administrator password and access NTFS partitions. You do not need to know the old password to set a new one. They have a very helpful feature that can detect and offer to unlock disabled or locked user accounts. The program also supports Windows Vista.