Windows, either Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn Server protects user accounts with passwords, and an user or an administrator need to authenticate with both his or her userid and password correctly in order to log-in and gain access to the computer. What if you have forgetten your Windows login username or password, especially forget Windows administrator password which can be used to help you to reset all other user names and password? You can recover and reveal the Windows logon user id and password including the administrator password with the help of various third-party tools, such as Login Recovery.

Login Recovery
Login Recovery is a service provided for the legitimate retreival and recovery of windows passwords and can reveal user names and recover passwords for Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and Longhorn, without the need to change or reset any password, nor it will change, write or install anything on the computer. To use Login Recovery password recovery service, an user must have physical access to the computer, and only local user or administrator accounts can be recovered. User accounts and passwords stored a central domain controller remotely cannot be recovered. To start the process, follow the simple steps in the instruction as below.

  1. At any Windows computer with internet access, download this file.
  2. Run the image.exe, pressing Yes to any security warnings.
  3. When prompt with “Insert floppy to write”, insert a blank floppy disk and click OK.
  4. Remove the disk when it’s done.
  5. Go to the computer you want to recover passwords from (only works on Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Longhorn).
  6. Make sure the computer is off and shutdown.
  7. Insert the floppy disk and then turn on the computer.
  8. The system should boot up from floopy drive (if it’s not you need to check the bootup sequence if your BIOS settings), and some text will flick across the computer screen then the computer should switch off by itself. (Takes about two minutes)
  9. Remove the disk.
  10. Go back to any Windows computer with internet access, and insert the floppy disk.
  11. Go to Login Recovery page, and locate the file upload section (under Step 3), which asks for file location and email address.
  12. Type A:\UPLOAD.TXT into the box, or you can use browse to select the file from your floppy disk.
  13. Key in your email address (mandatory for password retrieval).
  14. Click Submit.
  15. You should receive an email notifying you that the passwords have been processed within minutes.
  16. You can check the progress of recovery anytime at the results page.

Login Recovery provides free service or priority service. Free service passwords recovery process will have to wait up to 48 hours for the decrypted and recovered passwords to be displayed to you, as the passwords to be decrypted are processed according to queue. If you opt for priority server with minimal payment, your passwords will be at the front of the queue, which typically mean the passwords will be decrypted in less than 10 minutes.

You will notice that you need a floppy disk and floppy drive to use the Login Recovery service, and your PC may not have it. An alternative by using CD is provided too. Download the zip file which contains an ISO file that has to be burned to a CD. Then put the CD in to the CD-ROM drive on the computer that has to crack and hack and password, and follow the above steps, except that, you have to copy down the text that appears on the screen and enter the text into the box on this page (under Using a CD image) exactly. However, you may only enter pairs of lines for users that you wish to recover passwords for, as the CD boot up process will generate a list of all users for each install of Windows.

Another alternative is to generate password hashes in pwdump2 format by using utilities such as SAMInside, PWDUMP2, PWDUMP3, and network sniffer tools. However, you probably can’t do much here once you forget your administrator password as you won’t be able to access to the computer.

If you prefer to recover the password yourself, here’s a list of utilities that you can download to crack the lost password yourself.