- Worldstart's Tech Tips And Computer Help - http://www.worldstart.com -

Recovering Lost Windows Passwords with Ophcrack

Harlon from Delaware asks:

Help, I’ve lost my Windows password! Is there any way to get it back?

Have you ever lost your Windows password? Did you ever want to know how secure your Windows password really is? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this tutorial we’ll talk about a program called Ophcrack, which is used to “crack” Windows passwords. This program works for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

1. Go to the Ophcrack website and download the program [1]. If you want to crack the password of a computer that uses XP, download the “XP LiveCD”. For a computer that uses either Windows Vista or Windows 7, download the “Vista LiveCD”.

2. Burn the downloaded .iso file to a CD. This will be different depending on which burning software you use. See this article [2] for more information.

3. Put the CD into the CD drive of the computer you want to find the password of and restart it. Instead of the usual Windows loading screen, you will be presented with the following screen:

If you restart the computer and don’t see this screen (Windows starts normally) it means that the computer didn’t boot from the CD. On most computers the first boot device is the CD drive, but in this case it isn’t. To correct this, you need to change the boot order. Follow this article [3] to do so.

4. On the Ophcrack startup screen, you can choose between the graphic mode and the text mode. I recommend the graphic mode as it is extremely easy to use. However, on some computers this doesn’t work. You will have to go with the text mode instead.

5. Once you select the appropriate option, the program should automatically start finding your passwords. When you found the password you were looking for, you can simply restart the computer. Don’t forget to take out the CD or the computer will boot from it again.

This program can’t find all kinds of passwords. The longer the password, the less likely it is that the program will find it. That’s why Ophcrack is excellent for checking the security of your Windows password. If the program was able to find your password, you can make it more secure by using symbols, numbers and lower and uppercase letters. Also make sure the password is longer than 8 characters.

Ophcrack is 100% legal, but can be used for illegal purposes. I am not responsible for what you do with this program.