1. Computing
Tim Fisher

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor Step-by-Step Guide

By June 12, 2009

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Offline NT Password & Registry Editor (ONTPRE) is an excellent, and arguably better, alternative to the very, very popular Ophcrack password cracking program.

My review of Offline NT Password & Registry Editor has been a popular stopping point on my site but the biggest complaint about this unique "password removal" tool is that it's a bit hard to use since it's all text based.

So in response to all the feedback, I've created a step-by-step guide with screenshots, demonstrating every painless step in great detail:

How to Remove Passwords Using Offline NT Password & Registry Editor

I should also mention another program called PC Login Now which is a password hacking tool that works in nearly exactly the same way as ONTPRE but it does so with an easy to use graphical interface.

However - PC Login Now causes Windows to believe there has been a hard drive issue, which is a little strange. In my opinion, you shouldn't need to use PC Login Now - ONTPRE is just as effective and now that you have a step by step guide to using it, it should be easy.

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October 30, 2009 at 8:36 am
(1) Bobby says:

hi there,

Got the ISO file on DVD/CD, works fine until step 2.

After pressing “enter” at [Windows/system32/config]
Nothing happens but it show the question “What is the path to the registry directory?…” again, then I pressed “enter” again but the same happens again.

What should I do? Thanks.


November 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm
(2) Tim Fisher says:

Bobby, I’m not sure why that would happen. Have you tried another program like Ophcrack? You could also see if the developer could help out.

November 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm
(3) Scott says:


I’m using Windows 7 and I too have the same problem as Bob – the Offline NT step 2 just keeps repeating itself. I have tried Ophcrack also but that too sticks at a certain screen and shows ‘[ok]‘ many times but doesnt actually continue.

Please could you help as I have forgotten my password for my laptop and college work is on there. I changed the password when i installed Windows 7 and have completely forgotten it.



November 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm
(4) scott says:

Working now :)
What you do is actually select the partition by selecting the number. You get this by reading through the script and (on mine) it had 2 partitions available, if i pressed enter (like it says to do and you probably followed) it will go with the wrong partition and wont actually find anything and therefore repeat itself. Choose the other partition (most likely to have more memory on it) by typing the number then press enter… you can follow the rest of the guide from there.

Hope that helped :)


November 29, 2009 at 7:51 am
(5) Tim Fisher says:

@scott: Thanks for the repost! I’ll work some better language into my guide so maybe this won’t be so difficult for others.

January 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm
(6) JS says:

I tried to change and remove my password for vista but still have the same problem, i can’t get into windows. I’ve selected the right partition and username and nothing happened. If you guy could help me i’d really appreciate it.

There’s something else i wanna know, how you get out of the program? You have to hit CTRL+ALT+DEL or there’s another way???

Thanks in advance,


February 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(7) Tim Fisher says:

@JS: Did every screen respond like you expected or did you run into something that wasn’t in the tutorial I wrote? The easiest way to exit would be to do just what you said. It shouldn’t cause any problems because you don’t have any files open from your hard drive.

March 6, 2010 at 1:45 am
(8) stevenvw says:

Just a comment…
I’ve used ONTPRE to remove the password on a vista. I was asked if I could find or disable the administrator’s password. The owner changed the password to the admin account, logged off, and forgot her password. There was a standard account, but that was pretty much useless.
It worked, but back to my comment. If you forgot your password, and you dont really mind resetting windows to factory condition or you feel that it’s high time anyway (many people seem to have a problem with vista slowing down over time), well except for all your pictures/music/videos, you can boot a live linux disc such as ubuntu. you can copy all your stuff onto a portable storage device, and then reset windows.
But that isn’t always an option…

March 10, 2010 at 9:38 am
(9) Tim Fisher says:

@stevenvw: Certainly an option. Thanks for the comments.

March 11, 2010 at 9:57 am
(10) Thabiso says:

When I am trying to boot using the offline NT Paaword and Registry Editor software via USB i get a boot error message.
What should I do!

March 12, 2010 at 4:43 pm
(11) Tim Fisher says:

@Thabiso: Did you properly prepare the USB drive for booting or did you just extract the ISO file to the flash drive?

March 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm
(12) Teresa says:

I’m having a similar problem using the program to reset my password on my Windows 7 laptop – can’t get past the registry directory step. The default (windows/system32/config) isn’t letting me past this step so does that mean it’s not the right location or ??? Can anyone help? As far as I know my hard drive is not partitioned since it’s only a couple months old and I never did that to it. Thanks.

March 25, 2010 at 9:46 am
(13) Tim Fisher says:

@Teresa: All Windows 7 installations (to my knowledge) have dual partitions. One very small one is created to house restore information. Repeat this process and in Step 7 of my guide (here) make really sure that you’re picking the right partition. The larger of the two is the right answer… assuming you only have 2.

March 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm
(14) beccah says:

hi. when i turn on my computer it says:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

You can attempt to repair the file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM
Select ‘r’ at the first screen to start repair.

-my computer does not have a cd-rom. how do i fix this? i need to fix it today!!! i pressed r when this came up because i did not know what to do and it goes to the loading page but goes back to the error message. i have a dell netbook. one of the small ones. wat do i doo??

March 25, 2010 at 9:43 am
(15) Tim Fisher says:

@beccah: I’d recommend that you post about this in the PC Support forum.

April 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm
(16) Jo Ellen says:

Tried ophcrack and it didn’t work. Tried Offline NT. Didn’t work until I realized I didn’t have my CD as the 1st to boot from. (ophcrack may have worked had I noticed I selected the wrong one to boot from). Then I had to restart Offline NT because I didn’t have the right partition selected. But, praise the Lord!!!! I have my laptop up and running WITH a password reset disk by my side. Thank you so much for the instructions AND these comments. They helped me through it by reading about what I was having trouble with. God richly bless you!!

April 7, 2010 at 4:32 am
(17) T.G. says:

I can’t get past Step 2, “What is the path to the registry directory?” (relative to windows disk) I press Enter and it asks the same question over and over again…I’ve tried typing it in all kinds of ways such as winnt/system32/config instead of what is listed: windows/system32/config etc. I’m stuck, what do I do? Has anyone that has had the same problem got past this, and if so, how did you do it? Please help… Note: I have Windows Vista Basic.

April 7, 2010 at 7:58 am
(18) Tim Fisher says:

@TG: Did you have more than one partition option to choose from in Step 1 (http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/ontpre-screenshot-guide_7.htm)? If so, go back and try another one. You may be trying, in Step 2 (http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/ontpre-screenshot-guide_8.htm), to specify the location of the registry on a partition that doesn’t even include Windows.

May 29, 2010 at 9:31 am
(19) nathan says:

thanks,it works perfectly on my pc

May 30, 2010 at 12:43 am
(20) Mike says:

now i have a different issue i run the file and toward the end i get ERROR:SAM registry file (which contains user dad) is not loaded

June 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm
(21) Tim Fisher says:

@Mike: In my experience, if the SAM won’t load, you’ve either chosen the wrong partition, or there’s something “wrong” with the SAM file (could be a weird Windows issue, could be a hardware problem), or ONTP&RE simply isn’t going to work with your computer for some reason.

You could try Ophcrack, though ONTP&RE tends to work more often. Still, worth a try.

June 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm
(22) Nadia says:

Hay ,
Uhm I lost my password for window 7 .. now i cant log in .. many ppl said i shud re install da windows since i dun rememba my password so i tried doin it .. buh it aint workin either wen i put the cd in nothin happens .. nothin appears on screen i been trynin to do dat since past 2 days .. nothin workin =[ & i really need help with it ..

June 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm
(23) Tim Fisher says:

@Nadia: Have you tried the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor program I linked to and talked about in this blog post? If that doesn’t work, try Ophcrack.

As far as your inability to reinstall Windows 7 – are you sure your computer is set to boot to your disc drive first? If you’re not sure, try this: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ss/bootorderchange.htm

June 17, 2010 at 3:16 am
(24) mithun says:

i am right now logged into my administration account of my windows7 in my laptop and afraid to log out or shutdown as i have forgoten my password and want to remove it or get my password

June 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm
(25) Tim Fisher says:

@mithun: If you create another admin user on your computer you can restart your PC, log in to that user you just created, and then reset the password on your profile. The only caveat here is that your current account (the one you’ve forgotten the password for) MUST already be an administrator account. If you’re the owner of the PC then it likely is.

Do this:

1. Go to User Accounts in Control Panel.
2. Click “Manage Another Account”
3. Click “Create a New Account”
4. Give the account the name of TEMP
5. Click the “Administrator” radio button
6. Click the “Create Account” button
7. Restart your PC
8. Log in as TEMP when the logon screen appears. You won’t need a password. :) Don’t freak out when your icons and documents and other items are all gone or different. This is a different “user” that you won’t keep.
9. Go back to User Accounts in Control Panel
10. Click “Manage Another Account”
11. Click on your user account (the one you forgot the password to)
12. Click “Change the password”
13. Type a new password twice in the appropriate boxes and then click the “Change Password” button
15. Restart your PC
16. Log on as yourself again, using your new password.
17. You’re done!

You can delete the TEMP user whenever you want. I’d do it right away… it’s a security risk leaving it around.

Be sure to create a password reset disk so you don’t have to worry about this again.

July 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm
(26) Matt says:

Ophcrack doesn’t work on my computer

Windows Vista Basic.

Any help would be appreciated thanks!

July 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm
(27) Tim Fisher says:

@Matt: Any details on what’s not working? If you don’t want to mess with Ophcrack, give ONTP&RE a try (linked several places in the comments).

July 5, 2010 at 10:36 pm
(28) Eric O says:

So i’ve extracted .iso files to my thumb drive, i cant use the syslinux.exe -ma f: so i omit -ma and use: syslinux.exe f: and i am still having a “boot error” appear when i boot from the usb!! This whole no optical drive thing is killing me! Anybody? Thoughts? I need some help here

July 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm
(29) Eric O says:


couldnt use f:/syslinux.exe -ma f: and so i omit -ma and I am STILL getting a boot error!!! UGH!! anyone? help? PLEAAASE?

July 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm
(30) Tim Fisher says:

@Eric: Any chance of borrowing or buying a USB based floppy drive? Depending on your BIOS, you might be able to boot from the USB optical drive. You could also try Ophcrack.

July 31, 2010 at 6:46 pm
(31) Eric says:


Im getting a “remove media”
press any key to restart, once i select boot order and after selecting the USB drive. I know I can boot from the USB drive, as I have installed w7 using USB

August 1, 2010 at 10:25 am
(32) Tim Fisher says:

@Eric: Honestly, I’ve never run this program from a USB drive. I need to test that out myself and write up a little tutorial. However, I do know that there are specific instructions for making this work in the README.txt file inside the ISO image. Did you follow those instructions?

August 9, 2010 at 12:11 am
(33) Jeremy R says:

Tim… My problem is a little different. I didn’t forget my password. I was logged and tried to change my password but it gave me and error message so I was unable to. I figured nothing changed so I shutdown. When I tried to log on later that day, both my old password and the one I tried to change it to didn’t work. I tired to use ophcrack to recovery it said that the nt pass was”empty”. I also used offline nt pass registry editor and went through all the steps without a hitch but when I restarted my computer, it still brought me back to a log on screen and required a password… I’m completely lost. Any suggestions? Thanks!

August 9, 2010 at 9:03 am
(34) Tim Fisher says:

@Jeremy: Did you try leaving it blank? So at the logon prompt, don’t enter a password at all but click the button to logon. I’m guessing you’ve done that so here’s another idea:

Use PC Login Now, which is the exact same thing as ONTP&RE but easier to use. And use it to enable your administrator account so you can log on using it after you reboot after using the tool. Since YOUR account might be having some issues, you can use your Administrator logon to get in and then from Control Panel, make a password change for YOUR account. Make sense? Let me know if not.

December 8, 2010 at 12:55 am
(35) Sabz says:

I’m having a problem with step 2. When I type in windows/system32/config – It says windows not found. I’ve selected the right partition – 2 appear as I load this software, sda1 and sda2. After I have typed this in, it says: Select which part of registry to load, use predefined choices or list the files with space delimiter. Gives me 2 options now. 1) Password reset [sam system security] 2) RecoveryConsole parameters [software] & the option to quit. So I press 1 and press enter and it says: cp: cannot stat ‘[Ss][Aa][Mm]‘: No such file or directory. ERROR: Failed to copy registry file sam. Please help! I just want to get back into my laptop :( I’ve tried Ophcrack but that says something about it not finding the hashes.

December 8, 2010 at 10:22 am
(36) Tim Fisher says:

@Sabz: Don’t type it in manually. Just hit ENTER to accept the default. If that doesn’t work, try PC Login Now.

January 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm
(37) Will says:

@Tim Fisher
I have a gateway laptop and i went onto command prompt with it and i accidently changed the password on it and im using offline nt password reset and register, i know how to use it and i have done it before, but when it gets to the part where i select edit the user password or reset it, i get the sam message where it says that there was an error with the sam password thing, and i dont know what to do now because it wont work from there.

January 5, 2011 at 10:20 am
(38) Tim Fisher says:

@Will: I’m wondering if you corrupted or did something to the password related files in Windows when you were in the Command Prompt and now they’re not usable by ONTP&RE.

You could try Ophcrack or PC Login Now but if you get similar errors, you might simply be out of luck.

March 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm
(39) Darryl Crum says:

For those of you trying to use the password reset disk with Windows 7. Linux file names are case sensitive. So, when prompted for the path to the Window’s system files, your path must be case sensitive.

In my case… that was Windows/System32/config.

March 19, 2011 at 9:55 am
(40) Tim Fisher says:

@Darryl Crum: Thanks for the info!

March 29, 2011 at 1:58 am
(41) Jason says:

I anticipate using one of these crackers to recover my System Password but need more information about using one from a Thumb Drive, Flash Drive or Universal Serial Bus Stick assuming those are all the same thing? A separate post on the internet I found before here suggested a reset would be possible by safe boot to a command prompt with some NET USER text but when I tried that it loads some startup files then brings me back to the Windows log page. You mentioned ISO extraction or something else in order to be able to boot from this type of media and not a compact disc but can you provide a link to the instructions plus the actual directions to using which ever program you suggest to me because all I saw was comments. Thanks.

March 29, 2011 at 10:54 am
(42) Tim Fisher says:

@Jason: It’s kind of a catch-22 but the ISO file, when mounted or burned to a CD, contains a README.TXT file with instructions for putting the files on a USB disk. You have to copy the files from CD to USB and then run a little program that adds the Linux system files to the USB drive so it actually boots.

April 19, 2011 at 12:24 am
(43) H. says:

okay ive gone through all the parts of it but how do i exit? every time when i try to log in the password is still there plz tell me. thanks.

April 19, 2011 at 10:16 am
(44) Tim Fisher says:

@H.: Here is the part of the tutorial where you blank out the password: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/ontpre-screenshot-guide-p2_2.htm but there are some steps afterward that you need to do or it’s not saved. I’m guessing that’s where your problem is.

May 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm
(45) Eric says:

Hi Tim,

I have a Windows Server 2003 box whose administrator password is now long-lost. I just tried the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor in hopes of saving it, but when I get to the partition step, ONTPRE doesn’t find any partitions at all.

Have you seen an issue like this, and do you have any idea how to get around it?

May 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm
(46) Tim Fisher says:

@Eric: I don’t have a lot of experience using ONTP&RE, nor any of the other password cracker/recovery/reset tools I’ve written about, on Windows Server operating systems. It maybe that this is what happens due to differences in how the Server OS’s are written… I’m not sure. Have you tried PC Login Now yet?

May 20, 2011 at 9:46 am
(47) D Mizfit says:

Hi Tim,your post is rily helpful. However, the tool doesn’t boot on my system. My screen just blanks out whenever i set it to boot from USB. Do i copy the .zip file on my flash before running the .exe file or do i extract the files then copy them and paste the files on my flash drive before executing? Am i just getting it all wrong?

May 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm
(48) Tim Fisher says:

@D Mizfit: It’s a little more complicated than that. The tutorial on my site is for CD (or DVD or BD) use, not USB. See Comment #42 above. You need to open the ONTP&RE ISO image (via WinZip or 7-Zip or some program like that) or burn it to CD and read the instructions given in the TXT file.

May 25, 2011 at 9:07 am
(49) D Mizfit says:

Thank alot tim,i simply used an empty bootable cd and it worked just fine

May 25, 2011 at 11:42 am
(50) Tim Fisher says:

@D Mizfit: Great! Happy to hear it!

July 28, 2011 at 7:48 am
(51) clyde says:

i dont have i CD ROM thing..what would be my alternative?plz help!!

July 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm
(52) Tim Fisher says:

@clyde: Check the ONTP&RE site… there are instructions for making this all work on a USB stick.

July 30, 2011 at 1:12 am
(53) clyde says:

Got the procedures correctly,performed wat was being showed in your step by step procedures but same thing happened. after the reboot wait for a wyl, the same, pop up:

windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \windows\system32\config\system

i already tried kon-boot (coz i think that one has the alternative of using USB), while others like pc login now, ophcrack, etc, which i think realy requires a cd rom.. but still kon-boot didnt solve me.

what should i do sir?

[EDIT BY TIM: i have widows XP by the way..]

August 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm
(54) Tim Fisher says:

@clyde: Sorry it took so long to get back with you. Crazy busy on this end. So did ONTP&RE cause this problem with “…\config\system” or are you trying to reset a password to try and get in and do some fixing?

November 1, 2011 at 12:00 am
(55) Kittu says:

I have windows 7 enterprise edition installed on my HP laptop. It was given from my office.
I want to remove the Administrator account password.
I have tried NT password recovery, Active password recovery, windows login recovery tools etc. but no luck.
NT password recovery gives me error while selecting volume “NTFS signature missing”.
this laptop has one hidden partition. boot partition is C:/

when i use Active password recovery then it doesn’t find SAM file on C: partition.

I have doubt that some system files like SAM registry file are on hidden partition which is hidden.

can you help me here please, who to proceed?

November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm
(56) Tim Fisher says:

@Kittu: I’ve often seen complaints about enterprise level versions of Windows and password reset tools (and other kinds of tools like product key finders) not working and honestly, I don’t have a solution. I’m assuming the password systems work differently. Now you are trying to reset a local password, not an Active Directory one, right? (just checking)

December 27, 2011 at 12:30 am
(57) Tommy says:

When I get to the step where I have to choose a partition it does it automatically and chooses the wrong one. How do I fix this?

January 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(58) Tim Fisher says:

@Tommy: That’s weird. I’ve never seen it do that. I take it you’ve tried more than once with the same behavior?

January 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm
(59) Connor says:

This is crap. I’ve done all the steps correctly to make a bootable CD and my laptop just skips booting it. I went into the BIOS and changed the boot order, but nothing. It just skips booting it every time. PLEASE HELP. I need my laptop back.

January 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm
(60) Tim Fisher says:

@Connor: Do you have another disc that you know is bootable, like a Windows setup disc or something like that? You need to determine if the laptop/BIOS/CD-DVD Drive is the problem or the burned disc.

January 19, 2012 at 2:13 am
(61) George says:

I have Windows Vista and am stuck on the second step.
“DEBUG path: windows not found
DEBUG path: winnt not found
DEBUG path: winnt35 not found
What is the path to the registry directory?”
Is what it reads. I selected the right drive. Do I need to type in a different registry directory or what? Thanks

February 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm
(62) Tim Fisher says:

@George: Sorry for the late reply. What version of Windows are you using? Do you know the name of your Windows directory?

January 23, 2012 at 10:57 pm
(63) GIUSEPPE says:

I have a problem like: Sabz says:
Iím having a problem with step 2. When I type in windows/system32/config Ė It says windows not found. Iíve selected the right partition Ė 2 appear as I load this software, sda1 and sda2. After I have typed this in, it says: Select which part of registry to load, use predefined choices or list the files with space delimiter. Gives me 2 options now. 1) Password reset [sam system security] 2) RecoveryConsole parameters [software] & the option to quit. So I press 1 and press enter and it says: cp: cannot stat Ď[Ss][Aa][Mm]Ď: No such file or directory. ERROR: Failed to copy registry file sam. Please help! I just want to get back into my laptop Iíve tried Ophcrack but that says something about it not finding the hashes.

Your reply was:
December 8, 2010 at 10:22 am(36) Tim Fisher says:
@Sabz: Donít type it in manually. Just hit ENTER to accept the default. If that doesnít work, try PC Login Now.

But I don’t try PC Login Now because I don’t load PC Login Now on pen USB (I have a netbook). Can you help me?
Thank you from Italy.

February 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm
(64) Tim Fisher says:

@GIUSEPPE: Sorry for the late reply. You shouldn’t have to “type” windows/system32/config – just accept that as the default. See this.

April 4, 2012 at 8:20 am
(65) Harry says:

using Offline NT Password on windows 7, im at the stage where i have selected the correct partition, and then when i click enter to the suggested ‘windows/system32′ and then password reset (sam system security) i get the message : cannot start Ď[Ss][Aa][Mm]Ď: No such file or directory. ERROR: Failed to copy registry file sam.

Also previsouly it says for partition 2 (the largest one) that the DEBUG path: config not found.

April 10, 2012 at 11:58 am
(66) Tim Fisher says:

@Harry: The larger partition is probably the one with Windows 7 installed on it. The first, tiny one, is the built-in recovery partition. So let’s focus on what’s going on with #2. So on Step 7, you’re choosing the second partition, correct? And are you accepting the default option in Step 8?

July 12, 2012 at 12:53 am
(67) Christian says:

The screen displays “no partitions found in table”….what do i do? i have managed to boot from the USB. email me the response as well as posting if thats ok. Thank you.

July 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm
(68) Tim Fisher says:

@Christian: Is that exactly what it says? Seems a bit off. Though what I think either that means, or you’re trying to transcribe, is that ONTP&RE couldn’t find Windows’ encrypted password file so it could make changes to it. LOTS of reasons why that may be.

July 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm
(69) Jen8700 says:

I need help!! I get all the way down to last step and I watched video so I did it right. Cleared password on admin account…pressed quit_! …and then it asks to save to the sam or whatever, n I type Y…..but then it says “write not complete nothing changed” why is it doing that????i tryd changing password, I tryd regular admin but at point of saving it wont save to sam or however that works. Im confused n dont see any questions to help :(

July 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm
(70) Tim Fisher says:

@Jen8700: My guess is that there’s some kind of extra write protection or other protective feature on the hard drive, or there’s simply an incompatibility with some aspect of ONTP&RE and your specific computer. I also haven’t see any kind of mention of this particular issue before. I’d just move on and try one of the other Windows password recovery/reset tools.

July 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm
(71) Jen8700 says:

Thanks for fast response. Yes its wierd I noticed it says hash not found when I try unlosk it too but I dunno lol. Okay thank you im downloading the live cd for the one stat starts with O…forgot. But yea everything went through just wouldn save. Moven on :)

July 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm
(72) Tim Fisher says:

@Jen8700: That’s Ophcrack. It doesn’t “reset” a password, it actually finds it. So it works much less often than the other reset tools (like ONTP&RE and PC Login Now), but that statistic only applies if they all get through their processes, which ONTP&RE did not. So if the password is relatively short and simple, Ophcrack will work fine. If that doesn’t do it (for whatever reason) then I’d try PC Login Now next.

July 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm
(73) Jen8700 says:

Yeah orphcrack didnt recover admin user password :( only none admin one ill try next one thank you!

July 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm
(74) Jen8700 says:

Okay so tryed the crack n it didnt find admin but it found non admin password :( . So tryed the pc login now, and it went thru first few steps but when it got to screen of starting and where im supposed to hit next it said Invalid loop location root.dat
kernal command line
cant access tty..job control turned off.
What does that mean??? Jeez mine is difficult lol. Thanks for help though. What else could I do

July 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm
(75) Jen8700 says:

I do notice tho when I burned it and it was extracted it went from PCLoginNow to PCLoginNow.iso not exe is that the prob? I mean the boot started but how do I make it exe? Is that the issue mybe?

July 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm
(76) Tim Fisher says:

@Jen8700: The ISO file is what you burn. As long as you can get that file out and ready, you can use this tutorial if you have any concerns. If that works, but you’re still getting a weird error, then maybe this one won’t work for you either. :(

July 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(77) Jen8700 says:

But I did burn image to disk like the others so dont know why those error comands were comming up. It asked for another batch or something after saying ” what I said in first question about pc login now”

July 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm
(78) Jen8700 says:

Also with offline NT I noticed the difference with the video is by user names it says admin then another colome that says locked and says admin/locked one Administrator user and other user thats main admin. I tryd unlocking but dont save

July 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm
(79) Tim Fisher says:

@Jen8700: If it helps, on this screen in ONTP&RE, you can choose to 3 on a non-admin account to make it an admin account. Not sure if that helps your situation, but thought I’d mention it.

July 22, 2012 at 1:46 am
(80) Mike says:

You are amazing! I tried using Ophcrack but this tool solved the problems. Thanks Tim for yet another great walk through! I wouldn’t be able to do this without your help. Saved us $30 for a laptop repair man!

July 24, 2012 at 11:35 am
(81) Tim Fisher says:

@Mike: You’re very welcome. :)

August 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm
(82) Luciana says:

Thank you Tim! It worked perfectly… I followed your tutorial to the letter and it worked perfectly. Just one thing disturbed me… when it got to the point where I had to choose the user to reset the password for… There was one that said Administrator, another one that said FPCreditUser or something like it… one with a bunch of jumbled letters and numbers, a blank one, a guest account and mine. The first 3 and mine had administrator level. I understand every computer has an Administrator user and maybe a Guest user or other previously setup user accounts. What I don’t understand is why isn’t mine – “The Administrator” account since I bought this computer new and for the most part have been the only person ever using it? 2 )what are the other ones, specially the other two accounts with admin level and 3) how can I get rid of them? I have a guest account I turn on on my computer if I ever have guests that ask to use my computer, so that my files are not vulnerable. But I have that account off now, so I am not so worry about that one… the other ones however, are really of concern to me. Any ideas? Thanks again!

August 13, 2012 at 11:24 am
(83) Tim Fisher says:

@Luciana: The account named “Administrator” is used for maintenance, by you, in some situations. The only thing that matters is what role the user, whatever the user is named, has. So your account and Administrator (capital A) both have administrator (small a) privileges. So you’re fine… and this is very, very typical.

The other two could be special remote help accounts (normal) or maybe something the computer maker preconfigured to assist with them connecting to your computer when you call for service.

What you could do is head to Control Panel and then Users. If any of them are listed there, feel free to remove them but you probably don’t need to. If they’re not listed, don’t worry about it. It’s unlikely there’s any security concern.

Hope that helped!

August 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm
(84) dmac says:

I have a very new Dell with 64 bit windows 7. Somehow I have managed to lock myself out of my administrator account although I didn’t forget my password. My best guess is that I managed to somehow make the same typo twice in a row when creating the password. No luck trying to recreate that error.

Anyway, I used ONTPRE following along with Tim’s excellent guide and everything appeared to work correctly including saving the changes made. Unfortunately upon rebooting windows I was greeted with the same old lock screen and password hint. A blank password did not work. I tried ONTPRE again and it even says that my account has no password and to try a blank one.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

August 29, 2012 at 11:48 am
(85) Tim Fisher says:

@dmac: Very strange! I know I’m getting back to you late… did you ever get this figured out?

One thought would be to enable the actual “Administrator” account in Windows 7 and clear that password. Then log in there, reset your personal account’s password from there, then restart and try logging in.

August 20, 2012 at 4:07 am
(86) LordFalco says:

I have windows 7 installed on my pc twice, I used ophcrack, it worked but I need to use it on the other windows installed. Does anyone know how to switch?

August 29, 2012 at 11:50 am
(87) Tim Fisher says:

@LordFalco: On Step 8 in the tutorial, change that path to the other installation. So if the other Windows installation is installed in the WindowsNew folder, for example, then use this: WindowsNew/System32/config.

October 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm
(88) Ahadu says:

i have done everything right but after i reboot my computer it gives me the old user account with another window the says windows security and i still can’t log on to my pc.


November 29, 2012 at 11:12 am
(89) itisilol says:

tool worked great once you get the root typed in … as it would not auto load in win 7… it has to be WINDOWS/system32/config
not Windows as the string tries to load ..once i did that it loaded fine

December 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm
(90) Ryan says:

I did everything correct and idk if its just not saving but how do i get out of editing the user accounts?!

December 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(91) Tim Fisher says:

@Ryan: If you’re where I think you are in the process, you type an exclamation mark and then press ENTER.

December 30, 2012 at 10:23 am
(92) Jaspinder says:

Please help as soon as you can, this didn’t work for me. Everything went perfectly in ONT&RE (‘edit complete’ came up and I HAD remembered to ‘write files back to disk’) until I restarted Windows and the password was still there!

January 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm
(93) Tim Fisher says:

@Jaspinder: That’s strange. There’s little troubleshooting you can do in your position but try another password reset tool.

January 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm
(94) SpeedUp says:

hi im step 2 i get a error :
debug path: Windows not found
debug path: winnt Not found
debug path: winnt35 not found
i just have one partition.

pls help me i have Windows7 ultimate .

January 28, 2013 at 11:31 am
(95) Tim Fisher says:

@SpeedUp: Basically that means that the program did not find an installation of Windows on your computer, for whatever reason. That could mean that Windows was installed in an uncommonly-named folder on your system, that there’s a major problem with Windows, or that ONTP&RE simply has an issue working on your PC. Regardless, there’s little you can do but try another tool instead.

January 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm
(96) Kostas says:

When I press enter at the beginning (boot) then it loads stuff but then when it is the time to select a partition for some odd reason i cant type…
Im trying click enter or anything! But it doesnt work… FLock Works for some reason but all other buttons dont pls i really want to reset my password cuz i made another account as an admin and i passworded it but now i cant remember password

January 28, 2013 at 11:32 am
(97) Tim Fisher says:

@Kostas: Try another USB port for your keyboard, assuming you’re on a desktop. Otherwise, you might try entering BIOS and seeing if there’s a “USB Keyboard” or “Legacy USB” option you can enable.

January 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm
(98) nick says:

i continually get what is the psth to the registery directory
rea\lative to the windows disk

February 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm
(99) Ruby says:

I am the administrator in my PC but I forgot my password. There another user but he’s not the administrator so he can’t make changes on settings, etc. What do I do to recover my password or how will i unlock my administrator account? I’m so worried because I can’t access my files and can’t even download anything thru the otheruser’s account? Thank you so much?

February 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm
(100) jay says:

i followed every step of the password reset. i am the only user on my laptop after restartin my laptop, it prompted for my password. i went and did the process twie again and same result then i tried goin to set new password, now it says password is already cleared. restarted again n still propmts for password. what do i do?plz respond asap…

i use windows 7 by the way.. 32bit.. ultimate edition

February 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm
(101) Tim Fisher says:

@jay: Do you have more than installation of Windows on the computer? Maybe you’re inadvertently removing the password on another installation.

Also, are you just leaving it blank and proceeding when Windows asks for the password? Just making sure.

February 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm
(102) JoeT says:

Thanks for all this information! On and off since yesterday I’ve been trying both ONTP&re and OPHcrack without any luck. This is a Windows 7 laptop and I suspect there’s some security preventing these programs from seeing the right partitions or flles.

With ONTP&re I am stuck at “please select partition by number” Choosing “l” (probable windows partitions) returns nothing. Same for choosing 1,2, 3 or any other number. The program sees the single drive (/dev/sda) but does not list any partitions.

With OPHcrack, I see the boot menu but no matter which option I choose (I tried all 4 including text), the program goes to a gray screen and just stays there, I tried an external monitor to no avail.

I am stuck :(

February 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm
(103) Tim Fisher says:

@JoeT: Your suspicion is probably correct. I’ve seen this a few times, especially on laptops from some manufacturers.

March 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm
(104) Murthy says:

Not able to enter “!” with my keyboard

March 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm
(105) Tim Fisher says:

@Murthy: Does it work otherwise? I mean, when you’re in Windows, does your SHIFT+1 (to make the ! symbol) work OK?

March 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm
(106) Conner says:

When I clear the password it says it was successful but it does not work. And when I choose to edit the password it says the password is blank. PLEASE HELP!!!

March 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm
(107) Tim Fisher says:

@Conner: Hmm… I’m not sure what’s going on there. You could try enabling the built-in “Administrator” account, setting that password, and then logging in there. Once in Windows with that account, you can change your password via the “change another user’s password” option in Windows.

March 6, 2013 at 9:52 am
(108) Greg says:

One of the solutions worked for me, the older reset disk and 64bit 7.

1. Choose the bigger partition (probably not default)
2. Always use case sensitive


I unlocked after being asked for the directory over and over.

March 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm
(109) Nicole says:

Hi there, any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated! So far I have only been able to get up to the point where you press “enter” to boot. After that the text scrolls by quickly as expected, but then stops with several lines that start with “pci 0000:00:” and never moves past that point. Have I done something wrong already, or is this a problem that suggests this method won’t work for me at all?

Thanks in advance!!

April 9, 2013 at 10:25 am
(110) Tim Fisher says:

@Nicole: Yes, the problem suggests that this method (this program, in particular) won’t work for you at all. It looks like a conflict between the “best guess” generic drivers included on the disc you burned and your computer’s hardware. Just bad luck. I’d try one of the other tools.

April 11, 2013 at 11:34 am
(111) Ken says:

So I used NT password to unlock and reset the passwords on a Win 2000 Professional machine and now when I reboot and Windows attempts to load, it fails and displays an error that the registry located in Sys32 ic corrupt and wants me to install the Win2000 setup disk and press R for repair. So now not only can I not log in because of a bad password I can’t boot into Windows at all!!!!

April 11, 2013 at 11:39 am
(112) Tim Fisher says:

@Ken: I’ve never heard of that happening but I also haven’t had a lot of personal experience using this program on Windows 2000 machines. I’d check with the developer for more help: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

April 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm
(113) John says:

I have ontpre working, however, when I get to the username part it doesn’t show the users except admin and guest. I have tried just putting the admin account name in but it doesnt seem to work. Any help appreciated.

April 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm
(114) Tim Fisher says:

@John: If your username isn’t listed, and you’re sure you’re not just using “admin” then I’d guess that you have two (or I suppose more, but that’s unlikely) installations of Windows on the machine and ONTP&RE is looking at the one you wish it wasn’t. Anything ring a bell there?

June 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm
(115) Luke says:

Thanks for this! I had an error before because the first drive (default) does not have the SAM file on it. I switched over to OphCrack but it just froze. (You answered my comment there, thanks for that) But I came back and read some of the comments saying it might be the other drive. I switched over and it worked perfectly. There are 4 user accounts on the computer I was working with and I was able to change the passwords on all 4. (Including admin).

July 24, 2013 at 9:19 am
(116) RkaneKnight says:

I hope you make it to this message before giving up.
Here is what I found.
Windows doesn’t care about your directory uppercase or lowercase, but linux does. This is why it’s failed for me and probably will fail for many of you.

In my case I had to quit out to the shell and edit the scripts to use uppercase instead of lowercase hive names (example: SAM SYSTEM SECURITY SOFTWARE)

I also needed to use the path when it requested it of “Windows/System32/config” Notice the caps are different than what it suggests for default.

This is all my fault as the custom windows install that I created has all these directories in uppercase inside of it, and I will just have to go back and modify my image file so this doesn’t happen again.

Remove the #s from this and you can contact me for help.
t3t8w1t98e8c12h234@googles mail domain dot com

August 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm
(117) Alexander says:

I have a problem with the first step of ontpere. When it ask me the partion to choose i have only one partion listed and it s the USB! I don t know why, please help me! I already tried ophcrack but it didn t fine my pass because is a bit difficult propably..

August 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm
(118) Tim Fisher says:

@Alexander: Try another tool. It’s possible ONTP&RE’s default hard drive controller drivers aren’t working for your computer.

August 9, 2013 at 8:32 am
(119) Johnson Varghese says:


Its an amazing tool, thanks

Its worked fine for me, :)

August 20, 2013 at 2:47 am
(120) John P says:

It took me forever to figure out, but I eventually blanked my passwords. Awesome tool. It won where ophcrack failed. FYI…Just enter WINDOWS/system32/config when it asks for it. If it doesn’t work for one partition, choose the another one.

September 7, 2013 at 4:39 am
(121) homesh says:

when i using pc login now for resetting mmy winodws password. and when cd is loading it shows loop is invalid

September 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm
(122) Tim Fisher says:

@homesh: I recommend you try one of the other programs. ONTP&RE probably isn’t going to work for you. I wish there was more troubleshooting to do with these password reset tools, but since they’re precompiled in “Live CD” form, there’s not much to do if they don’t work out but to move on.

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