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50. Creating A Password Reset Disk

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Password protecting your PC is extremely important, after all, you simply don't want any Tom, Dick or Harry being able to access the data on your PC. Unfortunately, while it is extremely easy to actually password protect your system a large proportion of PC users forget to actually make a password reset disc.

Why make a password reset disk, you may ask. Well the answer is simple. What are you going to do if you boot up your PC one morning, type in your password, and you get an error message stating 'Incorrect password' or, more importantly you simply forget the password you have allocated?

One thing you will not be able to do is ask on the Microsoft Newsgroup forums how to circumvent the password - well you could try asking, of course, but you would get the standard reply back "Microsoft staff, engineers, or MVPs are not allowed to issue instructions to enable you to circumvent a Windows operating system password." So now you know why it is important to actually create a Password Reset Disk.

To make a Password Reset Disk simply follow the instructions below:

  1. Before you start you should be aware that you cannot use a CD/DVD to create a Password Reset Disk, you either have to use a floppy disk, assuming your PC has a floppy drive or a USB thumb drive. As most new PCs no longer are shipped with floppy drives your best option is a USB Thumb drive. Incidentally the Reset file is only around 2KB (KiloBytes) in size.
  2. Fig: 50-1 Control Panel Window

    Fig: 50-1 Control Panel Window

  3. To create a Password Reset Disk, Click the Start button and then Click Control Panel.
  4. Fig: 50-2 The User Accounts Window with the Password Reset Disk option highlighted on the left of the window

    Fig: 50-2 The User Accounts Window with the Password Reset Disk option highlighted on the left of the window

  5. In the Control Panel Window, Click the User Accounts Icon
  6. The Welcome to the Forgotten Password Wizard will now open
  7. Fig: 50-3 The Welcome to the Forgotten Password Wizard window. Press Next to start.

    Fig: 50-3 The Welcome to the Forgotten Password Wizard window. Press Next to start.

  8. Make sure that your floppy disk or USB Thumb drive is inserted before pressing the Next button.
  9. In the I want to create a password key disk in the following drive option, Select the drive you wish to backup your password file to and then Click the Next button.
  10. Fig: 50-4 Select the drive you want to backup your Password file to

    Fig: 50-4 Select the drive you want to backup your Password file to

  11. The Current User Account Password window will open. Type in the current password for your machine and then Click the Next button.
  12. Fig: 50-5 Enter your current password into the Account Password box

    Fig: 50-5 Enter your current password into the Account Password box

  13. A progress bar will now display. The progress bar will complete pretty fast as the intitial password reset file is not that large.
  14. Fig: 50-6 Password Reset Disk progress bar

    Fig: 50-6 Password Reset Disk progress bar

  15. After the Password Reset Disk has been created a screen will appear telling you that You've successfully created a password reset disk for this user account. To complete the task you should now Click the Finish button.
  16. Fig: 50-7 After the Password Reset Disk has been created you will see the following screen.

    Fig: 50-7 After the Password Reset Disk has been created you will see the following screen.

  17. Your Password Reset Disk is now complete and you should store it away in a safe place.