Once you are logged in, go to 'start\control panel\user
accounts' and change the offending password. Note that if you did enter a blank
password for the Administrator account, now is a really good time to change it.
While you are at it, change the name of the Administrator account itself to
something else, as this is the account that everyone who may try to gain unauthorized access to your system is going to try to crack first.
To do this: Right click on 'my computer,' and select 'manage.'
Expand 'local users and groups' then open the 'users' folder and highlight
the 'administrator' account. Right click and select 'rename' to change
Windows XP Home:
Windows XP Home does not let you log in
with the Administrator account normally. To access it, you must restart the computer
in safe mode, a special 'minimal' mode used to correct errors
caused by third-party software, among other things.
To enter safe
mode: Restart your system. Immediately after the POST screen, press F8 a few
times to bring up the XP advanced options menu. Select the
'start Windows XP in safe mode' option.
Once safe mode has loaded, login with the username
'administrator.' The password is blank by default. You can now change user passwords by going to 'start\control panel\user accounts.' Reboot
normally when you are done.
Create a Password reset disk:
Windows XP is a fair bit more friendly than previous
Microsoft operating systems based off of the Windows NT kernel, at least when it
comes to recovering forgotten passwords. Not only can you set a password hint to
help you remember a forgotten user password, you can also create a floppy disk which will enable you to
completely reset your password in the event that you cannot recall it.
While this will not help you if you are currently locked
out of your system, it can certainly put
your mind at ease about the possibility of it ever happening again.
Windows XP allows users to create a password reset disk
specific to their user account. This disk can be used at the welcome screen
to reset your password in the event that you do forget it.
To create the disk: Go to start\control panel\user
accounts. Select the account you are currently logged in as. Under the 'related
tasks' heading in the top left corner, click 'prevent a forgotten password' to
open the forgotten password wizard. Insert a blank
floppy disk and follow the instructions to create your password reset disk.
To use the password reset disk in case of emergency:
Once you have created a password reset disk for a specific user, the next time
the password for that user is entered incorrectly at the welcome screen, a
message will pop up asking if you have forgotten your password. At this point you can elect to use
your password reset disk. Follow the instructions to reset your login password.
Note: There are is a possible problem with the
above procedure if you have used Windows XP's built in encryption feature to
encrypt some of your files and folders, but have not yet updated to service pack
1. Do not reset your password in this situation, as you will lose access to the encrypted data. Once you
have got service pack 1, it is safe to use the disk.
Keep your reset disk in a safe
location, because anyone else can also use it to reset your password.