Breaking The Password Code


Q. My son was playing with my home computer and he added a password. Now he’s forgotten the password, and I can’t access any of my files. What can I do? Can I ever get back into the computer?

A. First of all, I suggest you take an appropriate action to be sure this never happens again. But worry not; the Windows password is hardly a serious obstacle. Here’s how to defeat it: While you’re starting up the computer, hold down the F8 key. In a short time, a menu will appear on the screen. One of the choices will be Command Prompt Only. Highlight that command and hit Enter. At the C prompt (C:), type “cdwindows” (without the quote marks, of course). Then type “del *.pwl” (again without the quotes), which will remove the password, and turn off the computer. The next time you boot up you won’t need the password.

Removing a password from Windows is somewhat harder than adding a new one, but it can be done.

However, if you want to put in a new password to keep your son out of the computer, go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Passwords and click on Change Windows Password. Then pick a password, and certainly don’t share it with the kid.

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