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Most important information, access to settings on a computer are password protected to prevent access by hackers and casual users of  the computer. Many times, the user forgets the password. Some types of  passwords can be easily reset like email passwords if you have provided the necessary information during signup, while others are more difficult to reset.

How to find out  forgotten or lost passwords:

1. BIOS password : Disconnect the battery on the motherboard for 10 seconds, and reconnect it back. The default settings will be loaded in the BIOS.

2. ISP password: Many ISP's have a secret question which will allow you to reset the password. If this does not work, you can also contact the tech support. The tech support may require additional validation information. Instructions for resetting the password are usually sent to the alternate email id provided at the time of  registration.

A similar procedure is to be followed for login based website. For paid subscription based websites, you may have to contact the webmaster by phone or email.

3.For resetting password of any user with a local account on a Windows NT4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 2003 based system,  use the offline NT password and Registry editor

For resetting the password in an active directory, you can refer to this password recovery guide . This guide cannot be accessed using Internet Explorer, you will need to install an alternate browser like Firefox on your computer.

 

Another free utility used to reset the password is the live Linux distribution CD Austrumi

Download Austrumi Ver 0.9.2   from Sourceforge.

 

 If  you forgot the administrator's password for Windows NT or some versions of  Windows 2000  - you can try this alternate logon trick for password recovery

Most free password cracking tools are Linux boot disks or CDs which read the registry. However the process may cause data loss.

List of various free tools for password recovery (the list seems to have been compiled 2 years ago, so check for the latest version)

 

4. If  nothing works, you can try to guess the password using brute force/ dictionary attack on your system. This can be very time consuming. 


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