Lost Windows XP Password how to recover it all

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Well, if you have an old Windows XP machine then its easy to forget all its passwords. What’s the easiest way to get it back. Well you can try to use a password cracker like ophcrack which is complicated and uses brute force techniques to find the password.
Or you can take the easy way out and use Windows XP Safe mode (I had forgotten about this and it doesn’t come up much in Google searches). Basically here are the steps:

  1. Start the machine and hit the F8 key like crazy
  2. This should get you into the Windows XP mode screen
  3. Pick Safe mode.
  4. The Administrator account doesn’t have a password (hopefully you didn’t disable this!)
  5. When you login, go to the control panel/users
  6. Delete the password for the users you want “freed”
  7. Reboot the machine
  8. You can now logon to any of those users and set the passwords again

Or more likely recover the data that was stuck in the machine :-0

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