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Password Reset Disk - Create on USB Flash Drive in Windows 8


Brink

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Password Reset Disk - Create on USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
This will show you how to create a password reset disk on a USB flash drive in Windows 8 that you could use to reset the password for your user account with if forgotten.
Published by Brink
#1
ByLine
How to Create a Password Reset Disk on a USB Flash Drive in Windows 8 and 8.1
Synopsis
This will show you how to create a password reset disk on a USB flash drive in Windows 8 that you could use to reset the password for your user account with if forgotten.
How to Create a Password Reset Disk on a USB Flash Drive in Windows 8 and 8.1


information   Information
This will show you how to create a password reset disk on a USB flash drive that you could use to reset the password for your local user account with if forgotten in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

This will only reset your normal password created during the installation of Windows 8, and will not reset your pin number or picture password.

Note   Note
This will only create a password reset disk for the local user account that is currently logged on when it is created. This does not apply to Microsoft accounts.

When you create a password reset disk on a USB flash drive, it will create and add a userkey.psw file on the USB flash drive for the specific local user account. You can move the userkey.psw file to another USB flash drive if you like, but you can only have one userkey.psw file on a USB flash drive.

The password reset disk can be used to reset your user account's password no matter how many times you reset it.



PSW-file.jpg


warning   Warning
Anyone could use this USB flash drive to reset the password and have access to the local user account it was created for. Be sure to keep the password reset disk (USB) stored where only you will have access to prevent others from gaining access to your local user account with it.





Here's How:

1. Sign in to the local user account that you want to create a password reset disk for.


2. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the User Accounts icon. (see screenshot below)
Password-Reset-1.jpg


3. Connect a USB flash drive to your computer.
NOTE: The USB flash drive will not be formatted during the creation of the password reset disk, so you can use one that already has data on it without worry.


4. In the left pane, click/tap on the Create a password reset disk link. (see screenshot below)
Password-Reset-2.jpg


5. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Password-Reset-3.jpg


6. Select the USB flash drive from step 3, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Password-Reset-4.jpg


7. Type in the password for the current user account, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Password-Reset-5.jpg


8. If the USB flash drive already has been used previously to create a password reset disk on, then you will need to click/tap on Yes or No to replace it with this one instead. (see screenshots below)
NOTE: If you click/tap on Yes, then continue on to step 9. If you click on No, then you will need to use another USB flash drive instead.
Password-Reset-5A.jpg
Password-Reset-5B.jpg


9. When it's finished creating the password reset disk, click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Password-Reset-6.jpg


10. Click/tap on Finish. (see screenshot below)
Password-Reset-7.jpg


11. You will now be able to use this password reset disk (USB flash drive) to reset your local user account's password with on the sign in screen if you should forgot it in the future.




That's it,
Shawn




 
Last edited by a moderator:

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bagavan

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#2
Brink,I connected a usb drive.But when I click create password reset disk nothing happens.what should I do?
 

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Brink

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#3
Hello Bagavan,

Are you having any other issues that may be related?

Does the USB flash drive show up in your Computer window?
 

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    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
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bagavan

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bangalore

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#4
Hello Bagavan,

Did you have the USB flash drive connected before you started this, and where you able to select the USB flash drive at step 6?
First I connected usb drive..
Then from I clicked create a password reset disk..But nothing pops out. the screen where I will be given option to choose a usb does not open at all
 

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bagavan

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bangalore

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634
#5
Hello Bagavan,

Are you having any other issues that may be related?

Does the USB flash drive show up in your Computer window?
Yes it is displayed..

I performed a sfc scan an hour ago and it repaired some one file..I will restart and try again..what do you suggest??

An update

It worked and I created it successfully.
 

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    Windows 8.1 professional x64 + WMC
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    4GB DDR2
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    Intel GMA X3100
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    160 GB HDD

Brink

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#6
That's great news. :)
 

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    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
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#7
Thanks on my behalf too Brink. I hadn't actually forgotten my password, it just wouldn't accept it. I've made a password reset disk as you outlined for the future. I also read that you can try turning off the laptop by pressing the power key for 4 seconds & then trying again. robinpe.
 

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Brink

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#8
You're welcome Robin. I'm glad to hear that you had created one to use if needed in the future. :)

That would basically do a hard power off of the laptop. When you turn the laptop back on, you will just be taken to your usual sign in screen to enter the same password, It will not reset the password like the reset disk will.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
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    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
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    Hard Drives
    256GB OCZ Vector
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52Yankee

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Posts
7
#9
Create password reset disk wizard never shows up

Brand new W8.1 Pro on Laptop and I want to create a password reset disk. I choose the Create Password Reset Disk and click on it but the wizard never shows up.

Clicking on it takes me to the desktop, which is my boot default, but nothing shows up anywhere. The Task Manager shows a Windows Host item running but nothing happens.

I have set up the items in User Account to not force me to use a password at login but it still required me to input the password twice for my account.

Anybody got any ideas?
 

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Brink

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#10
Hello 52Yankee,

Did you already have the USB flash drive connected?


You might see if the wizard has an icon on your taskbar, or if it may be hidden behind another opened window.

Hope this helps for now, :)
Shawn
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
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    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
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    ASRock X79 Extreme11
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    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
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52Yankee

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Posts
7
#11
Thank you for replying.

The USB is plugged in when I try to make the reset disk.
There is no icon in the desktop task bar nor anywhere in the START screen.
I have no other tasks running and there is no screen under anything.

The Task Manager shows only Windows Host Process (Rundll32) active and I can switch to it but nothing shows up as a wizard or anything else.

There is only one user and that is me and I have adminstrator access.
 

My Computer

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    W7 Pro 64bit
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    PC/Desktop
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Brink

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#12
In that case, see if it may work properly after restarting the PC.

If not, then run a SFC /SCANNOW command to see if it may find and repair any corrupted files that may be at fault. Afterwards, see if it may work properly.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
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    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
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    256GB OCZ Vector
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    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Corsair Air 740
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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#13
Hi Mr. Brink
would like to ask if the password reset disk I created is valid for all/any (forgotten) passwords of the local accounts existing in my windows 8.1? and what about the account I switched its password to the password of my Hotmail account? does it reset the old local account too? thanks for your attention.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit windows 8.1 Single Language
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    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Toshiba Satellite/P850
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    CORE i7
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    8 GB
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Brink

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mvp
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#14
Hello Boccelli, and welcome to Eight Forums.

The password reset disk would only be good for the user account that it was created in. It will not work for any other account. [DEL]If you change or reset password, you will need to update the password reset disk by creating it again.[/DEL]


Hope this helps, :)
Shawn
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB OCZ Vector
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    100 Mb/s Download and 10 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Lite-On iHBS212 12x BD Writer
    Creative F200 webcam
    Samsung CLX-3175FW Printer
    Linksys EA9500 Router
    Arris SB6190 Cable Modem
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL

Brink

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mvp
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#15
You're correct. The password reset disk will reset the user account's password no matter how many times you reset it. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB OCZ Vector
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    100 Mb/s Download and 10 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Lite-On iHBS212 12x BD Writer
    Creative F200 webcam
    Samsung CLX-3175FW Printer
    Linksys EA9500 Router
    Arris SB6190 Cable Modem
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL

spokey

Member
Member
Posts
15
#16
Shawn;

I have never ended up using a reset so I'm not certain exactly how it works, but have a question about what you said in the tutorial:

You can move the userkey.psw file to another USB flash drive if you like, but you can only have one userkey.psw file on a USB flash drive.
I want to put all resets from several win 7 & 8 machines on one flash. Mostly to keep everything in one place and to not be wasting memory having that little file on a whole flash drive. Does the file need to be in the root to reset? If so, I would think I could save the file under directories like Key-For-PC1, Key-For-PC2, etc. and move the appropriate file up to the root if/when needed. Or if windows looks for the key all over the drive, then maybe keep all the files in the root but rename each file to PC1-userkey.psw, PC2-userkey.psw or maybe userkey.psw-pc1, userkey.psw-pc2.

Do you know which if any of these schemes would be appropriate?

thanks
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win 8.1 Pro / 64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Envy 15t-j100
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-4900MQ
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16G
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4600
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Internal / Asus Proart PA248Q
    Screen Resolution
    1900x1080 / 1900x1200
    Hard Drives
    Seagate ST1000LM014
    External 2T in Vantec enclosure
    Cooling
    lately, very much so
    Keyboard
    Rosewill
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    Wheelmouse Optical USB
    Internet Speed
    94/12 Mbps
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    Firefox
    Antivirus
    AVG

Brink

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mvp
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#17
Hello Spokey,

I have not tried that, but it may be worth a try to create a folder for each PC, and place that PC's userkey.psw file in it's own folder.

I would start off testing with only two PCs to see if Windows will recognize it like that though.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB OCZ Vector
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    100 Mb/s Download and 10 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Lite-On iHBS212 12x BD Writer
    Creative F200 webcam
    Samsung CLX-3175FW Printer
    Linksys EA9500 Router
    Arris SB6190 Cable Modem
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL

spokey

Member
Member
Posts
15
#18
Seems like the renaming scheme works fine

Here is what I did

After thinking about this, I thought that the preferable organization would be to have all files in the root with the names changed. My thinking was that if I need to use a reset, I would copy the appropriate key and rename it back to userkey.psw. That way I wouldn't have to worry about forgetting to rename the file back back to the obscured version and getting files mixed up. Of course the named folder should work as well and with a copy from the folder to the root eliminate confusion as well.

So first I wanted to see if it looked like MS looked at the exact filename. I did a quick format on an old flash drive. First I generated the reset key. Then I did the generation a second time. In addition to the usual warning boxes, I got this warning:

Snap2.jpg

I let the wizard overwrite the key. Then I renamed the key to HP-Laptop-userkey.psw and ran the wizard again. This time it did not complain and generated the userkey.psw file. So it looked like a simple filename rename would work.

I deleted both files to start clean again. Generated the key and renamed it to HP-Laptop-userkey.psw. I generated keys for two more machines with appropriate renaming.

So I had three reset files

reset file list.jpg

To test, I used the HP laptop (win 8.1). I logged off and then typed a bad password. got this error

IMG_0539-cropped.jpg

Then I copied the desktop file, renamed it to userkey.psw and tried again. The reset asked for a new password and hint and issued this error (due to the wrong reset file).

IMG_0541 cropped.jpg

I renamed the correct pwd file and successfully reset the password to the correct current password.

The only odd thing was I rebooted the laptop with a shutdown -r and got a startup error. Told the dialog to restart instead of fixing and it booted fine

I did the shutdown -r again and it was fine on this boot.

I added a couple more machine reset files and tried a more realistic scenario with a win7 desktop. This time I shut down completely and went into the reset via a bad password. Once again it failed to find a reset file. I logged in and did the copy / rename, reran the test and set the password to a new password successfully.

All this suggests that many more options are available. For example, instead of storing the userkey.psw files on a flash drive, just store them on external backup drive and copy the one file you need to a USB drive when needed. Or copy them to a floppy (ok but I still have those) or burn them to a CD.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win 8.1 Pro / 64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Envy 15t-j100
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-4900MQ
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16G
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4600
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Internal / Asus Proart PA248Q
    Screen Resolution
    1900x1080 / 1900x1200
    Hard Drives
    Seagate ST1000LM014
    External 2T in Vantec enclosure
    Cooling
    lately, very much so
    Keyboard
    Rosewill
    Mouse
    Wheelmouse Optical USB
    Internet Speed
    94/12 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    AVG

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Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
22,715
#19
Great news Spokey. Thank you for posting back with your results. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB OCZ Vector
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    100 Mb/s Download and 10 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Lite-On iHBS212 12x BD Writer
    Creative F200 webcam
    Samsung CLX-3175FW Printer
    Linksys EA9500 Router
    Arris SB6190 Cable Modem
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL
Posts
1
#20
Seems like the renaming scheme works fine

Here is what I did

After thinking about this, I thought that the preferable organization would be to have all files in the root with the names changed. My thinking was that if I need to use a reset, I would copy the appropriate key and rename it back to userkey.psw. That way I wouldn't have to worry about forgetting to rename the file back back to the obscured version and getting files mixed up. Of course the named folder should work as well and with a copy from the folder to the root eliminate confusion as well.

So first I wanted to see if it looked like MS looked at the exact filename. I did a quick format on an old flash drive. First I generated the reset key. Then I did the generation a second time. In addition to the usual warning boxes, I got this warning:

View attachment 58944

I let the wizard overwrite the key. Then I renamed the key to HP-Laptop-userkey.psw and ran the wizard again. This time it did not complain and generated the userkey.psw file. So it looked like a simple filename rename would work.

I deleted both files to start clean again. Generated the key and renamed it to HP-Laptop-userkey.psw. I generated keys for two more machines with appropriate renaming.

So I had three reset files

View attachment 58945

To test, I used the HP laptop (win 8.1). I logged off and then typed a bad password. got this error

View attachment 58943

Then I copied the desktop file, renamed it to userkey.psw and tried again. The reset asked for a new password and hint and issued this error (due to the wrong reset file).

View attachment 58947

I renamed the correct pwd file and successfully reset windows 8 password to the correct current password.

The only odd thing was I rebooted the laptop with a shutdown -r and got a startup error. Told the dialog to restart instead of fixing and it booted fine

I did the shutdown -r again and it was fine on this boot.

I added a couple more machine reset files and tried a more realistic scenario with a win7 desktop. This time I shut down completely and went into the reset via a bad password. Once again it failed to find a reset file. I logged in and did the copy / rename, reran the test and set the password to a new password successfully.

All this suggests that many more options are available. For example, instead of storing the userkey.psw files on a flash drive, just store them on external backup drive and copy the one file you need to a USB drive when needed. Or copy them to a floppy (ok but I still have those) or burn them to a CD.
thanks, I will try it.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 7