How to reset a Windows 7 password or locked user

Boot into Ubuntu desktop using a USB stick

download the .deb file from this page


Click the deb file, it should open the software installer, then click the Install button.

Ctrl-Alt T - to open a terminal

cd /media/XXXIDENTIFIER/Windows/System32/config

cp SAM SAM.bak # backup SAM file

sudo chntpw -u Administrator SAM

choose option 4) to unlock the user

or 1) to blank the user password.

Save the hive file (ie. SAM)

run "sudo chntpw -u Administrator SAM" and it should show "*BLANK*" in the user locked/disabled box.


running "sudo chntpw SAM"

sudo reboot and your user should be able to login again.

Note: On the problem I had, all users were locked out permanently on a single wrong password. I used chntpw to unlock the accounts and reset the passwords, then had to go into Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Local Security Policies. Then go to Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Account Policies and alter the Account Lock settings.

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