"I forgot Windows login password for my Dell laptop. It's a second hand computer I bought from a shop so I don't have a warranty. I don't think I can afford to pay a pro to fix this problem for me. Any help will be greatly appreciated."
There might be many instances when you have just forgot Windows password. This could put you in big trouble especially if you do not have any other OS configured for dual boot and this will prevent you from accessing your files as well. But there are many password recovery tools which can be used even if you do not have access to Windows. So here is a list of top 5 Windows password recovery software.
Ophcrack is one of the best and top rated password recovery tools for Windows. Ophcrack is fast and easy to use even for a user with basic Windows skills. It works well with Windows 7/Vista/XP and does not require any installation. The only downside of this tool is that you need to download the Live CD ISO (496MB for 7/Vista and 415MB XP) and it doesn't support Active Directory password recovery for domain controllers.
2. Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
This is one of the fastest password recovery tools for Windows. You need to burn the ISO image to a CD before passwords can be reset. The only disadvantage with Offline NT is that the interface is similar to command prompt and might not find it easy to use.
3. Cain & Abel
Unlike Ophcrack and other popular Windows password recovery programs, Cain & Abel requires access to Windows under an administrator account. In fact, Cain & Abel is a bit more complicated to use than other password recovery tools which is usually unavailable for Windows Vista as is said.
If you have no way of getting in to your Windows PC, you will not be able to use Cain & Abel to recover Windows password. Moreover, before you can use Cain & Abel, you'll need to download a rainbow table. These large databases of passwords are required so Cain & Abel can reset the forgotten windows password.
LCP is yet another free password recovery software tool for Windows. Like Cain & Abel, LCP is a standard Windows program you download from LCPSoft's website and install inside of Windows, meaning you'll need access to a user account on the computer.
LCP can be a little intimidating to those new to Windows password recovery tools so some prior knowledge is very helpful to avoid even bigger problems with your PC.
5. Reset Windows Password
With some basic computer skills, you can break Windows password using these free Windows password recovery tools above. If you still can't get them to work, I recommend you to use this professional Windows password recovery software - WindowsUnlocker, which is much easier to use and far more powerful than all the freeware above. It can help you reset lost Windows passwords on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP/2003/2000, unlock user accounts which are disabled, locked out or expired.