Windows XP has a back up method to prepare for the possible unfortunate incident that a user forgets his or her login password. It's called a password reset disk, and the user has to make it himself. It’s something that most users don't feel they need to trouble with, confident in the reliability of their memory. But when the day comes that supposedly familiar word slips your mind, you're going to regret not making that preparation.
- Create a password reset disk. Go to the Control Panel, click on User Accounts and then click on your user name. Look for the 'Prevent a forgotten password' option under the 'Related Tasks' heading located on the left side of the window. Click on this option and the Forgotten Password Wizard will open up. This wizard will provide you with instructions to create a password reset disk. Simply follow the steps until you finish making the disk. Take note that you must have administrator user account status to be able to do this procedure.
- Use the password reset disk.Some time pass and one ordinary day in front of your PC's Welcome Screen, for some odd reason you can't seem to remember your user account password. Don't panic, you made a password reset disk. Click on the button with a question mark. A message will appear 'Did you forget your password'. Click on the option 'Use your password reset disk'. The Password Reset Wizard will start. Follow the set of instructions that will be given. This will guide you through the process of creating a new password for your user account. Enter the new password and save the settings on the password reset disk. Keep that disk safe, it may someday save your life again.
- Check the password hint. We can't all be prudent and diligent users. For those who never bothered to make a password reset disk, there's the password hint. Hopefully this will be enough to jog your memory. The password hint can be found right beside the prompt where you type in the password on the Welcome Screen.
- Ask help from a user with an administrator account. There's nothing wrong with asking for help from other users who share the same PC. In cases where you happen to only have a limited user account, you can always ask someone with administrator rights to log in, and reset your user account password. Users with administrator status can access other user accounts in the same PC and change their individual settings as well as their passwords.
Nowadays we need to keep in mind a lot of access control information - personal identification numbers, email addresses, usernames, passwords, etc. It can be sometimes hard to keep track of all of them and our memories could fail us at the most inappropriate times. That's why it's always good to have a back up plan.