When you have installed Windows Vista first time, how long did it take you to realize that you lost the administrator’s password? With me it was about a week before I needed to make some changes in the file system. It suddenly occurred to me that being logged in as administrator might make the User Account Control dialog box go away, but I didn’t know the administrator’s password! What the heck is the Vista administrator’s default password?
Unlike the previous releases of Windows, Windows Vista does not automatically create an Administrator account during installation. The theory is that the typical Windows user does not need to run with administrator privileges. Using a non-administrator account will prevent a Windows user from accidentally deleting operating system folder, files, and registry information, and prevent any Malware infecting the computer from doing the same. However, if you really need to run as an Administrator, you can easily activate the built-in Administrator account yourself.
Here are the basic steps to activate Vista’s Administrator account and assign it a password:
- Logon to Vista using a standard user account
- From the Start menu, navigate to the Command Prompt menu item in the Accessories menu
- Right-click on the Command Prompt menu item and select Run as Administrator
- Click the Continue button on the User Account Control dialog box
- At the command prompt, enter net user administrator password, and hit Enter
- At the command prompt, enter net user administrator activate:yes, and hit Enter
- At the command prompt, enter exit and hit Enter to close the command window
- Log off and logon as Administrator using the password you selected
This procedure activates a user account named Administrator and assigns it Full Control security privileges. The user name “Administrator” is reserved, so you cannot create a user account with this name even if you haven’t activated the built-in Administrator account. Depending on the local password policy of the computer, you might be required to enter a password of a minimum length or complexity, and not be allowed to use a blank password.
I Forgot my Vista Administrator Password!
The User Accounts applet in Control Panel features the Create a password reset disk wizard. Using this wizard, a floppy disk or USB flash drive can be created that allows the password of a specific user account on a specific Windows Vista computer to be reset by the user. Possession of the reset disk is considered to be authorization to reset the account’s password. The reset disk can also be reused to reset the account’s password multiple times. However, you need to know the password of the account you want to create the reset disk for, and you must create the reset disk before you forget the account’s password.
To use the Vista password reset disk:
- Insert the floppy or USB reset disk in the computer
- Click the Reset password… item on the Vista logon screen to start the Password Reset Wizard
- Click the Next button
- Enter a new password
- Reenter the new password
- If prompted, enter a password hint
- Click the Next and Finished buttons
- Enter your new password to logon to the user account
I Didn’t Make a Password Reset Disk!
OK, you can reset a forgotten Windows Vista password without a Vista password rest disk, but you won’t receive any help from Vista to do it. Instead, the Windows Password Recovery Tool 3.0 is you ticked.
Having the ability to reset forgotten passwords and gain administrator access to your computer and can be a great time saver, but should only be a attempted by an IT professional. Using sophisticated system manipulation tools, you can easily make things worse rather than better.