How to reset the Windows password of a locked computer windows

I recently found myself locked out of my old school laptop. I did not have the windows password or the ability to login to any account on the machine.

This article will detail how I regained access to my old Windows laptop. I am sure you can apply the same technique to your own laptop.

Obtain the laptop


Open the Laptop case

The screws were pretty weird for this case. A star shape with a point in the middle.

Open laptop case

Extract the harddrive

Be careful of any static electricity.

Extract harddrive

Plug in the hard drive

You will need a USB to SATA cable to do this. I bought this one at a local computer store for $19 AUD


Plug in the harddrive to another computer

The other computer should instantly recognise and load the harddrive as-if you just plugged in a USB drive.

Plug in to another computer

Navigate to Windows/System32

System 32

Delete the file Utilman.exe

You can copy it if you wish to revert this later. You probably will never use this if you are reading this guide though.


Copy cmd.exe (in the same folder)

copy cmd.exe

Rename the copy to Utilman.exe

rename cmd.exe to Utilman.exe

Put the hard drive back in

reinsert harddrive

Click the Windows accessibility icon

click windows accessibility icon

You now have access to a system level access command prompt window

root level command prompt

Type net user Administrator * to open the change password menu

You can type net user which will list all the users on the Windows partition.

change the password of a user

Welcome home

Jobs done, you can now login again.

logged into windows - success

Final thoughts

I am not really sure what I will use the laptop for now. I am just happy I can use it if I want to.