My daughter decided to add another user to her HP laptop and at the same time change her admin password. Somehow the computer decided that the new password would be randomly generated and the computer locked her out!! So after trying a zillion passwords (and fear that we would have to rebuild the computer, I logged into my top tech support Google and after the first few telling me I needed to buy a package came across a blog from Mike Kelly ( http://blogs.msdn.com/mikekelly/archive/2007/11/25/lost-vista-password.aspx )
Basically, Mikes solution involved using System Restore ( ...and we also did not know you can create a Password Recovery Disk in Vista)
1. Reboot and press F11
2. Select Advanced Options > Microsoft System Restore (Make sure it is NOT the one that restores to the Factory setting or you will wipe out your computer!)
3. .. this leaves recovery manager and shows the latest restore points. Choose one before you changed the password (Luckily a Windows update had occurred a couple of days earlier and after about 10 minutes Vista was reset.) .. MAGIC
For a heavy weight password recovery check out..
Offline NT Password and Registry Editor
Note Bill Detwiler (2009) has a video demo of how to do this online. Note Bills warning about quitting the program or the changes are not written to the computer.
Detwiler, B. (2009) Video: Reset Windows passwords with the Offline NT Password and Registry Editor. IT Dojo. Retrieved May 21, 2009 from http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=140