Creating a Password Reset Disk for a Windows 7 Home Network - dummies

Creating a Password Reset Disk for a Windows 7 Home Network

By Lawrence C. Miller

Even for the most savvy Windows 7 user, it happens. You can’t remember your password! How will you ever get access to your e-mail and personal files on your home network so that you can start piecing your life back together? Fortunately, Windows 7 has the solution: the password reset disk.

You can’t create a password reset disk if you don’t know your password, so don’t wait for the day you actually need it. Go ahead and create it when you initially set up your user account.

Creating a password reset disk

To create a password reset disk, follow these steps:

  1. Insert a blank CD-R (or CD-RW) or DVD-R (or DVD-RW) disc into your computer’s writeable CD (or DVD) drive, or a USB flash drive into one of your computer’s USB ports.

  2. Open the Windows Control Panel, and then click User Accounts and Family Safety.

    The User Accounts and Family Safety window appears.

  3. Click User Accounts, and then in the left task pane, click Create a Password Reset Disk.


  4. In the Forgotten Password Wizard dialog box that appears, click Next.

  5. Select the drive where you want to create your password key disk — CD/DVD-RW or Removable Disk (USB), and then click Next.

    Select the drive that contains the password reset disk.
    Select the drive that contains the password reset disk.
  6. Enter the password for your user account, and then click Next.

  7. Your password reset disk is created. Click Next.

  8. Click Finish.

    Label and then store your password reset disk in a safe place (preferably somewhere that you won’t forget).


You don’t need to create a new password reset disk if you change your password. The password reset disk simply allows you to reset your password without losing your files and settings.

Using a password reset disk

It’s hopeless! You can’t remember your password. Luckily, you created a password reset disk when you set up your account. Follow these easy steps and you’ll be back in business in no time at all:

  1. Turn your computer on. At the Windows login screen, leave the Password box empty and press Enter.

    You will see a red X and a warning message that the username or password is incorrect.

  2. Click OK.

  3. Insert your password recovery disk in the CD/DVD drive or USB port.

    The login screen reappears with your password hint (if you set one up) below the Password box and a link to Reset Password below the hint.

  4. If the password hint doesn’t help you remember your password, click the Reset Password link.

    The Password Reset Wizard appears.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Select the drive location of your password reset disk from the drop-down menu (either the CD/DVD drive or the USB port).

    By default, the password reset file is not saved to a folder, so unless you created a folder and moved the file to that folder, simply select the drive location.

  7. Click Next.

  8. Type a new password, confirm your new password, and enter a new password hint. Click Next.

  9. Click Finish.

    Your password is reset.

  10. Type your new password into the Password box to log in.