Quick note about using chntpw command to reset Windows passwords. Mostly, I just couldn’t remember what the command line program was or the switches.
Boot to System Rescue CD.
mount the Windows drive RW (mine was RO)
cd to the config dir: cd /mnt/sda1/Windows/System32/config
Backup your sam,security,system,software (just copy them to another directory)
Now run this to list user while in the config directory:
chntpw -l ./sam
And this will run in interactive mode and ask you which user to edit the password.
chntpw -i ./sam
Chntpw can also edit your registry. One time it really saved the day when I was locked out of a computer and something was causing boot to fail. This made it pretty quick to edit the registry in a way that allowed me access to the system again. (then we proceeded to run a bunch of antivirus checks) By the way, this worked for me on Windows XP and Windows 7.