Windows Software: PC Login Now 2.0

Difficulty: 0.5

Screenshot_selectUserEver been unable to log into Windows due to a lost password? This used to require a reinstall of the operating system to regain access. This often meant some data would be lost, as it could no longer be accessed.

Because of this common need to recover passwords, a few tools have been created to get past this problem. I once heard of a program called Ophcrack, but it looked a bit tricky to use.

A tool called PC Login Now was recently made available as freeware, so I tried it out. The download is an iso file that needs to be burnt to a CD, using just about any CD burning software. The result is a Linux Live CD. Restart your computer and ensure that the computer will boot from your CD drive first (most will by default). Watch the Linux Live CD boot to life.

PC Login Now will work with any Windows install, and it can even handle dual boot machines. The opening screen shows you the operating systems available on the computer. Select the operating system you want to tinker with and press next. You should now be able to see all of the user accounts for that system.

You can then reset the password of any account, as well as enable or disable accounts. You can pretty much perform any of the basic user account options available in Windows. This program does not show you the old password as some tools do, but resetting the password is just as useful in most circumstances.

Once your computer reboots, a disk check will be run. When prompted, try to login leaving the password blank. You should be able to get into the system. PC Login Now claims a 100% success rate, and so far I have had no failures on the 3 machines I have tested. It couldn’t be quicker or easier to use.

This will not work for computers which login to a domain, but there is normally a local user account on these computers, which you can use to gain access.

Take some caution using this in the workplace as many companies don’t like these tools.

PC Login Now 2.0 is available for free from

Related Posts

8 comments so far »

  1. Ben Pickering said, on November 9, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

    It won’t work!!! The button to burn the file is in shadow on IMGburn and putting the file (is PCLoginNow_Full.ISO the right one???) onto the disk using windows just makes the computer go to windows on boot from it. CAN YOU HELP ME ???I NEED THIS !!!

  2. Chris Duckworth said, on November 13, 2008 @ 9:25 am

    Hi Ben, The iso file is the right one, but it needs to be burnt to the disk as an image, not as a file. I am not familiar with IMGburn, but in nero there is an option to burn image to disk.

    You may need to ensure the BIOS is set to boot from the CD before the hard drive.

  3. Jas_Verstoppen said, on February 26, 2009 @ 8:54 am

    I’ve tried this but it gave me several errors. First my USB keyboard and mouse weren’t supported so I had to dust off the old PS/2 KM. That solved, the program started fine and I could select the Windows Vista partition. It recognized the users in the SAM and after confirmation it reported back the password for 2 users had been reset. Booted up Vista but wasn’t able to log on using a blank password on both accounts. So no 100% success rate here, but hey it’s free and if it works for you this is an easy program to use.

  4. dara said, on June 4, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    I’ve tried it on an both my dell laptop and acer aspire, works perfect on the dell but on the acer it doesnt seem to recognise the hard drive at all.

  5. J said, on June 16, 2009 @ 7:12 am

    After I go through all the motions and reset the passwords, I am still unable to login as the old passwords seem to remain.

    The program tells me it was successful, what am I doing wrong?

    Is CHKDSK undoing everything? When should I remove the disc? This problem has plaqued me for years and I am so close to resolving it. Please be my hero.

  6. Chris Duckworth said, on June 19, 2009 @ 10:05 am

    CHKDSK shouldn’t have any influence on it I don’t think. I am not sure what else could be stopping it from working. I did have success with it(months ago now), but from memory it took a couple of goes.

  7. Chris said, on August 20, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    This software is no longer freeware. It’s a shame really. In any case, I needed to do do some password recovery today and found that the following method worked really well.

    It takes around 20 minutes depending on your computer, but the results were good.

  8. Bob Noby said, on October 9, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

    This program worked thank you.

Leave a Comment

Name: (Required)

E-mail: (Required but will not be published)