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I want to reset my windows 8 password through Hirens boot cd mini windows xp. It does not detect my hard drive so i can not find the SAM file.
How can i make it see my hard drive so i can fix this?

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I don't know what you mean by hard drive not detected. You have a few options.

  1. If it's a BIOS/UEFI mode clash, then you can boot into Windows RE and perform a Sticky Keys hack.

  2. Another option is to use the Ubuntu Live CD and reset it using the chntpw package. Details here.

  3. If nothing works out, you can just use the Ubuntu Live CD to backup your data to another partition and perform a clean install of Windows 8.1. Use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to download an ISO. Since you are locked out of your main computer which has the Windows 8 key, you can download it on another computer by using a Volume License key pertaining to the appropriate edition (Pro, Home, Single Language, etc). These are freely available on the internet.

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This just worked for me with a newer laptop (Dell latitude 3500):

Make sure you have the new Hirens from: https://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

Make sure you install it to a flash drive as UEFI - So the newer PC can see the flash drive if legacy options are not available: https://www.hirensbootcd.org/usb-booting/

Perform a restart on your PC first, to prevent hibernation errors.

  1. Unlike what a lot of other forums say, you actually have to go into your PC's bios settings and BOOT TO AHCI (RUN SATA AS AHCI MODE) to make Hirens see your computers C drive. (Confirmed works on Dell NVME m.2 drives)

  2. Once bios settings are changed, boot into Hirens, and go into the Desktop Utilities>Security>Passwords folder.

  3. There are multiple options, but for me NT Password Edit works if you are unable to get the driver for your hard drive.

  4. Run NT Password Edit, it should pick up the SAM file from the C drive, if not point it there > C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SAM > and then click open

  5. From here, choose which account you want to change the password > Change the password > Then you need to do two things - Restart the PC but also change the bios back to whichever SATA option it was before and then restart back into Windows.

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