When a reader couldn't access his Windows XP PC because he had forgotten the password, our Helproom Editor was happy to help.

QUESTION I've forgotten the password that's required to access my remote XP PC from a Windows 7 PC using Windows Remote Connection. I have tried the Passview utility without success. Will uninstalling and reinstalling this Windows component allow me to create a new password? Derek Sewell

HELPROOM ANSWER It sounds as though the password you've forgotten is the one on the remote XP machine. To regain access you'll need to perform a password recovery or reset on that PC, not your local Windows 7 system.

To reset your XP password you'll need physical access to the PC, or be able to pass on our instructions to someone who does.

By default, XP creates an Administrator account with a blank password. If this hasn't been changed, you can log in as the Administrator and reset the password for the User account you want to access.

Restart the PC, then press Ctrl, Alt, Del twice to bring up the login window. Enter Administrator as the username and leave the password field blank (unless you changed it previously). Click Start, Run, type control userpasswords2 and click Ok.

Select the Users tab in the window that pops up, then click the account you wish to remotely access. Choose Reset Password. Enter a new password, confirm that password, then click Ok.

Restart the XP PC. You should now be able to access it from your Windows 7 PC using the new password.

If you can't log into the Windows XP system as an Administrator, you'll need to use a password-recovery tool. We like Rekeysoft Windows Password Recovery Tool and Stellar Phoenix Password Recovery.

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