How to Use Ophcrack on USB

Updated July 20, 2017

Ophcrack is a Linux-based Windows password recovery program. If you have forgotten your user or administrator password, or purchased a used computer and it requires a password, Ophcrack will usually be able to recover it. Ophcrack is normally run from a bootable CD, but it can also be loaded into a USB drive. There are versions for Windows XP and Vista, but it will also work with Windows 7. The following steps illustrate how to combine the XP and Vista programs.

Download copies of the Ophcrack "XP Live CD," "Universal USB Installer" and "" files.

Place your USB thumb drive in a USB port in your computer. Click "Start." Click "Computer." Verify what drive letter is assigned to your USB drive.

Run the Universal USB Installer program. Open the drop-down menu in Step 1 and scroll down to "Ophcrack XP." Click it. The location of your downloaded live CD will appear in Step 2.

Open the drop-down menu in Step 3. The drive letter for your USB drive should be shown. Click "Create" When the program is finished, click "Done."

Open the "tables" folder on the USB drive. Create a folder named "vista_free."

Extract the contents of the "" file. Copy the contents of the extracted file into the "vista_free" folder on the USB drive. Remove the drive. It is ready for use.

Insert the USB drive into a USB port on the computer form which you want to recover the password.

Turn on the computer and press the appropriate key to enter the BIOS when prompted. It is usually the "Delete" key.

Use the arrow keys to navigate to the "Boot" tab. Set "removable device" as the first boot device.

Exit the BIOS and save the changes. When the computer reboots, it will boot from the USB drive. Ophcrack will start and automatically recover any passwords on the computer.

When finished, press 'Esc" and "Y" to exit Ophcrack.

Restart the computer, enter the BIOS and change the boot order back to its original setting, which would have the hard drive as the first boot device.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 GB USB thumb drive
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About the Author

Robert Bayly, based in Apple Valley, California, began writing in 2010, his "how to" articles can be found on eHow. With more than 15 years in the auto industry, Bayly has been an auto and diesel mechanic, service writer and parts manager. He received certificates from Pontiac (parts system), Cat Diesel (engine service), Saab and Fiat (parts- warranty system).