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Windows 10 local admin account password reset "disk" questions... RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, Neither Bing nor Google could answer these questions in the first 3 pages of results, so I'll try here.  Thanks for your help.

    Regarding subject of this thread and assuming that each local user of the PC want to regain access to his/her files after the password reset:

    1.) How much file storage is needed when creating a Win10 local admin password reset "disk"?

    2.) Assuming that it's only a few kb (like Win7), do I have to use a USB flash drive or SD card, not a blank CD disk? Why?

    3.) If I can use a CD-R or CD+R disk, what do I do?  (Seems to be no option for this; only asks for USB drive.)

    4.) Once created, can the same "disk" have files added ...or is it locked?

    5.) Does each Win10 local login account need it's own password reset disk?

    6.) Is using Microsoft (not local) accounts the only way to avoid wasting a separate USB drive for each user on the PC?

    Your well-informed answers are much appreciated and will be shared with my colleagues.  Many thanks.

     



    • Edited by CalSay Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:13 AM
    Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:02 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    For your questions here are the answers:

    1.) How much file storage is needed when creating a Win10 local admin password reset "disk"?

    When you create a password reset disk on a USB flash drive, it will create and add a userkey.psw file to root directory of the USB flash drive for the specific local user account. The USB key is needed only for a tiny 2KB file, so you can use a USB key of any capacity.

    2.) Assuming that it's only a few kb (like Win7), do I have to use a USB flash drive or SD card, not a blank CD disk? Why?

    It's designed like this, we can only use removable USB driver or SD card for creating reset disk.

    4.) Once created, can the same "disk" have files added ...or is it locked?

    It will not affect other files storing on this USB drive or SD card, but you can only have one userkey.psw file on a USB flash drive.

    5.) Does each Win10 local login account need it's own password reset disk?

    Yes, one reset disk for one user account.

    6.) Is using Microsoft (not local) accounts the only way to avoid wasting a separate USB drive for each user on the PC?

    That depends. Local user can create his own disk on his USB drive. If there's no USB device for this using, Microsoft account could be the better choice to avoid losing password.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by CalSay Monday, February 27, 2017 12:09 PM
    Monday, February 27, 2017 5:58 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    For your questions here are the answers:

    1.) How much file storage is needed when creating a Win10 local admin password reset "disk"?

    When you create a password reset disk on a USB flash drive, it will create and add a userkey.psw file to root directory of the USB flash drive for the specific local user account. The USB key is needed only for a tiny 2KB file, so you can use a USB key of any capacity.

    2.) Assuming that it's only a few kb (like Win7), do I have to use a USB flash drive or SD card, not a blank CD disk? Why?

    It's designed like this, we can only use removable USB driver or SD card for creating reset disk.

    4.) Once created, can the same "disk" have files added ...or is it locked?

    It will not affect other files storing on this USB drive or SD card, but you can only have one userkey.psw file on a USB flash drive.

    5.) Does each Win10 local login account need it's own password reset disk?

    Yes, one reset disk for one user account.

    6.) Is using Microsoft (not local) accounts the only way to avoid wasting a separate USB drive for each user on the PC?

    That depends. Local user can create his own disk on his USB drive. If there's no USB device for this using, Microsoft account could be the better choice to avoid losing password.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by CalSay Monday, February 27, 2017 12:09 PM
    Monday, February 27, 2017 5:58 AM
  • Thank you, Kate Li, for so thoroughly and completely answering my 6 questions on Win10 "password reset disks."

    From your excellent answers and other forums, I now understand:

    a.) That any USB drive with any readable file format (FAT, FAT 32, NTSF) can be used.

    a.) That each Windows 10 local account can create and later use only one userkey.psw file on any USB or SD drive and that only the last one created is valid, but will always be able to reset that local user account, even if that user has changed his/her password many times....the userkey.psw file only needs to be created once.

    b.) That for the reset file to work for a given local user, the right one must be named "userkey.psw" and be on the root of the USB or SD drive inserted for the reset.

    c.) Meaning that for backup and storage, each local user's file could be temporarily given a more meaningful filename and/or stored on any drive or folder...as long as when it's needed, it's renamed "userkey.psw" and put back on the root of a USB or SD drive.

    Good to know, as I have several local Win10 "emergency" admin accounts on each PC, in addition to my "main" user account and documents...and it's the "main" one I would most need to recover.  I am the only user on each PC, so this is secure, and might be good for family accounts, too, but otherwise not recommended.

    Thanks again, Kate, for your cognizant and correct answers.  Much appreciated.

    Monday, February 27, 2017 12:09 PM