If you have a Windows PC that you can’t log in to but you need access to the files, the easiest way is to get to them through a live distribution of Linux. While that might sound a little daunting, this guide will walk you through the process and show you just how easy it can be.
Create a Bootable Linux Disc
1. Download the latest version of Ubuntu Desktop
2. Burn the Ubuntu ISO to a disc (how to burn an ISO to disc)
Boot from Your Linux Live CD and Access Your Files
1. Put your Live CD in the PC that has the locked account and boot the PC from the disc (how to boot from CD)
2. Click Try Ubuntu and wait for the desktop to load
3. Open a Terminal by searching for Terminal and double clicking the Terminal icon:
4. On the command line, enter:
This will start a temporary window within your user account to operate as Root and have full access to all files
5. Within Nautilus (like Windows Explorer), click your hard drive in the left-hand column and browse to your files (\Users\)
6. Copy these files to an external USB drive
If you’d like to reset or crack your Windows account password, go here.