Some users are reportedly getting the Error Occurred While the Wizard Was Attempting to Set the Password error when they try to use the Password Reset Wizard. In most cases, the problem occurs with a previously created password reset disks on Windows 7.
If you’re encountering this problem, you should start by determining if you are using the correct password reset disk and if the disk is compatible with your current machine configuration.
If everything checks out but the problem is persisting, you should attempt to change the password manually via the built-in administrator account. In case that doesn’t work, you have no choice but to reset every Windows component via a procedure like a repair install or clean install.
Method 1: Using the Correct Password Reset Disk
In case you’re seeing this error when trying to use the password reset wizard to set a new password for a user account from a password reset disk, you should start by ensuring that the account you are targeting is covered by the reset disk.
The majority of users that managed to fix this problem have reported that they eventually realized that they were trying to reset an account that was not associated with the inserted password reset disk. If the same scenario applies to your current situation, you should try a different password reset disk or use a different account.
Furthermore, a password reset disk will only work in the following situations:
- The password reset disk you’re using is the latest reset disk you made for this particular account (Only the latest one will allow you to reset the password).
- The operation will only work if you’re trying to do the password reset on the same computer (even if you’re using the same account on multiple computers). Also, the reset disk will become unusable if you end up changing your system motherboard.
- The reset disk will only work with the same OS installation – If you created the password reset disk on Windows 7 / 8.1 and then updated to Windows 10, the disk will become unusable.
- The reset disk will only work for one account. If you have multiple accounts, the reset disk will only work for the account that was active when you first created it.
In case you’re sure that the password reset disk you’re using was created specifically for the account that you’re having trouble signing in and you met every condition above, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 2: Changing password via a built-in administrator account
The most common workaround that affected users is using to change their forgotten Windows account password remotely and circumvent the Error Occurred While the Wizard Was Attempting to Set the Password error is to use the built-in Administrator account to reset the password manually.
This operation was reported to be successful by a lot of affected users. But keep in mind that the administrator account should only be used in emergencies such as this one. After you’re finished resetting your password, you should disable the admin account to close any vulnerabilities that might leave your system vulnerable to security threats.
Important: This will only work if you’re trying to reset the password of a regular WIndows account (not the Administrator password).
If this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to change your Windows account password via the built-in administrator account. Since you will not be able to get past the login screen, you’ll need to open up to open a CMD window via startup options:
Note: If you have a compatible installation media, use it since it will make this process a lot easier.
- Insert a compatible installation media into your computer’s optical unit (or into USB if you’re using a flash drive) and restart your computer to force your machine to boot from it.
Note: If you have the time and the means, you can take the time to create a compatible installation media for your OS version – But you’ll need a healthy PC to do this.
- To boot from the installation media, press any key when you’re prompted by the black screen, then wait for the initial installation to load.
- Once you have successfully booted from the installation media, click on Repair your computer and wait for the repair tool to load.
Note: If you’re encountering this issue on Windows 10, you can also force this recovery menu to appear by forcing 3 consecutive unexpected machine interruption during the boot procedure. This is not elegant, but you can do it by turning off your computer during the booting sequence 3 times in a row.
- Once you’re inside the Recovery menu, click on Troubleshoot from the list of available options, then click on Command Prompt from the list of sub-options.
- Once you’re inside the elevated Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter to enable the built-in administrator account:
net user administrator /active:yes
- Type the following command and press Enter to reset the password manually via CMD:
net user administrator *Password*
Note: *Password* is a placeholder for the new password that you’re trying to establish. Replace the placeholder with your custom value before pressing Enter.
- Close the Elevated CMD prompt, and allow your computer to boot up normally.
- At the next login screen, use the new password that you just established at step 6 and see if you can get past this screen.
In case the issue is still not resolved and you’re still seeing the Error Occurred While the Wizard Was Attempting to Set the Password error, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 3: Performing a Repair Install / Clean Install
If the potential fixes above didn’t allow you to fix the issue, you have only one option left: Reset every Windows component including account data (including login information).
This operation will end up deleting your Windows account (and it’s associated password), allowing you to use your machine.
Of course, the main drawback is that you will need to be prepared for total data loss if you want to go for a clean install. This procedure is easy and will not require you to use an installation media, so go for this in case you don’t have any important data that you can’t afford to lose.
However, if the locked drives contain sensitive data that you can’t afford to delete, the preferred approach for you is a repair install (in-place repair). This will require you to use an installation media, but the major advantage is that it will only affect your Windows files – personal files, applications, games, and even some user preferences will not be affected by this operation.