Sometimes there is a legitimate scenario when you might have to crack a windows password to get into a box. I was working on cleaning up a laptop that happened to be password protected. The person that I was cleaning up for was more than likely sleeping (at the time I was working on said laptop). Instead of waking the person up I decided to to try and crack it and didn’t have much success.
Instead I decided to use some new software to do the job for me. After searching I found a great lifehacker article that had screenshots for Ophcrack. Ophcrack is a live cd that is run on bootup. I found that it has an intuitive interface and is really easy to use. There are two versions, Windows XP and Windows Vista. I tried both and with passwords that were alphanumeric and had special characters.
It was able to crack the Windows XP password but didn’t have much luck with my Vista password.