snuffy wrote: If I understand you guys correctly, someone could easily take my laptop, simply reset some dip switches and swap out or delete my Windows 7 administrator password, thereby taking off with all of my life's work, is that correct?
I'm not so sure if it would be as easy with a laptop because of hardware compatibility but with desktop as Yanche pointed out you could just boot the computer with live CD like Knoppix
. Windows never starts so any security measures that are dependent on Windows no longer are relevant. You can browse to any folder you want, copy etc. I actually keep a copy of this around in the event windows fails, least I'll be able to boot and possibly fix the issue, get the files I need etc.
In any event the bottom line is the only way to secure your files is by encrypting them. For example you could use something like Keepass
to manage and encrypt passwords.
That's just one solution specific to passwords but you can go all the way up to full disk encryption.