How to reset an Administrator password with Windows

If you are unable to log in to a Windows server because you have forgotten your password, you can reset the Administrator password on a Windows VPS using the rescue mode. This should work with any version of Windows NT.

1. Start your VPS in rescue mode.
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2. Using this command, to mount the hard drive. 

ntfs-3g /dev/vda1 /mnt/windows 
ls /mnt/windows 

There should be a Windows folder in the directory listing, followed by a system32 folder. If not, it's possible that you've selected the incorrect partition. 

3. Now you must navigate to the Windows/System32/config directory within your Windows server. Run the following command: 

cd /mnt/windows/Windows/System32/config 

4. We'll use the chntpw command to change the password, and it's best to use the –l argument first to get a list of all the usernames in the file. 

chntpw –l SAM 

5. You may now use the –u parameter to specify your username. This will bring up a wizard-style screen. 

chntpw –u Administrator SAM

6. Unfortunately, using chntpw to change the Administrator password does not work, but clearing it does. So go with option 1: 
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7. Remember to use the “y” key when prompted to save.
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8. Your password has been cleared, so you can restart the machine with the reboot command. You should now be able to log in using Video Display without a password.  

Please note: To avoid abuse, remember to setup a new password for Administrator user. 

 

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