Thursday, November 15, 2012

Resetting Your Windows Local Administrator Password

OK, we try to setup our dev/test servers with a well known, common password but sometimes you’ve got an older virtual machine or something setup by someone outside you group who didn’t use it.  And then maybe your having an issue so you decide to remove said machine from the domain and then re-add it.  Only to discover you have no idea what the administrator password was.  Anyway, I’m sure this is posted in a billion other places on the interweb, but one of my colleagues used this method to get us out of just such a pickle and I’d like to remember where to find it next time.

  1. Boot onto DVD of Windows Server 2008
  2. Choose “Repair your computer”
  3. Launch cmd
  4. Go to c:\windows\system32
  5. Rename Utilman.exe to Utilman.exe.bak
  6. Copy cmd.exe to Utilman.exe
  7. Reboot on Windows
  8. Click the Ease of Access button on lower left corner of login screen (Should open a command prompt)
  9. net user administrator Newpass123 inside the command prompt
  10. Reboot using the DVD
  11. Go to c:\windows\system32
  12. Delete Utilman.exe
  13. Rename Utilman.exe.bak to Utilman.exe
  14. One final reboot and its back online to normal.

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