Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Techy Post - Have you forgotten the local administrator password?

Ever had an occasion when you've removed a computer from a domain, and can't remember the administrator password to log on locally?  I've been guilty of this on several occasions (I had it last week when I removed a domain controller from the network, and was left with a file server that I could not log in to!)

I know there are various utilities that enable you to reset the password, but this is a useful way of doing it without any hacks, or third party tools.  This works with Windows 7 and Server 2008.  Although I haven't tested it on other versions of Windows, I don't see why it won't work on those.

  • Boot your PC from your Windows 7/Server 2008 installation Disk.
  • When you are prompted, choose your language.
  • Select partition and installation version and click next.
  • Select Repair your Computer
  • Select Command Prompt (Open a command prompt window)
  • Type the following :-
    • cd c:\windows\system32
    • move utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak
    • copy cmd.exe utilman.exe
  • Restart your computer
At the logon prompt, hold down the Windows Key and press U at the same time.  This will now bring up the command prompt instead of the Utility Manager.

From the command line, type :-
net user administrator P455word

Try logging on with the new password - Voila!

Don't forget to copy back the original utilman.exe file.

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