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Monday, March 10, 2014

Forgot or lost administrator password on Windows

Some times I am asked to help with member servers where nobody any longer can remember the local administrator password.

In these situations I use an old trick.

Boot the system with your Windows CD, in this example we are working with Windows 2008 R2 and press SHIFT + F10.

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Create a backup of the file C:\Windows\System32\sethc.exe

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Now overwrite sethc.exe with cmd.exe

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Exit the command prompt and restart the computer.

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At the login screen press Shift quickly 5 times (try again if its not working the first time).

This will open Sticky Keys but also the command prompt.

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Change the local administrator password with the command:

net user administrator NewPassword

Exit the command prompt.

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Login to the system with the administrator account and your new password.

Finally remember to copy the backup of sethc.exe back again.

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Instead of using SHIT + F10 at the boot screen this is an alternative way to the command prompt.

At the first screen when booting from CD select Next.

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Select Repair your computer in the bottom of the screen.

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Select your OS and click Next.

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Select Command Prompt.

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Now copy sethc.exe and backup as explained earlier, after exiting the command prompt select Restart.

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The rest is the same as earlier.

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