Being in my line of work, I make use of dozens of test servers and virtual machines and from time to time I can forget what the administrator password is. To save time, usually I would use the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor to simply reset the password. However I was told of another useful method using the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 installation DVD / ISO Image. It’s a breeze to reset the password so I thought I would share. Personally I have tried this on a standalone Windows Server 2008 R2 but it should also work with Domain Controllers for resetting domain administrator passwords.
- Boot from the Micrsoft Windows Server 2008 DVD
- From the Install Windows menu, click “Next”.
- Select “Repair your computer”
- In the System Recovery Options, select the Operating System instance that you wish to repair and click “Next”.
- Select “Command Prompt”. The
- At the command prompt, run the following commands:c:
ren Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old
copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
- Reboot the server allowing Windows to load as normal
- At the logon screen, press Windows Key + U.
- As the command prompt, enter the following command:net user administrator Password12
This will set the password for the Administrator user to be Password12 (case sensitive).
Closing the command prompt, you should now be able to log back onto the server using the password you have provided in the last step.