Reset Windows Passwords for Vista, 7, and 2008 Server

Logo image for resetting forgotten passwords for Windows Vista, 7 and 2008 ServerOn one of my VMs with Windows 2008 Server, I needed to reset the Administrator password. A quick google led me to a very nice little trick. This also works for Windows Vista, Windows 7 as well as on Windows 2008 Server.

The trick involves booting from a Windows CD, getting to a repair Ease of Access icon button, which is used to launch a command prompt to change the windows passwordCommand Prompt, replacing the utilman.exe file with¬†cmd.exe, booting Windows up as normal, and then clicking the “Ease of Access” button on the login screen to bring up a Command Prompt to issue: net user administrator newpassword

What you need to reset the Password

  • A Windows installation DVD (or reinstallation DVD)
    (If you have Vista installed, you’ll need a Windows Vista DVD. If you have Windows 7, you’ll need a Windows 7 Microsoft DVD).

Reset the Windows Password

  • Image of the Repair Windows Option, where you can choose the Command Prompt which will let you change the utilman.exe to the cmd.exeInsert the Windows installation DVD
  • Reboot the PC and boot from CD/DVD
  • Choose “Repair”. Under the Repair menu, look for “Command Prompt”.
  • In the Command Prompt, issue the following commands below:
c:
cd\
dir
#(You should see some folders listed. If you don't see Windows, change to the d: drive. d:)
cd Windows
cd System32
move Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.bak
copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
  • Reboot the PC and start Windows
  • Click the “Ease of Access” button on the bottom left (or press Windows + U)
  • In the resulting Command Prompt window, issue the folllowing:
net user administrator newpasswordhere
#(to list all local usernames, just type "net user")
  • Close the Command Prompt and Login :)
  • Rename and move the files (utilman.exe) back.

Further information: youtube has many videos showing a step by step process. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar-VoO9ogHc

This above method helped me quickly reset the Windows Password without having to go making a special boot CD such as the Offline NT Password and Registry editor.

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