I came across a situation today when I had a system(with critical data and softwares installed) and nobody knows the admin password of the system.
How I got into this situation is also interesting but here we are going to discuss the password issue only.
I did a little google around it and found most of the results were suggesting use of any third party tools.
It was an office system so I was restricted to not to use that and also at the same time I was dubious about their malware status.
I found an interesting post of geek.com
After reading that post I was not sure that’ll work or not because the post was not properly formatted and instruction were not very clear and complete.
With the help of our net/system Admin and Google I was able to reset the password of the machine.
It was a Windows 7 Machine
Below are the Steps I followed:
- Shut down the system and Remove the Boot HD from the system.
- Now attach that HD to another helper system (We used and Ubuntu Machine).
- Now go to Windows\system32 folder of that harddisk and rename UtilMan.exe to UtilMan_bkp.exe and copy CMD.exe as UtilMan.exe.
- Now shutdown the helper machine and remove the original HD and reattach that to original machine.
- Now after starting the original machine, on the login screen in left bottom corner locate “Ease of access” icon similar to this
- Clicking that icon will launch a Command prompt.
This command prompt’ll have full administrative privileges. So now you can reset your password by running a couple of commands.
net user administrator new_password
In our case the Admin account got disabled so we executed this command also:
net user administrator /active:yes
Ideally it should work for Windows8 also…