How to Recover a lost Password?
Created 2003-03-03 by Rainer
The may be a number of legitimate reasons why you
need to recover the Administrator password. In all cases, you need to
have access to the local machine to do so. Also, this FAQ entry only
applies to passwords on a workstation or member server. It does
not apply to Windows 2000 (and above) domain
The Administrator password is stored in the so-called SAM (the security
accounts database). While Windows is running, you do not have access to the file
that contains the SAM - except, of course, you take it from a
backup or the recovery directory. However, you can obtain it in all cases by
shutting down Windows and booting another OS (DOS, Linux) with an NTFS
A free, comprehensive tool is available at http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/.
It includes everthing you need, including the boot floppy. A commercial product
is the LookSmith tool
(now part of ERD Comm.ander 2003) from www.sysinternals.com
allows you to re-set the password.
For more descriptions and tools, you may want to visit http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBD/tip1900/rh1984.htm
This weakness of the SAM is also one of the primary reasons
that you want to limit physical access to a machine as well as access
to all backup copies! A malicious user could use it to obtain
or reset the passwords!