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Jun 112013
 

IMG_1591The other day I came to use a VMWare virtual machine that I haven’t used in a LONG time. It was running Windows 2003. I couldn’t for the life of me get the password correct. I normally use the same password for my administrator account across all my Virtual Machines, and this particular one was definitely one of mine. It was just that I hadn’t used it in a long, long timeā€¦ and maybe for some odd reason I had set it to something ‘different’.

A little Googling around and I came upon a couple of solutions to reset the password:

Ultimate Boot CD
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
486 Mb

Hiren’s BootCD
http://www.hirensbootcd.org/resetting-windows-password/
592 Mb

But look at the download file sizes.. huge. And, for me in Bude, North Cornwall, that will take an awfully long time to download. (4.5 Mbit download speed, which means a flat out speed of about 450 Kb/sec here!)

A bit more Googling around and finally I stumbled on the right thing:

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
3 Mb

Much better. It’s an ISO file, that you can attach to the virtual machine, and boot from. You are then walked through the actual process to reset the password, and even better the process worked a treat, first time. I’ll create a new post which explains (with screenshots) how I did it.

 

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  One Response to “Hard resetting a Windows Password”

  1. Thank you for article. Didn’t try it myself, because I solved it before I found you site, but man, what a pain in the arse it was!
    Googled some old tutorial… not working at all.
    Then I checked Youtube advanced search to find out most recent videos… and this one worked well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fe5cTyZ_ms
    I guess this stuff changes very quickly.

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