Lost Admin Password for windows 2008 SBS

June 3, 2009 at 06:41:46
Specs: Windows 2008, 3.6GHz
I have just install windows 2008 SBS for one of my clients and for some unknown reason they have changed the admin password by 'accident' and now they have forgotten it. I'm beginning to think that it could be a reinstall job but if any one has any ideas I would be most grateful.

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June 11, 2009 at 08:05:20
I would try NT password recovery. look on youtube for tutorials, but caution u may mess up the user data files. so be careful. it might work on the windows 2008 server, i worked for me on windows 2003 server!

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September 13, 2009 at 05:09:38
Step 1

Restart Windows 2003 in Directory Service Restore Mode.

Note: At startup, press F8 and choose Directory Service Restore Mode. It disables Active Directory.

When the login screen appears, log on as Local Administrator. You now have full access to the computer resources, but you cannot make any changes to Active Directory.

You are now going to install SRVANY. This utility can virtually run any programs as a service. The interesting point is that the program will have SYSTEM privileges (LSA) (as it inherits the SRVANY security descriptor), i.e. it will have full access on the system. That is more than enough to reset a Domain Admin password. You will configure SRVANY to start the command prompt (which will run the 'net user' command).

Step 2
Copy SRVANY and INSTSRV to a temporary folder, mine is called D:\temp. Copy cmd.exe to this folder too (cmd.exe is the command prompt, usually located at %WINDIR%\System32).

Start a command prompt, point to d:\temp (or whatever you call it), and type:
instsrv PassRecovery "d:\temp\srvany.exe"

(change the path to suit your own).

It is now time to configure SRVANY.

Start Regedit, and navigate to


Create a new subkey called Parameters and add two new values:

name: Application type: REG_SZ (string) value: d:\temp\cmd.exe name: AppParameters type: REG_SZ (string) value: /k net user administrator 123456 /domain

Replace 123456 with the password you want. Keep in my mind that the default domain policy require complex passwords (including digits, respecting a minimal length etc) so unless you've changed the default domain policy use a complex password such as P@ssw0rd

Now open the Services applet (Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Services) and open the PassRecovery property tab. Check the starting mode is set to Automatic.

Go to the Log On tab and enable the option Allow service to interact with the desktop.

Restart Windows normally, SRVANY will run the NET USER command and reset the domain admin password.

Log on with the Administrator's account and the password you've set in step #2.

Use this command prompt to uninstall SRVANY (do not forget to do it!) by typing:

net stop PassRecovery sc delete PassRecovery

Now delete d:\temp and change the admin password if you fancy.

It Guru 0111

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April 7, 2010 at 07:18:08
Here's a youtube video by Mathieu on how to reset the domain administrator password with just using the original Windows Server installation disk and going into repair mode and some fiddling: http://www.youtube.com/user/chateaumathieu.

I've written out in text as well, just in case the video is removed, or if you prefer text: http://www.woutware.com/blog/post/How-to-reset-the-domain-administrator-password-on-Windows-Server-2008-with-just-the-Windows-Installation-Disk.aspx.



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