How to reset administrator password on Windows using EBCD

(18 Mar 2012) – I wrote an article similar to this topic, but using another tool. It is Offline NT Password & Registry Editor. If this tool doesn’t work in your case, you could try this one. To see the article, visit How to reset administrator password on Windows using Offline NT Password & Registry Editor.

(23 Sep 2008) – There is a new article in this topic using a newer tool which is more recommend than EBCD. It is PC Login Now. The EBCD tool is no longer maintain by author anymore. To see the newer article, visit How to reset administrator password on Windows using PC Login Now.

Last week, my friend told me that he forgot administrator password on his computer and asked me if I knew some way to solve the problem. I heard that there are some ways to reset password so I tried search on the Internet and found many tools and software that can reset password. Finally, I have ended up with EBCD (Emergency Boot CD) which is a useful tools that can reset password and also be your emergency CD in case of system failure. I have test this tool can reset password Administrator and also other account on local system on Windows XP and 2003 Server R2.

Note: You should have experiences on Windows. If you don’t have any background knowledge, I suggest you consult your Administrator before do this. I won’t responsible in any failure or damage if you using this tool.

Step-by-step to reset administrator password

  1. I recommend you to review all steps before you configure on real system. In this example, I’m going to reset password Administrator on Windows 2003 Server R2 which was installed on first IDE drive(c:\).
  2. Download EBCD (Emergency Boot CD-ROM) from ebcd-0_6_1-pro-sfx
  3. Extract and run makeebcd.exe. It will automatically create image file (EBCD061P.ISO) for burning to CD.
    Create EBCD image
  4. Burn the file in step 2) to CD.
    EBCD061P.ISO
  5. Boot the computer with CD that you’ve just created. You will see the menu as the figure below. Select (5) NT password for editor (Linux-based) by type ‘5’ (with on quote) and press Enter.
    EBCD Boot menu
  6. Press Enter to continue.
    Change password utility
  7. Press Enter again if you don’t keep Windows on SCSI drive or type ‘y’ if you want to load SCSI driver.
    Does your Windows on SCSI drive?
  8. Now select which partition(drive) that contains Windows system. You can press Enter without answer to accept the default value in bracket []. In this step, the default value is [/dev/hda1]. This is partition in Linux format but you can ignore the detail if you have Windows on C: which is the most cases.
    Select a partition
  9. Press Enter again to accept value in bracket[] again.
    Enter Windows registry folder
  10. Press Enter.
    Enter files to be edited
  11. Now, it’ll show the change NT password menu. Press Enter to accept value in bracket [1] (Edit user data and passwords).
    Change NT password menu
  12. Select a Username you want to edit. By default value is Administrator which the user that I want to set in this example so I can press Enter without enter any value.
    Select username
  13. Enter new password for Administrator. I recommend to set to blank by type ‘*’ and press Enter and change it to something later when you logged in.
    Note: I have tried set some password(not blanking) in this step but the password wouldn’t work when log in but the blank password works fine.
    Set new password to blank
  14. It will ask your confirmation. Type ‘y’ (without quotes) and press Enter to confirm your changes.
    Reset administrator password - Ask confirmation
  15. Type ‘!’ and press Enter to go back to change NT password menu if you finish change password.
    Go back to main menu
  16. Type ‘q’ to quit.
    Type 'q' to quit
  17. It lists the things that you’ve done. Type ‘y’ to confirm save those settings.
    Save settings
  18. Type ‘y’ again and press Enter to confirm copy settings back to your Windows.
    Write files back to Windows?
  19. You’ve finished reset Administrator password. Now let test by reboot your PC and log in with a blank password!.
    Change password finished
  20. Type your user name and password.
    Windows login screen
  21. Login with a blank password succeeded!.
    Login succeeded
  22. Now you can change your password as you like.
    Change password

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