"I forgot administrator password on Windows server 2008 r2 computer. I have another account to login in my windows server 2008, but it is not an administrator account, it cannot reset password for administrator account. Is there a way to get into my computer and change password for administrator account, or Is there a default password can be use to login my windows 2008 with administrator account? Help please. Thanks in advanced." - A user asked on Microsoft MSDN Forums.
There is no a default administrator password for windows server 2008. Windows 2008 is a security system, it require administrator account must be set a password when you install windows or first login windows. Another best solution is to reset the forgotten password with a password reset disk created before losing the password..
The following available solutions I collected from the internet and I have tested them on my computer. If you come across the same issue as that guy, I think it is very helpful for you.
Solution 1: Use Asunsoft Windows Password Geeker to recover the forgotten password. Windows Password Geeker is designed to recovering forgotten password for windows server 2012/2008/2003/2000 and windows 8/7/vista/xp. The Raid version works fine with HP/DELL/IBM/Lenovo Raid server. It is not free software, but it has friendly user interface which can help you create a USB boot disk and reset password easily. The following steps show how to create a USB boot disk and reset password.
Step 1: Get Windows Password Geeker Advanced or Windows Password Geeker Raid and install it to another accessible computer. Tips: The Raid Version works with raid server computer.
Step 2: Inset USB disk to computer.
Step 3: Run Windows Password Geeker, choose USB Device, and then click "Begin Burning" to make a USB boot disk.
Step 4: Inset USB boot disk to the 2008 server computer (the locked computer) .
Step 5: Set your 2008 server computer (the locked computer) boot from USB boot disk. See How to set computer boot from USB disk.
Step 6: Boot the locked computer from the USB boot disk.
Step 7: When Windows Password Geeker start, it will show you user accounts of your computer, and then you can choose one to reset its password.
Solution 2: Chntpw. Chntpw is a free command line program. It may fail to detect your windows system if your computer is a raid server, and it cannot remove the password if your windows is a domain server. Step as follow:
1. Get Chntpw program and unzip it to usb drive. Chntpw USB disk: usb110511.zip
2. Use I:syslinux.exe -ma I command to write USB boot sector. I the the USB drive letter. Tips: If you have a CD/DVD writer, you can also create a CD/DVD bootable disk.
3. And then you can use the USB bootable disk to boot your computer and reset or remove forgotten password for server 2008.
Solution 3: Ophcrack. Ophcrack also is a free program, and it is the only one who can get back the lost password for local user account actually. However, it also has its shortcomings compare with other password reset software, such as it take more time to recover a lost password, it need a big rainbow table, it doesn't work with strong password on windows xp or later, and it doesn't work with domain and raid server computer. Although so many weaknesses, it still worth trying. A few steps to try it.
1. Download the program and the rainbow table from http://ophcrack.sourceforge.net/.
2. Burn the Ophcrack live cd to the CD or USB disk, and copy the rainbow table to the disk too.
3. Boot the 2008 server computer from the bootable disk.
4. Wait for the result - Ophcrack will show all user account and password if password is recovered.
Solution 4: If you are a programmer who know how to write a VB script and edit windows registry offline, you can try to create a Winpe boot disk to get into the locked computer, and write a script to reset the forgotten administrator password for server 2008.
1. Make a winpe boot disk and use it to get into the locked computer.
2. Use net user command to write a .vb or .bat file.
3. Edit the registry of the locked windows to make the script or .bat file boot as the windows.
4. Reboot computer and you can login with new password.