How To Change Any Windows User Password Using NTPASSWD

As time goes by, one does not always remember to follow the correct procedures, forgetting important steps. Like asking for a person’s passwords when he hands off his/her laptop for you to fix. Of course, we have our tricks: namely a linux based app called NTPASSWD.

ATTENTION! This article involves editing of system files, which should be done with a clear mind!

How to make a bootable CD containing NTPASSWD:

  1. Download the latest ISO from http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
  2. Burn it to a CD using your favorite burner app

How to make a bootable USB drive containing NTPASSWD:

  1. Download the latest ISO from http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
  2. Unpack the contents of the ISO file (using WinRAR for example) onto a FAT/FAT32 formatted USB drive (does not need to be empty)
  3. Make the USB drive bootable by open a command prompt and running the following command, substitute the letter ‘J’ with the correct letter of your USB drive:
    J:\syslinux.exe -ma J:

How to reset an Administrator’s password using NTPASSWD:

  1. Reboot with the CD or USB stick inserted (you may have to change boot priorities in your BIOS)
  2. The default settings ought to be sufficient, so if everything works, press Enter at each prompt after carefully reading them. The defaults is stated within square brackets, e.g [Administrator]
  3. When you get to the part of which user you wish to change/reset the password for, either press “Enter” for Administrator, or input the correct username.
  4. Now the fun part: Enter 1 (one) and press Enter to blank out the password.*
  5. When done, press “q” to quit, and enter “y” on the next prompt to confirm that you want to¬† commit the changes to the Windows system files.

Now, reboot and try logging in!

*Always prefer to blank out the password as opposed to changing it to something else.

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6 Responses to How To Change Any Windows User Password Using NTPASSWD

  1. Morten says:

    Well this post, i find very interesting! Good work ! Keep it up!

  2. mark says:

    What a waste of time, it dont work, the boot disk dosnt find any hard drives. Laptop is a Panasonic Toughbook CL-31.
    Windows XP pro Service pack 3.

  3. CyberKenny says:

    @mark: You have multiple options if NTPASSWD doesn’t work as advertised.
    Consult the FAQ at http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/faq.html and read the paragraph regarding It cannot find any Windows disks or paritions.

    The real problem may be that the current version of NTPASSWD probably doesn’t contain the correct drivers for your model, but other tools might still work.

  4. Ross says:

    On doing a password reset, I get to:

    “openHive (sam) File does not seem to be a registry file”

    {There was an original problem with W7 not being able to access the User Profile – even with correct p/wd]

  5. Paul says:

    Thank you very much!

  6. K Boobalan says:

    good work, i reset windows server 2003 administrator password,
    very very thanks

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