Where to find the admin password in windows server 2000

Posted on 2006-04-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a server running Windows Server 2000 and i forgot the admin password, but i am logged in as another user with admin rights. Is there a way to change the admin password from there?? I can get to computer mgmt and then to users and then i can set a new admin password from there but is that the solution for changing the admin password so i can log in as administrator??
Question by:lsimmons85
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Yes, if you are logged with admin rights, then just re-set the password to the built in administrator account. Note: the built in administrator account can be re-named so it may not say "administrator" so to be sure, look at the description field and it will state that it is the built in acount for administering the computer/domain.
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    Retrieving the password would be difficult however you can easily reset it:
    1) Right click "My Computer" and choose "Manage"
    2) Navigate to System Tools -> Local Users and Groups -> Users
    3) Right click "Administrator" and choose "Set Password"
    4) Type your new password.
    Note #1: You must have administrative privileges in order to accomplish this, but you said you do have those so it shouldn't be a problem.
    Note #2: If you have any files encrypted with EFS you will not be able to access them any longer. In such case you must not reset the Administrator password, and if this is the situation, post back and I'll (try to) explain how to recover the old one.

    Author Comment

    Yes i do have some encrypted files so if you could explain it, that would be very helpful....
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Let's try the easier solution first. You need to install a password auditing (cracking) tool. The best known one is called LC5 (Or l0pht crack 5) by @stake. The only problem is that atstake were bought by Symantec and the latter don't offer this tool anymore. However you can still get a download from a mirror (This version is a 14-day trial):
    Alternatively, you can use this freeware clone:
    Anyway since you already have access to the computer, you can use the "Import from local registry" which should work without any problems (if it doesn't then it makes our problem a lot harder).
    Now the issue is that the passwords are not stored plaintext but rather as a one-way hash. The only way to retrieve the password is to "guess". Fortunately LC5 can try over 1 million passwords per second and unless you specifically hardened your password hash settings, it should be able to retrieve any alphanumeric password in several hours.

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