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How to create a bootdisk to change administrator password on Single Windows 2003 Domain Server?

Posted on 2009-07-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
My client has a former IT person that reset the Administrator password and is not able to be contacted. Does anyone know a free download to create a bootdisk to change administrator password on Single Windows 2003 Domain Server?
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Question by:cap7
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9 Comments
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Joseph Daly
ID: 24817605
If the server is a domain member server you should be able to connect to it from a user account with domain admin rights and use the "local users and groups" to change the administrator password on that server.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:snoopfrogg
ID: 24817825
The Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD will let you do this:  http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/.  Download it, then boot from it on the affected system.
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Author Comment

by:cap7
ID: 24833000
What if the OS is on a RAID, does the boot disk need drivers?
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:snoopfrogg
ID: 24839442
The Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD has a zip file of popular RAID drivers for download on their web site, but it'd be safe to download the drivers specific for the RAID you're working with.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:graye
ID: 24853071
Most "boot crackers" work only on the local SAM account database... not the Active Directory account database.    So, they work fine on the local accounts for workstations, but won't work for domain controllers
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Author Comment

by:cap7
ID: 24853723
If I login the local Administrator Account can I then reset the Domain Administrator Password?
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:snoopfrogg
ID: 24853843
The local administrator account on a domain controller is the domain administrator password, i.e., logging on as Domain\Administrator on a DC is logging on as a domain admin.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:graye
ID: 24854558
If we're talking about a Domain Controller, then no...  the local Administrator account is not used at all.     The SAM-based local account database is "dormant" while Active Directory is installed.
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LVL 41

Accepted Solution

by:
graye earned 500 total points
ID: 24854615
Here is an article that explains a technique that works for Domain Controllers...   In your case you might have to combine two techniques together... one technique to reset the local Administrator account, followed by the technique described below that starts the Server without Active Directory running (so you can temporarily use the SAM-based local accounts), then create a temporary service to reset the password.
Yeah, it's a bit convoluted...
http://www.petri.co.il/reset_domain_admin_password_in_windows_server_2003_ad.htm 
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