Locked out of Server 2003

Micromedics used Ask the Experts™
I have a SBS 2003 box. Somehow the admin password has been changed or locked. Everything I've tried has failed due to password problems. I cannot login locally or remotely. My users can still login. The login options pull down only offers the Domain no local account. I've tried admin tools from a workstation, but cannot make changes for lack of credentials. Thanks in advance for your help!!!!!
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®

Have you tried to login with a another user account that also has domain admin rights?
Please try this link instead.  The location of the password hash is different on a domain controller than on a regular windows operating system installation.


This is an ugly process but it works if you follow it to the letter.

A better way ... double check and make sure there are no other users in your organization who might have administrator access (like an owner, other IT guy, the third party tech who helped out a few weeks ago, etc).

If you can get into an admin account, you can fix this all easy.  Otherwise, print out the link I sent you and get to work.
Success in ‘20 With a Profitable Pricing Strategy

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!

Warbringer's suggestion of checking to see if there is another account with admin rights is ideal.  

Another option is to use Offline Windows Password & Registry Editor, where you'll create bootable CD or USB.  You'll have option to unlock account (which might be), enter new password, or blank out password.  It's not a pretty tool, but it works.  


Thanks for your replies!!! I have tried serveral password reset tools, but none of them seem to work. At least I still cannot logon. In srv 2003 should I see the local account at the system login. Im talking about the pull down box. Im wondering if someone had created a group policy to lock out the administrator. Like I said the users can still login. ???? any thoughts. Thanks!!!!

From what I've seen you cannot lock out the Domain Admin account. If you'd like to log onto the machine locally, type the "servername\Administrator" followed by the password for the local server admin account.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial