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Windows 2003 Server Lost Local Admin Password

Posted on 2014-01-22
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Last Modified: 2015-06-17
ok, i stupidly took a windows 2003 server off the domain & then discovered I do not know the local admin password.

It is a raid 5 box. I cannot get logged into it.
I have tried Winkey for password recovery (no dice)
"boot disk" (http://www.pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/) - won't boot to the disk (no error)
& then bought:
Windows Password Rescuer Advanced (put in, choose boot from CD, boots to windows, no errors).
I am really screwed on this one.  Any help would be hugely appreciated.
Thank you
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Question by:webclickusa
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7 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:Scoobxp
ID: 39801399
Make sure that you are able to boot to a OS cd. The NT password will work just fine. I have been able to do this on a 2003 server before. You will just want to make sure when you boot into the nt password cd that you just blank the password out instead of setting a password. I have had mis results but the best I have found is to blank it out and then set the password in the OS.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39801430
I've used the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor tool several times in the past, with very good results.

You can download it here:

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/gr/offlinentpwed.htm

... among other places.

If you burn a CD from the ISO option it has drivers for various RAID controllers included, so that you can actually access your RAID5 array. If the included drivers don't support the controller in your server you can load them from a floppy drive - I'm assuming that a Windows 2003 server is likely to have a floppy drive.

Read the documentation carefully all the way through before committing to anything, so that you understand what you're doing. This utility is Linux-based and operates only in text mode and so may seem less than intuitive, but it's worked for me.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:tmx84
ID: 39801472
There is lots of ways of doing this... http://www.pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ the one link you posted, i always just boot it off of a USB stick, using YUMI is an easy way to create this... I keep a lot of these different tools on a USB stick using YUMI so i can have boot multiple different tools and live OS's off of a single stick...

Another common way is using a live cd of ubuntu... here is a link for easy to follow instructions...

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntucat/resetwindowspassword/
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Expert Comment

by:Sainyam Aggarwal
ID: 39805747
Try ERD commander disk to reset Windows Server 2003 pwd.
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Expert Comment

by:necromiser
ID: 39823336
If booting up on the CD is not working, check your BIOS to ensure that your CD drive is enabled and above the harddrive in the boot order.  If it's not that may be why you're not able to boot off it.  This will be applicable to USB devices as well if you're experiencing an issue with booting to that as well.
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Accepted Solution

by:
webclickusa earned 0 total points
ID: 40825991
I ended up finding the admin password from the prior admins file cabinet.  Thank you!
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Author Closing Comment

by:webclickusa
ID: 40834209
ended up finding the password
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