Reset local admin password via recovery cmd

Chris West
Chris West used Ask the Experts™
on
Hello,

I am trying to reset the local admin password for Windows Server 2K16. The only account that has access to the desktop is a basic user account so I am unable to make any changes in the GUI (lusrmgr.msc). I tried to boot to the windows recovery prompt but I can not seem to find the drive with the local os installed. Below are the following drives that I can see in recovery cmd:

A:
D:
X:

How can I get C, or the hdd with the actual os to show? I do have a \windows\system32 folder in X but there is no utilman.exe file. This is a VMWare box if that helps

Thanks in advance!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:

Author

Commented:
Hello,

1. No. it does not work. D spins up as the dvd drive. There is no windows directory at all there. I do also have a X drive and it has windows\system32 folder but no utilman.exe.

2. Yes. That was my old basic account. I spoke with support and they advised me to just re create the question on my upgraded account.

Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the response.
In command prompt can you type in   diskpart  tap enter key.
Now type in   list volume  

Please post results.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
maybe C: is just Offline, not assigned a drive letter.

I would BOOT from https://www.hirensbootcd.org/

and try again..

Author

Commented:
Hello joinaunion,

As requested

Thanks!
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Author

Commented:
Andrew,

That may be my final recourse but I would have to turn that, or any third party tool, over to our security department for review and that could take days or weeks. I just do not understand why so many people have been able to run this successfully and I simply do not have that option.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
It could be that additional drivers are required to be loaded, for the storage controller!

no storage controller driver, no disk!

Do you have access to the VM settings ?

Tried booting of the DVD ?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Okay utilman.exe does exist in Windows 2016

2018-11-09-22_18_52-172.xxx--Remote-.png
Agree try a controller driver before we continue with other steps.

Author

Commented:
I do have access to the VMWare mgmt console but I am unsure how to add it from there. I use VSphere 6.5

Any pointers please?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
I've just booted a VMware virtual machine from the Windows 2016 DVD, and selected Repair, and selected a Command Prompt.

Installation was located on E:\

and in E:\Windows\System32 was the file utilman.exe.

This is using the standard Windows 2016 template for the OS. e.g. LSI Logic SAS controller.

If yours is different you may need to add a driver, unless additional security or policies have been applied.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:

Author

Commented:
I do use the web console

Respectfully, I do not see how to add the driver(s) preboot. Is the method to do so in one of the "parts" at the bottom of the page?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
What Controller is used in the VM?

Author

Commented:
@joinaunion
I have tried to run the cmds and I have attached the screenshot from trying to load dev manager. No luck,

In regards to "https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1013975". I cant change the owner of the disk.sys and pci.sys since the only account that I can login with is a standard account.
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Author

Commented:
@Andrew

This server is using a SCSI controller. I have also added a screen shot from VSphere
server-specs.PNG
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
The issue is the PARAVIRTUAL SCSI control driver which needs to be installed!

This is a non-Microsoft driver, which is included by VMware Tools.

see case 2 in this weblink

https://4sysops.com/archives/windows-server-2016-vm-with-a-vmware-paravirtual-scsi-controller/

When someone built your Windows 2016 server they used a non-Microsoft driver, when you boot with the DVD it does not have this storage controller as previously stated so hence no disk appears!

To see the disk, you've got a few options....

1. add the driver to the installation. - you do this via the command prompt and use the drvload D:\path_to_the_driver_inf_file.inf

or continue with installation until load driver section, and then abort the installation, and select Repair!

(it then loads the driver you need, and your done, you've got access to the disk to make the changes!)

2. add the server virtual disk to a helper VM (another VM, and make the disk changes from cmd.exe to utilman.exe)

Author

Commented:
I  just wanted to thank you both greatly. I was able to attached the tools iso and load the driver from a cmd prompt and the os drive went to F! I was able to copy the file over successfully and launch the cmd prompt!!

Thanks again!.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Exellent news!

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