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How to Reset Windows (NT / 2k / XP / Vista / Win7) password using Ubuntu - chntpw

chntpw is a Linux utility to (re)set the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your Windows NT / 2k / XP / Vista / Win7, by modifying the crypted password in the registry's SAM file. You do not need to know the old password to set a new one. It works offline i.e., you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a linux floppy disk or on the dual boot system.

In addition it also contains a simple registry editor (same size data writes) and an hex-editor which enables you to fiddle around with bits and bytes in the file as you wish.

chntpw Features:
  * Simple interactive registry edit (command based), including hex edit of value data in unsupported value types.
  * Export of registry (or parts of it) to .reg file readable by Windows regedit.exe. No import yet.
  * Password reset, password change (partial)
  * User unlock
  * User promotion (add to administrators group)
  * Some syskey reset actions (NT4/2k/XP), but risky.

Install chntpw:
Open the terminal and type following command to install chntpw
sudo apt-get install chntpw
Following Instruction is for Resetting the Windows XP password for dual boot system.

Using Chntpw
Mount the Windows NTFS or FAT32 partition (replace /dev/sda1 to your actual windows partition) to the Linux system with read and write access support.
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/c/
Locate the SAM file for Windows 2000, Windows NT or Windows XP, which is normally located at the either \Windows\System32\config or \Winnt\System32\config folder.
cd /mnt/c/WINNT/system32/config
Inside the folder, issue the following command to automatically change the administrator password:
chntpw SAM
And if you see the output similar with image below, it's mean you can crack the SAM file.

From the menu, press option "1" to automatically change the administrator password:

Issue the following command (replace USERNAME with actual user name on the computer) to change the password for a normal restricted user account:
chntpw -u USERNAME SAM
Tip: To list all the users in the SAM file, use the chntpw -l SAM command.


Computer Repair said...

I do agree with your opinions. And I have tried your process to change my windows password using ubuntu.This is really working.

Data Center Monitoring said...

As far as I know, though, there is one thing to be cautious of. If you have encrypted files using the built in Windows encryption not True Crypt or anything may not be accessible if the Windows password is changed from outside of Windows. At that point, you may need to use some rainbow tables and just find out the old password.

Brent said...

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However, I fortunately got to know the Reset Windows Password utility, which is a professional windows password recovery tool for us to reset windows 7 password instantly yet no data loss.

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