Every now and then I get the situation where I really have to get rid of an administrator password on a PC. For instance, someone gives an aging relative a laptop which they used at work, which has an admin password on it, then I have to do some work with it. There are probably other ways of getting rid of them (passwords not aging relatives), including blowing away the disk and re-installing windows! As I seem to be becoming a specialist in non-destructive rebuilds of windows systems, I need a way that does not do any damage.
Fortunately, some kind soul has written a Linux utility to do just this, a full write up of which can be found here . Thanks Ubuntucat!
In summary for my own purposes it boils down to these steps.
- Boot from an appropriate Ubuntu live CD or USB key
- Change the repositories to include the Software restricted by copyright or legal issues (multiverse).
- Use synaptic to download and install chntpw
- mount the windows drive
- in the terminal window go to the windows config using something similar to
- run the utility to change the admin password using
sudo chntpw SAM
This is now part of my tool box I use for these sorts of jobs. Not something you should abuse though!