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Reset Windows Password Using Chntpw

  • By on October 27, 2008 | No Comments

    Chntpw is a Windows NT 2K XP user password tool for delete passwords and restrictions from SAM database on installed system.

    This tools does not brute force password but only delete passwords and restrictions for Administrators and simple user in SAM database.

    To erase password use a script to search NTFS drives from your XP to mount your partition.

    Deleting the password will enable you to login to the system without a password, but it will not give you access to any encrypted data on the system.

    chntpw – utility to overwrite Windows NT/2000 SAM passwords

    chntpw [options] [systemfile] [securityfile] [otherreghive] […]

    This manual page documents briefly the chntpw command. This manual page was written for the Debian distribution because the original program does not have a manual page. chntpw is a utility to view some information and change user passwords in a Windows NT/2000 SAM userdatabase file. It is not necessary to know the old passwords to reset them. In addition it contains a simple registry editor (same size data writes) and hex-editor with which the information contained in a registry file can be browsed and modified.


    Show summary of options.

    -u username
    Username to change. Default is Administrator

    List all users in the SAM database.

    Interactive: list all users (as per -l) and then ask for the user to change.

    Registry editor with limited capabilities.

    Use buffer debugger.

    Show hexdumps of structs/segments (deprecated debug function).


    chntpw sam system
    Opens registry hives sam and system and change administrator account. This will work even if the name has been changed or it has been localized (since different language versions of NT use different administrator names).

    chntpw -u jabbathehutt mysam
    Prompts for password for jabbathehutt and changes it in the mysam registry file, if found (otherwise do nothing)


    If you are looking for an automated procedure for password recovery, you might look at the bootdisks provided by the upstream author at http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/
    There is more information on how this program works available at /usr/share/doc/chntpw registry works, what are syskeys and some other issues.

    This manual page was written by Javier Fernandez-Sanguino Peña , for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).

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