Thursday, November 1, 2012

Reset the domain admin password on Windows Server 2008

Easy peasy. Even easier than it was with Server 2003. Thanks Microsoft! My stolen and modified method of resetting the domain admin password (NOT local admin!!!) is thus:

1. Boot into Trinity Rescue Kit live OS (google it).
2. Choose the option to mount all filesystems. (Do NOT choose the menu option to reset the password. It's only for local user accounts, not domain admin.)
3. If it fails, try the option to recognize more hard disk controllers and then try mounting again. I've had this save me before.
4. Choose the go to shell option
5. You'll have to know some basic Linux navigation to do it my way, so see google if you prefer the method of using a Windows install disc: Navigate to the Windows folder and then the System32 folder
6. Rename Utilman.exe to Utilman.exe.bak
7. Rename cmd.exe to Utilman.exe
8. Reboot into Windows
9. At the login screen, press Windows-key+U
10. Type: net user administrator password (replace password with your new one)
11. Close the CLI
12. Login
13. Rename the above files back like they were. This may require you taking ownership/granting Full Control to yourself (you can google that, too)
14. Exhale...

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!

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