Forgetting a Windows password can be frustrating especially if it is your domain administrator password for your server. With a few simple steps, you can easily reset the domain admin password and regain access to your machine. This method should work on several other Windows versions as well. I’m going to cover all issues you will encounter to make this the only resource you need to complete the entire process.
Step 1. Locate and Load Your Installation Media
Step 2. Locate and Open Command Prompt
Step 3. At the Command Prompt, Run the Following Commands
Step 3 can be a bit tricky. If you cannot locate C:\Windows\System32\Utilman.exe then Windows has used another drive letter instead of C:\.
To determine what drive letters are in use on the server run this command.
Make note of the drive letters presented in the command prompt and search each drive until you find \Windows\System32\Utilman.exe
If Utilman.exe is located on another drive letter, substitute that letter for C:\ going forward.
Step 4. Reboot the Server
Step 5. Reset the Password
At the command prompt run the following command to reset password to Password123.
Step 6. Revert Changes to cmd.exe and Utilman.exe
At this point, you have successfully reset the administrator password. Good work! For the last piece, you will revert the changes you made to rename cmd.exe to Utilman.exe by rebooting the server with the DVD\ISO again.
At the command prompt run the following commands to revert to the previous files.
That is it! You have reset the domain admin password and can now access the machine. I would recommend updating the password to something more secure and make sure you document the new password so you don’t forget it.