Change Or Reset Windows NT/2000 Administrator Or User Password With chntpw In Linux

Change or Reset Windows NT/2000 Administrator or User Password with chntpw in Linux

There are multiple ways to recover or reset forgotten administrator or user password of Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It often happens that users forget their administrator or user password.

However, there are numerous alternatives to fix this problem and get back the forgotten password using applications and software. There is one of the easiest and fitting ways to reset and change forgotten Windows NT/2000 administrator password is using the chntpw program. It is a Linux based program that will help users to reset password or change password.

It is especially designed to overwrite and set Windows 2000 and Windows NT SAM passwords of user, which has valid and logical account, by changing encrypted password in registry file (SAM file).

Now most of the users will think about how it will work when the computer will not start. This chntpw program is completely executable program and comes with bootable CD which can change password or reset user password. Another important point is that users do not need to remember passwords to reset or change password of administrator account or user account.

There are some points that need to be considered before starting this program.

  • It works on NT system which is clearly offline.
  • It can be used only in local machine i.e. users can not run this program on remotely computer to change or reset password.
  • It comes in bootable CD which runs in startup process (booting) of computer.
  • It can be installed on Linux System named, Ubuntu and then users can recover their passwords on windows by mounting or attaching windows drive, connected through IDE/SATA/SCSI interface or USB disk.
  • It is quite easy to install and run on Debian based system in case any user use this system and You can download the source code from

Chntpw Usage Guide

  1. Embed Windows NTFS, FAT32 or FAT partition to Linux system, allowing read and write access support.
  2. Browse SAM file for Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows NT which is usually located at \Windows\System32\config or\Winnt\System32\config. Alter directory in the folder, there are numerous files such as SYSTEM, SAM, and Security present.

Issue this command inside the folder in order to change administrator password: chntpw SAM

Now set the given command (reset the USERNAME with genuine name):

chntpw -u USERNAME SAM

This command is especially for single and specified user if you want to add more username then in SAM file then use this command:  chntpw -l SAM.

  1. Now chntpw will display some notification and message on the screen afterwards it will prompt to reset or change passwords. Now you just enter new administrator or user password.
  2. Detached the drive and restart computer to implement changes. Now your computer will be resettled with new password of user and administrator.

Finally, you are done and your password has been recovered.

Another option of running chntpw program to recover forgotten password will be displayed by following this command:  chntpw –h

chntpw help and usage

  • h – for the Message
  • Chntpw version 0.99.3 040818, (c) Petter N Hagen
    Chntpw: change password of a user in a NT SAM file, or invoke registry editor
    Chntpw [OPTIONS] [systemfile] [securityfile] [otherreghive] […]

  • l – list all users in SAM file
  • u – Username to change, Administrator is default
  • e – Registry editor. Now with full write support!
  • N – No allocation mode. Only (old style) the overwrites of same length is possible
  • i – Interactive. List users (as -l) then ask for username to change
  • L – Create names of changed files to /tmp/changed
  • t- Trace. Show hexdump of structs/segments. (Deprecated debug function)
  • d- Enter buffer debugger instead (hex editor),
  • v – Be more verbose (for debugging)

You could check out the readme file to know more about how to write/read/ extract the NT’s SAM file if your hard drive is having NTFS file partition.

How To Repair / Install Recovery Console / NTLDR In Startup Windows Server 2003

Easy Procedure For Installing Recovery Console On Windows XP/2003/2000 As NTLDR Startup Option

Note: I have tested if this helps us install recovery console in windows 7, if any reader tries it out, please let me know how the process goes.

If you have been using Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP, you must be aware of the Recovery Console (RC) feature that is present in all these operating systems. This console helps the user recover the system if it fails to boot by making use of a limited array of tasks that can be executed through command line interface.

You may invoke the Recovery Console with the help of the installation CD-ROM. You normally need to boot up using the CD and repair Windows XP/2003/2000 system using this Recovery Console.

If you are unable to boot up using the CD or you aren’t willing to alter any boot device priority settings in BIOS, you may as well get the recovery console installed into your local hard disk. By doing this, you can select recovery console option from the boot-time menu that is offered by NTLDR.

It is impossible to install the RC on an updated Windows system using old version of Winnt32.exe present on the setup CDs. Hence, you need to install the Console into the local hard disk prior to installing any kind of service pack.

If you try installing Recovery Console with the old CD on Windows having integrated service pack, the system shows an error message notifying you that the set up is unable to continue as the version on CD is older than the Windows version running on your computer.

To prevent such an issue, it is advisable to install the RC as soon as the installation of Windows is over. You need to follow the below mentioned procedure to get Recovery Console installed as a NTLDR startup option.

First of all, logon to Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 with administrator rights. You have to note that network policy settings might not allow you to complete the procedure incase your system is linked to a network.

Once you logon to Windows XP/2003/2000, place the Windows XP/2003/2000 CD in the CD-ROM drive. You will see a prompt asking you whether you wish to upgrade Windows. Just select “No” or else close the window.

Go to Start Menu and select “RUN”. Type the command mentioned below. As another option, you may use command prompt to type the command.

x:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

You need to replace “x” in the command with drive letter of DVD-ROM or CD-ROM so that it finds the proper Winnt32.exe file present on the CD. Further, just follow the instructions given on the screen to complete the procedure.

Now that you have installed Recovery Console into the boot menu, it is possible to select it to run each time you start the computer. You no more need to boot using a CD.

How Do Reset Or Upgrade DRM Utility in Windows Media Player

Errors due to Digital Rights Management (DRM)  constraints in Windows Media Player (WMP) – be it in Vista, Windows XP/ 2000 / 9x / Me – can be quite annoying. This happens particularly if the media file is copyrighted and thus frequently shows DRM license errors. The only solution to this problem is to change the copyright (i.e. DRM) settings of Windows Media Player so that it does not show error messages.

Moreover, there is another problem that can crop up while using the FairUse4WM (FU4WM) – a handy application that removes the DRM component of the copyrighted media that you purchased – and you might get an error message saying:

<filename> does not appear to be licensed to you

This error arises primarily because Mirakagi tool gets started before the license is actually acquired by FU4WM. A simple suggestion is to wait till the Play button is activated before you press the Start button in Mirakagi. However, if you have not installed the copyrighted media’s license key properly, then this error will keep on cropping up and you will have no other option than to reset the DRM license settings manually.

Also, you should know that resetting the DRM settings in WMP is equivalent to re-individualizing WMP. This means that all the media DRM licenses will be cleared and the DRM settings will be reset to a clean original state – the idea being that all errors are undone in the process. In this case, if you want to play the media file again, you will have to go to the site you bought it from, and buy a new DRM license that is valid.

You should read this informative guide to WMP DRM settings if you want to know more about this issue.

Requirements to get most out of the Speach feature in Office XP:

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One of the most exciting features for me on Office XP is voice dictation and voice-activated commands. If your computer is outfitted with a speakers, sound card and a microphone (you can also manage with an earphone headset), you can dictate information into your Microsoft applications, such as word and excel. You can also make use of this feature to activate the menu system in most Microsoft Applications.

Requirements to get most out of the Speach feature in Office XP:

To make the Speech feature useful, you will need a fairly high-quality microphone. Microsoft suggests a microphone/headset combination. The speech feature also requires a more powerful computer than the other Office XP applications typically need. Whereas Office XP needs only 32MB of RAM (memory) on a computer using Windows 98/Me (64 MB of Windows 2000).

According to Microsoft a Pentium 2+ with 128 MB RAM is ideal, but with computers going cheap day by day, one can go for Intel Core duo with 1 GB RAM, which is optimum according to me, as a computer exceeding the normal standards get the best out of the Speech feature.