May 13 2017

Reset Windows Password on 1&1 CloudServer

So a task that I’m given alot is to go ahead and reset a lost Windows Password on one of my customer’s servers. The customer is in a position where they only have a single user account, Administrator, they’re not connected to an Active Directory, and don’t have any other means to reset the password. It would typically be at this point that the customer either keep trying to remember their password, and risk being locked out, or backing up their information and reimaging their server.

The trick to all this, since these are Virtual Machines and 1&1 is in no way able to automatically reset the password like they could with the VZ-Containers, involves an old trick / “hack” involving changing out the “Ease of Access” button for a Admin-enabled Command Prompt. You can check out a tutorial on the trick by going to https://www.technibble.com/bypass-windows-logons-utilman/ . They are using Win7 with the DVD, we’re going to do the same thing with Windows Server and using Linux (since getting the Win DVD is difficult due to the timeout on boot).

The basic steps are:

  • Load GParted DVD
  • Reboot Server
  • Access KVM
  • Access Terminal from within GParted’s Linux environment
  • mount the filesystem:
    • sudo mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
      • Note that /dev/sda1 is the boot partition, whereas sda2 is our data.
      • If you get an error due to the Windows partition didn’t close out “safely”, then run the following fix:
        • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda2
        • remount
  • Navigate to the System32 directory:
    • cd /mnt/Windows/System32
  • Create a backup of the “Utilman.exe” file
    • mv Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.bak
  • Create a copy of “cmd.exe” and name it “Utilman.exe”
    • cp cmd.exe Utilman.exe
  • Unmount everything
    • cd / && umount /mnt
  • Click “Exit” from GParted, choose reboot, and then remove the DVD when it tells you
  • Now when Windows boots and you’re at a logon screen, click the “Ease of Access” button in the bottom left
  • A Command Prompt should load, type the following:
    • net user <username> *
      • net user Administrator *   for example
  • Type in your new password and then finally login.
  • You can choose to keep everything setup here or remove it, depending on if you ever use Ease of Access.

 

Video tutorial of the entire process.


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Posted May 13, 2017 by Timothy G in category "1&1 Internet", "Windows

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