Hacking passwords in Windows XP

Written by MyComputerAid on Monday, September 15, 2008 22:02 - 0 Comments

recover/hack password in xp, 2000, vista (with free Linux bootable cd)

There are many reasons why an administrator password may need to be recovered.  Perhaps it has been forgotten, or maybe the IT staff has changed, and the new administrator wasn’t given a password list by the former one.  Whatever the reason, the functionality of windows can be impaired, and updates impossible unless you can recover or at least “blank out” the old one.  To do this, one of the best ways is to use a bootable Linux CD, which can be run without installation from a CD ROM drive.  These CDs are called “live CD” discs, because they are stand-alone installations that are ready to go as soon as the CD is written.

You’ll need to download the .iso file for the CD, and save it to your hard drive.  Once that is done, burn it to disk using your favorite CD burner, such as Nero.  If you don’t have a a program that can burn an .iso (which is an image of the entire CD), you’ll need to get one.  There are Open Source burners available, such as CDBurnerXP, which can be downloaded from the following site:

http://canneverbe.com/

Download the file, and run it to install.  It will only take a few minutes to install, and you’ll have a fully functional CD burner ready to go.

With that done, you’ll need to burn an .iso copy to disk.  One highly recommended solution is ophcrack, which can recover most alphanumeric passwords in a matter of seconds.  It can be downloaded from sourceforge.net, at the following URL:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ophcrack/

Once you’ve downloaded the disc and burned it, reboot your machine, and enter the BIOS configuration.  Most computers made today will allow you to change your boot disk to be the CD-ROM, or even a USB CD-ROM.  If your primary boot disc is a CD, and the secondary boot disk is the hard drive, you can always boot from the hard drive by simply removing any bootable CD from the drives.  With this done, save the BIOS configuration, and restart the machine.  The CD will boot, and you’ll be ready to go.  Note, however, that this CD will not work with extremely complicated passwords, because it attempts to crack the existing password, not replace it.

If ophcrack doesn’t work, you can try downloading the bootable CD or floppy image at this site:

http://home.eunet.no/pnordahl/ntpasswd/

Offline NT Password and Registry Editor can be used to blank out the administrator password, rather than recover it.  This may not be the most desirable method, but if you have to get into the system and ophcrack can’t do it, this will at least let you get around the problem.

Article written by MyComputerAid.com

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