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how I reset Windows Server 2012 administrator password without installation cd"s? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just installated windows server 2012, assigned a password and wrote it down. Upon trying to sign in, I get the message that the password is wrong. How can I reset it?


    Marianne

    Sunday, November 24, 2013 11:21 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    To reset the password on your Windows 2012 server, simply complete the following steps:

    • Boot from the Micrsoft Windows Server 2012 DVD
    • From the Windows Setup menu, click “Next”.
    • Select “Repair your computer”
    • Under Choose and option, click on “Troubleshoot”.
    • Under Advanced options, click “Command Prompt”.
    • At the command prompt, run the following commands: d: cd windows\system32 ren Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
    • Close the command prompt and then click “Continue”.
    • The server should now boot and present the logon screen. Here click Windows Key + U.
    • At the prompt you can now change the password, by typing the following command: net user administrator Password123 This will set the password for the Administrator user to be Password123 (case sensitive).

    Refer below link.

    http://www.kieranlane.com/2013/09/18/resetting-administrator-password-windows-2012/

    Regards,


    MD Disclaimer: The opinion expressed herein are my own knowledge. Deploy this at your own risk. Whenever you see a helpful reply, just click on “Propose As Answer” / “Marked As Answer” and please do "VOTE".

    • Marked as answer by AnnaWY Friday, December 6, 2013 11:10 AM
    Monday, November 25, 2013 9:05 AM
  • Title "how I reset Windows Server 2012 administrator password without installation cd"s?"

    Answer - If you do not have a password, you can't.  You need the installation media.


    .:|:.:|:. tim

    • Marked as answer by AnnaWY Friday, December 6, 2013 11:10 AM
    Monday, November 25, 2013 3:10 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    To reset the password on your Windows 2012 server, simply complete the following steps:

    • Boot from the Micrsoft Windows Server 2012 DVD
    • From the Windows Setup menu, click “Next”.
    • Select “Repair your computer”
    • Under Choose and option, click on “Troubleshoot”.
    • Under Advanced options, click “Command Prompt”.
    • At the command prompt, run the following commands: d: cd windows\system32 ren Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
    • Close the command prompt and then click “Continue”.
    • The server should now boot and present the logon screen. Here click Windows Key + U.
    • At the prompt you can now change the password, by typing the following command: net user administrator Password123 This will set the password for the Administrator user to be Password123 (case sensitive).

    Refer below link.

    http://www.kieranlane.com/2013/09/18/resetting-administrator-password-windows-2012/

    Regards,


    MD Disclaimer: The opinion expressed herein are my own knowledge. Deploy this at your own risk. Whenever you see a helpful reply, just click on “Propose As Answer” / “Marked As Answer” and please do "VOTE".

    • Marked as answer by AnnaWY Friday, December 6, 2013 11:10 AM
    Monday, November 25, 2013 9:05 AM
  • Title "how I reset Windows Server 2012 administrator password without installation cd"s?"

    Answer - If you do not have a password, you can't.  You need the installation media.


    .:|:.:|:. tim

    • Marked as answer by AnnaWY Friday, December 6, 2013 11:10 AM
    Monday, November 25, 2013 3:10 PM
  • A small thing

    at command number 6  is REM not REN , at least to me it worked

    Thursday, January 16, 2014 11:31 AM
  • How do it with VMware DC computer

    I  press key window+u but it not show prompt

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014 2:20 AM
  • Did NOT work for me....

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:16 PM
  • Again, DID NOT WORK FOR ME
    Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:16 PM
  • I am not sure why it is referring to the D: drive in this example, but it will usually be C:.  This needs to be done on the OS drive that the server was installed to.   Worked fine for me just now as a test run. 
    Wednesday, September 24, 2014 9:28 PM
  • Hi. when I run the following command  d: cd windows\system32 . i got this error The system cannot find the path specified.    I checked all alphabet letters as drive number, only, c,d,f was alive.   in disk drive c i found only Recovery.txt,    in disk drive d: there have a lot of files but not directory Windows, drive F was cd. I don;t know what i must do.
    Sunday, June 28, 2015 9:25 AM
  • Sorry No, It's REN (for RENAME) not REM

    rem /?
    Records comments (remarks) in a batch file or CONFIG.SYS.

    REM [comment]

    Thursday, July 9, 2015 7:55 PM
  • This is valid for 2120r2

    Command prompt from

    USB ISO 2012r2standrad

    diskpart

    list volume

    (find system drive letter)

    then you can find system32

    and rename the Utilman and replace it w/ command prompt (cmd.exe)

    windows key + u = opens command prompt 

    then run 

    net user administrator "password here"

    Saturday, December 19, 2015 1:19 AM
  • This solution doesn't work. First, once you hit on the command prompt, a password screen appears so you have to put your Windows Password in order to access cmd.
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 4:56 PM
  • Worked fine for me with Windows Server 2012 R2!
    Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:37 AM
  • I was trying to reset password for more than a month now but had no success. Followed all the steps mentioned above and it worked.

    Thank You!!!

    In Command Prompt for Step 6, had to run following commands one after the other.

    d:
    cd windows\system32 
    ren Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old 
    copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
    Sunday, June 5, 2016 5:37 AM
  • Exactly that's what's happening to me to i click the command prompt and it's saying choose an account to continue the only account showing it administrator once it's clicked it requires a password to be entered before the command prompt opens

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 8:46 PM
  • If you just want to change your password from an RDP or VMware session, from a run or command prompt, run "OSK" for "Operating System keyboard".

    This will bring up a "LOCAL" keyboard.

    On your physical keyboard, hold down "Ctrl" & "Alt" and then click the "Delete" on the "Local" keyboard with your mouse.

    This will bring up a "Change Password" prompt (probably need to minimize the "Local" keyboard), so just change the PW as you normally would and Robert's your father's brother. :-)

    Terry


    • Edited by Weegsy Tuesday, August 2, 2016 5:38 PM
    Tuesday, August 2, 2016 5:37 PM
  • Hi,

    This solution worked for me, but I have three notes to this answer:

    • There is no utilman.exe in Server Core version, so you can skip then ren command and simply use copy cmd.exe utilman.exe (after selecting the System32 folder, of course).
    • If you are running Windows Server in a Hyper-V guest, you can simply stop your VM, attach your .VHD to another VM (or mount it in another Windows) and then perform the rename and copy operations in File Explorer. Finally detach the VHD, attach to the original VM and start the VM. So you don't have to boot from install media.
    • Don't forget to delete utilman.exe (which is actually a copy of cmd.exe) after logging in with your new password! If you miss this step, anyone can change your password the same way!

    Peter

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016 3:31 PM
  • the administrator account would not work, had to use a different admin account.
    Monday, August 29, 2016 2:32 PM
  • Actually, rem in not correct in this context. REM really just is a comment marker, like #. Ren RENAMES. If you do not do the rename step then you are overwriting the utliman.exe executable forever..

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016 4:57 PM
  • The procedure also work on Windows 2016R2

    Kamal

    Thursday, January 26, 2017 9:55 AM
  • "The procedure also work on Windows 2016R2"

    That must be some procedure.  It works on a non-existent product!  There is no 2016 R2 at this point in time. <grin>


    . : | : . : | : . tim

    Thursday, January 26, 2017 1:43 PM
  • I tried using this process on a Windows Server 2012 R2 box last night. The process worked fine UP UNTIL the point I had the first command prompt open. It opened with "X:\source" as the current directory. I was unable to switch to either the C: or D: drive, which I know would normally exist.

    I believe the problem may be that the server's disk is configured as a RAID array, and perhaps the Windows Server DVD I used did not have/load the RAID drivers, so I could not find the proper drive. Any suggestions for how to resolve this. I am very much a novice in the Windows Server world.

    I was able to accomplish most of what I needed to do (application software upgrade) using a different local admin account where the password was known. However, I would like to resolve the Administrator password issue so that I can resume a more normal maintenance path.

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 3:55 PM
  • I have the same problem. Do you have a solution?

    Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:31 PM
  • I don't have a solution... I do have a problem

    I followed the instructions but everytime I typed in the d: cd windows\system32

    I got an statement about the drive not existing....so I played around with the letters of the alphabet...and found one that worked.. x: so I wrote the magic series of commands beginning with x: instead of d 

    d:
    cd windows\system32 
    ren Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old 
    copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe

    and I closed the file using the icon at the top....but could not find the line where it said "continue"

    I ended up repeating the process because nothing was changing...I did not get  a prompt about resetting a password.....I spent two hours messing around with this...

    Suggestions....is the cd drive always d?


    Wednesday, March 1, 2017 4:57 AM
  • bro have you got any success  in this problem ?

    if yes let me know , i am facing same problem 

    Friday, April 7, 2017 5:18 PM
  • bro can you guide me 
    i am facing same problem.

    server's disk is configured as a raid array .

    Friday, April 7, 2017 5:22 PM
  • I had the same issue where I could not see the disks from the command prompt. This was from a virtual machine using a paravirtual scsi controller so required the 3rd party driver to see the disks.

    What worked for me was to boot to the ISO and instead of repairing, select install. Go as far as which drive to install the media too. On the page where you can load driver, select this option and point it to the 3rd party driver for your controller (i used a floppy disk with driver on). You will need to download the correct driver for your controller and attach it to the server by removable media. When the driver loads you can now see the disks. Now close the window and it will return to the main menu, you can now select repair and launch the command prompt as above.

    Use diskpart & list volumes to see which drive the OS is presented on (in my case E). Enter E: and follow the instructions previously posted. 

    This does the trick.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2017 8:43 AM
  • Worked for me!

    Thanks

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:08 PM
  • Apparently the icon in the lower left of the login screen does the same thing as Win+U so if you're using virtualization software you can use that instead of Win+U to trigger that action.
    Thursday, June 29, 2017 2:43 PM
    • Connect/insert Windows ISO/DVD
    • Restart computer and boot from CD/ISO/DVD
    • Choose language, next
    • Choose Repair Your Computer
    • Choose Troubleshoot
    • Choose Command Prompt
    • Find windows drive (in this example, it's E:\ drive)

    Run these commands (this example is for E:\ drive)

    E: CD windows\system32 REN Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old
    COPY cmd.exe Utilman.exe
    SHUTDOWN /S /T 0

    • disconnect / eject CD
    • power on and wait for logon screen
    • CTRL ALT DEL
    • Windows Key + U or click the Ease of Access symbol which will open CMD
    • Reset the local administrator password:

    net user administrator P@ssword1
    • Login to the computer as administrator, with the password as P@ssword1
    • Rename utilman.exe.old back to the original utilman.exe

    • Edited by Campbell Kerr Monday, October 30, 2017 5:08 AM
    • Proposed as answer by hemaxi4607 Saturday, August 18, 2018 6:02 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by hemaxi4607 Saturday, August 18, 2018 6:02 AM
    • Proposed as answer by AXLRM Thursday, October 4, 2018 2:40 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by AXLRM Thursday, October 4, 2018 2:40 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Phil Ramsden Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:14 PM
    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 7:15 AM
  • Up to the command prompt steps is OK, while enters the d: cd windows\system32 command following reply coming out in command prompt: 

    "The system cannot find the path specified."

    Thursday, July 13, 2017 11:56 AM
  • You need to find the drive letter that contains your Windows installation. I usually go to C: drive, then run DIR to list the files and folders, and move on to the next drive letter if Windows isn't listed. See my screenshots above for more detail.
    Monday, September 11, 2017 6:43 AM
  • i tried it works fine but not working on RAID controller..

    is it works on RAID ?

    while trying on RAID.. Utilman.exe file not found in specified path.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2017 11:20 AM
  • Did you Problem is solved ya Still you facing this problem ?
    Tuesday, September 26, 2017 6:35 AM
  • Hey did your problem solved ? ya still you facing this problem ?
    Tuesday, September 26, 2017 6:37 AM
  • I am unable to find Utilman.exe file

    how can i reset

    Saturday, October 7, 2017 5:10 AM
  • Hi I do have the same issue, did you get any solutions?

    Monday, November 20, 2017 5:19 PM
  • This one's a bit more involved, but basically, the fix above resolved the login issues.

    My terminal server (2012 R2) lost all printer functions.  After messing with this for 2 days, I did a quick restore from 31 days ago with Veeam backup software.  This caused the trust relationship between the server and our domain to be broken.  I couldn't login as the domain admin and I didn't know the local admin password - tried everything I knew (I built it all), but no luck.  I then discovered all the local server passwords were changed when I was on vacation for a security reason.  That password didn't work, either. 

    Heading up crap creek without a paddle.

    Here's what I did -

    In VMWare web console, I created a datastore of the Server 2012 R2 iso image.

    Still in the VMWare web console, on the offending terminal server, while it's powered off, I edited the settings and connected the newly created datastore (iso image) to the CD.  Then, still in settings, I changed the boot order to CD ROM first.  Saved the settings and booted the server.

    The press any key to boot from CD......

    prompt came up, I hit enter.  Then I followed the above steps, moving to the D drive (system drive) and renamed utilman.exe, etc. and finally the net user administrator Password123 command (didn't use Password123).

    Rebooted the server and logged in as local admin.  Then removed the server from the domain (couldn't login anyway) and rebooted. 

    Logged in as local admin and added the server back into the domain and rebooted.

    The local login is fixed, the domain login is fixed and all my printers are back and working.


    I'd rather be flyfishing.

    Friday, February 9, 2018 2:25 AM
  • Hey,

    Thanks for this however it appears to have developed another issue.

    After booting the machine back up I see the following error:

    I can close the window and carry on as normal however it tends to pop up again when I log on.

    If I navigate to the new file we created (utilman.exe in system32) and open it I see the same message.
    It appears the only account to have the ability to rename the old one back is trusted installer.

    Any ideas?

    Best


    Shaun


    Tuesday, March 6, 2018 3:45 PM
  • Resolved my issue by deleting utilman.exe and renaming utilman.exe.old back to utilman.exe (Had to do this in the recovery bit as I didn't have permission to when logged into windows).


    Thanks again Mubasshir Dadarkar

    Shaun



    Shaun

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018 11:56 AM
  • Hello sir,

    i need help.
    i cant find any volumes when i follow your step.
    its cause by raid configuration ?
    because the only one drive path just x:\sources

    Thank you
    regards,

    AriWidjaja Bukian.
    Friday, March 30, 2018 9:40 AM
  • what is siad here is out dated throw u run cmd in repair concle and reset or make a user account, 

    but befor u exit make shure account is set,  i would strongly sujuest that u leave password blank get into the account reset password from there unless u have a domain in wich case the passwords must be reset on domain 

    and u can not unlock domain in same way as databaes are lock for securty 

    Saturday, June 23, 2018 11:07 PM
  • This will work with one correction

    The path presented d: cd windows\system32  should be C: cd windows\system32 in most cases. What you are doing here is renaming a file in your current system directory which in most cases will be C: drive, not D:

    This worked for me.

    Monday, July 23, 2018 12:46 PM
  • Hello campbell_kerr,

    Yes, this solution is work for me but till below steps

    E: CD windows\system32 REN Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old
    COPY cmd.exe Utilman.exe
    SHUTDOWN /S /T 0

    After as you say eject your CD and go to log in screen, but after that Window Key + U don't work for me.

    Because we had rename and change Utilman.exe

    see this https://superuser.com/questions/19085/how-to-disable-utility-manager-windows-key-u

    so how can i open command prompt, and execute this "

    net user administrator P@ssword1

    "

    Could you please help me??

    Saturday, August 18, 2018 6:06 AM
  • You need to click on the util link where you can load the onscreen keyboard etc.. on the bottom left of the screen.  It might help if you understand what is happening.

    You are essentially tricking windows into loading the command prompt by renaming cmd.exe to utility.exe

    Unless you change it back that will always be available to reset your pw.  The same process works for vista as well.

    Thursday, September 13, 2018 6:22 PM
  • You should type d:  then at next prompt type cd windows\system32

    Thursday, September 13, 2018 6:24 PM
  • It works fine.  After following the instructions click on the link on bottom left. Its where you would access the on screen keyboard.
    Thursday, September 13, 2018 6:25 PM
  • Click on the Ease of Use icon on the bottom left. It should load the cmd prompt. Then run net user command.
    Thursday, September 13, 2018 6:27 PM
  • After choosing "Troubleshoot" it asks or the Administrator password (which i don't have and that's the reason i want to reset it in the first place). Am i missing something here?  how do you get around this step if you don't know the admin password ?
    Thursday, October 4, 2018 2:45 PM
  • Awesome, works great, you made my day!
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:49 AM
  • thanks a lot Campbell Kerr

    you just made my day.

    it worked like charm.


    • Edited by Tamimii Monday, February 25, 2019 6:58 PM
    Monday, February 25, 2019 6:55 PM
  • This worked perfectly for me. Thanks!
    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:14 PM
  • I always use the following steps for all windows server
    1. Download Hiren’s BootCD PE x64 from https://www.hirensbootcd.org/download and create USB Boot with "rufus" 
    2. Boot with USB Boot
    3. Install Raid Controller Driver on Hiren’s BootCD PE x64
    4. Use "NT Password Edit" to reset password
    Refer this video link

    https://youtu.be/SBKcPUdQedU

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 2:46 PM
  • This doesn't work for me.  When I get to the Command Prompt is lists "users" and the only one available is "administrator" when I select that it prompts me for a password.  Part of the problem with this VM is it was part of a domain but has since lost its domain relationship. 

    dbl

    Tuesday, April 30, 2019 6:06 PM
  • I completed all the steps, but when I try Windows Key + U or click on the Ease of access icon, nothing happens. I do not get the cmd.exe Command Prompt. I double checked and it is setup exactly as instructed. Any other ideas?

    FYI...Server 2012 Standard.

    Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:34 PM
  • REN is correct. REN=rename REM=remark

    Tuesday, May 12, 2020 11:39 PM