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How to reset a forgotten Microsoft Windows Password

Utilman.exe is a pre logon accessibility utility in Microsoft Windows Vista, Win7, Win8, Win8.1, Server2003/2008/2012 that can be triggered before logon by pressing the Windows key + U or by hitting the accessibility icon.

So what we do is swap the Utilman.exe program for cmd.exe and then we can run cmd.exe before logon and use it to reset the administrator password. The command prompt has system privileges which are higher than administrator privileges.

Here are the steps.
1. Boot from a bootable USB drive or DVD that can see the file system of the OS for which the Password has been forgotten.
2. Choose repair and then choose an OS to repair, then choose Command Prompt as your recovery tool.
3. In the command prompt window type the following commands.

cd windows\system32
ren utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak
copy cmd.exe utilman.exe

This will navigate to the folder where ultiman.exe resides and backup utilman.exe and then rename cmd.exe to be ultiman.exe.
4. Remove the bootable disk and reboot.
5. When the logon screen appears hold down the Windows key and type U. This fires up what Windows believes to be Utilman.exe but has in fact has been craftily swapped so as to be CMD.exe, the command prompt.

WARNING: If you reset a users account password. He will lose access to his encrypted files. So the best thing to do is to create a new user. However if you wish to reset the administrator password then simply type the following...

Net User Administrator abc123 (enter)

That will reset the Administrator Password to be abc123.

To create a new user and to add him to the administrators usergroup (the safer method). Type the commands...

Net User NewChap abc123 /add
Net Localgroup Administrators NewChap /add

That will add NewChap as a user with abc123 as his password to the administrators usergroup.

6. You can now login in with your chosen username password combination.
7. To restore utilman.exe, type the following commands...

cd windows\system32
del utilman.exe
ren utilman.exe.bak utilman.exe

Then reboot the system.

8. To remove the new user account type...

Net User NewChap /delete