I have a Windows Vista client computer that is connected to a Windows Domain. I can login with the user account for DOMAIN\user1 and also with the Domain Administrator account DOMAIN\Administrator but the local Administrator account is locked. And I need to log in to the local Administrator account to connect the client computer to another domain controller.

How can I reset the local Administrator password for a Windows Vista client connected to a domain?

The server is a Windows SBS 2003.


You dont have do disconnect the client from the domain first. Log on with your domain admin-user, and bring up computer management (Right-click "My computer"-->"Manage")

In Computer Management, go to "Local Users and Groups"-->Users. Right-click the administrator and choose "Set Password". Also, make sure the account is enabled if you want to use it (In Vista, by default, the account is disabled).


To reset the local admin account, logon with the domain administrator account (which should be a member of the local admin group) and change the local admin password, you should then be able to login with that account.


Login with Domain\Administrator and then remove domain membership, reverse the adding process.. After that, restart the pc and login with LocalMachine\Administrator. So after you login with local admin, you can add that client to another domain, just like you removed from first one or at very beginning you added first domain.

If you dont remember the local admin password you can simply reset it using mmc with "local groups and users" snap.

  • 1
    If he removes the PC from the domain before he resets the local admin account it is likely he will get locked out of the machine when he reboots. – Sam Cogan Feb 28 '11 at 12:33
  • The other poster is correct. Removing from the domain first will cause him some pain. – SpacemanSpiff Feb 28 '11 at 12:56
  • Of course he should first reset the local admin password, i know that. The answer of question is "local users and groups" and then remove from domain and re-add. ".. So after you login with local admin, .." assumes that he already changed password and activated the local administrator account. – Hasan Manzak Feb 28 '11 at 13:54

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