Amazon recently introduced Windows Server 2008 R2 Core as an available image in EC2. I'm excited about this, but there is no documentation on how to get started.

For instance, how does one retrieve the default password for one of these instances?

  • 1
    Have you contact Amazon about this? I strongly suspect they will know the answer. Mar 17, 2011 at 6:43
  • I have, on their community forums last night, to no avail. Mar 17, 2011 at 7:40
  • Perhaps you should try and contact their technical support. I'm assuming of course that they do actually have technical support. Mar 17, 2011 at 7:43
  • Of course they do, but it's paid support, and I'm looking for community support. Mar 17, 2011 at 8:23

2 Answers 2


I've not actually used a windows instance myself, however i found this link:- http://techgurulive.com/2011/03/07/how-to-get-windows-password-amazon-ec2-instance/

  • Right-click an instance and click Get Windows Password. The Retrieve Default Windows Administrator password dialog box appears.
  • Paste your private key into the provided field and click Decrypt Password. Amazon EC2 returns an encrypted version of the Windows Administrator password. Your private key is used to decrypt the password locally. Your private key will never be transmitted over the network.

Can't verify this though.

The amazon docs themsels have this: http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AWSEC2/latest/CommandLineReference/index.html?ApiReference-cmd-GetPassword.html

Which means you can get it using

ec2-get-password i-2574e22a -k windows-keypair.pem

using the developer api tools.

  • That's the right way to retrieve the password for a Windows AMI, but the message I received was that there apparently was no password generated. This being a Server Core image threw me off at first, but I solved it in the end. Mar 17, 2011 at 12:22

I solved the problem by terminating the instance and launching a new one. Now, the password was easily retrievable.

Whether this is a problem that can occur to anywone, or exists because the AMI is really new and still under supervision, I don't know, but this solved it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.