How can I reset the administrator password for a Windows 2008 R2 DC?

It appears that none of the Domain Admin passwords/accounts are valid for this given DC, and there are several machines actively using it. Id strongly prefer not to rebuild the domain... Any other suggestion would be welcome.

I am able to enter recovery mode, but this is running Minnt, and it's not running the DC's installation.

  • Can you be more specific about what account password you want to reset? The domain "Administrator" account? The Active Directory Restore Mode Passord? Also, you can't log into the DC with a Domain Admin account? – HostBits Jul 11 '11 at 2:23

This trick is not for remote! It's only in local, to ensure some security!

Require :

  • The original Windows Server 2008 R2

Follow these step :

  • Boot on the windows cd

  • Select the language

  • Select "repair"

  • Clic next

  • Select "command prompt"

  • type C: to be in the right drive.

  • cd to C:\Windows\System32

  • MOVE Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.backup (backup of the .exe)

  • COPY cmd.exe Utilman.exe (that's the trick)

    Restart the server

  • On the login screen, clic on the help utility, or shortcut windows+u (command prompt will show)

  • type net user administrator (password) (type only net user for more information about the command)

    Restart the server, and don't forget to rename the Utilman.exe.backup to Utilman.exe.

That should do the trick.

Hope this will help.

  • Does this really work for a DC? I would think the command for a DC would be net user administrator /domain (or something like that) – halfbit Jul 11 '11 at 14:33
  • Already done a lot of time on my Windows server 2008 R2 standard, and enterprise edition, work perfectly ;) – Anarko_Bizounours Jul 11 '11 at 14:42
  • Are those "domain members" or "domain controllers"? – halfbit Jul 11 '11 at 14:48
  • Domain Controllers, both of them – Anarko_Bizounours Jul 11 '11 at 14:50
  • But this technique work also for local administrator account on windows server 2008 :) – Anarko_Bizounours Jul 11 '11 at 14:50


That should cover what you need. You will need to know your local administrator password. There are lots of tools out there to do that, pick your poison. I use the Hiren's boot disk, or you could try a dedicated one like http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

  • I'm aware it's for 2003 but it should work. – Daniel B. Jul 7 '11 at 16:03

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