i'm trying to install Windows Server 2012, and i'm being prompted that the Administrator account password does not meet the password security requirements:

The password you typed does not meet the password complexity requirements set by the administrator for your network or group. Get the requirements from your administrator, and then type a new password.

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Now since Windows Server hasn't even been installed yet, there is no administrator who has set anything.

So what i need is a way to alter the Windows Server 2012 password complexity requirements before a server has been installed (i.e. before i can configured the password complexity requirements).

How do i alter the Windows Server 2012 password complexity requirements, to meet my password complexity requirements - before installing Windows Server 2012?

  • Since the password complexity requirement is a Local Policy and set by default the only way I can think is to change it after the install, capture the install with WDS and deploy it to your other servers, if you're deploying multiple servers. If you're deploying a single server then I don't see any way around it, as I said its set by default in the Local Policy. – joeqwerty Feb 12 '13 at 1:53
  • @joeqwerty "I don't see any way around it" Put that in the form of an answer and you got yourself an accept! – Ian Boyd Feb 12 '13 at 1:55

There are 5 phases of Windows installation, the second to last is Specialize. This is the phase right after you typically see "Detecting Hardware" and all of that fun stuff. You can run commands in an automated installation during this phase before any user accounts are created. You would script the import a local security policy using secpol.exe that has your modified requirements. Then, by the time the OOBE phase happens (which is where you create user accounts) you should be good to go with your custom policy.

To do something like this you need to be doing an unattended installation, but I'd assume if you're asking this it's because you need to do this on a large number of servers, otherwise you'd just set a temporary password for the 2 minutes it takes to log in and change this setting.

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