NTPWEdit is a password editor for Windows NT based systems (like Windows 2000, XP and Vista), it can change or remove passwords for local system accounts. This program can NOT decrypt passwords or change domain and Active Directory passwords.
NTPWEdit changes passwords by direct modifying file C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SAM. When running, operating system blocks any access to this file, so password editor must be executed on another Windows copy.
NTPWEdit is a free tool that allows you to reset a Windows password without knowing the administrator password. Of course, this only works if you access the Windows installation offline and boot from a second Windows system. NTPWEdit officially supports Windows 2000, XP, and Vista, but I have used the tool to reset the password of a Windows 7 installation.
After you launch the tool, you have to specify the path to the SAM file that contains the local passwords. On most systems this is C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SAM. The tool displays the available accounts when the SAM file is opened. After you reset the Windows password of a certain user, you have to save the changes.
Some methods for use this program:
- Boot Windows PE or BartPE environment from CD-ROM and launch NTPWEdit.
- If system partition formatted in FAT filesystem - boot DOS from floppy disk, copy SAM file to floppy, edit this file on another computer and copy it back.
- If system partition formatted in NTFS filesystem - copy file using Windows recovery console.
- Attach hard drive to another computer, and edit passwords there.
- Boot system from separate partition (if multiple OS are installed).