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How do I reset a Windows 2000 administrator password?

An administrator who doesn't have the former admin's password for Windows 2000 wonders if there's a way to reset the password or figure out what it is.

I don't have the former admin's password for Windows 2000. It's not signing on to a domain, just as a standalone. Is there a way that I can reset the password or figure out what it is?
You can reset the Windows 2000 password with a variety of utilities and techniques, many of which are free. One of the best is by Peter Nordahl-Hagen. He's written a Windows NT/2000/XP password editor/resetter, called the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor.

The utility works by booting from a CD or floppy rather than logging in, which also allows you to unlock disabled...

or locked-out user accounts. Note: If you use this utility on systems with files stored in the Encrypting File System (EFS), those files will be lost permanently.

This was last published in August 2004

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