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How to Reset Administrator Password on Windows Server 2008 (R2) - Two Options

Alex Griffith Updated on Apr 14, 2022 6:42 PM

I have a standard install of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise on Hyper-V virtual machine, but I lost the admin password on this Server. I tried to type in all possible passwords I remember but failed. There is no original Windows Server 2008 password reset DVD going along with my pc when I bought it. I would like to ask if there is any ways to get me back?

Sometimes we face this problem that we forget administrator password on Windows Server 2008 (r2) and cannot sign into the system. Unless there is another administrator exists in this Windows domain, you can do nothing but wait for help.

Thankfully, chances are that you don't have to perform a clean installation of the system, there are ways available for you to recover or reset password in Windows Server 2008 (r2), regardless of a domain admin account or a local user account.

Option 1: Reset Windows Server 2008 password with installation CD

Forgetting Windows 2008 R2 Admin password is not the end of the world. A Windows server 2008 R2 installation CD/DVD could save your life in an emergency. All you need is insert the Server 2008 installation disc in the machine, and then follow these steps:

  • Boot from the Windows Server 200 8 installation disk.
  • From the Install Windows menu, click "Next".
  • Select "Repair your computer", and then "Next".
  • Click "Command prompt" to open a window, run the following commands:
  • C:

    CD C:\Windows\System32

    MOVE Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.bak

    COPY cmd.exe Utilman.exe

  • Reboot the Windows Server 2008 r2 system to let Windows load as normal
  • At the logon screen, press Windows Key + U.
  • Command prompt will show, enter the following command:
  • net user administrator New_PASSWORD (replace with the password you want)

  • Reboot.

Done! You've successfully reset administrator password on Windows Server 2008 r2. Once you have verified you can log on to the server with the new password, don't forget to repeat the steps above and run the command prompt again to delete the new created Utilman.exe and rename Utilman.exe.bak back to Utilman.exe.

Option 2: Windows Server 2008 password reset software

Software can also help solve the problem of Windows server 2008 r2 password reset without CD. The Spower Windows Password Reset, which is rather simple and efficient, is an example of a program that can help with such task.

It is capable of creating a password reset disk that you can use to reset admin password for Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, and as well reset the password on other Windows operating systems including Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. Also, it enables you to create a new account with administrative rights and add to your computer.

Follow steps below for resetting the administrator password for a Windows 2008 R2. Related Article: How to reset lost password for Windows 7 on computer

Step 1: Create a Windows server 2008 password reset disk

Since your computer that's running Windows Server 2008 (R2) is inaccessible, please click the link above to download the program on a second computer, and install it.

Open up the program, insert a blank USB flash drive or CD/DVD media disc onto the computer.

Click the USB device or CD/DVD on the main screen and let the program burn its ISO images files onto the disk you just insert to create a password reset disk.

Once done, remove the disc from the PC and insert your server 2008 R2 machine.

Step 2: Set the server to boot from the disk you just made

Normally, a computer will boot from the hard drive which has Windows installation when it starts, so here we need to adjust the boot sequence settings in BIOS to boot first from the password reset disk.

Step 3: Reset administrator password on Windows Server 2008 (R2)

After the BIOS configuration, your computer should restart and boot from the Windows Server 2008 reset password disk. Wait until it finished its loading, then you will be presented with the resetting screen of the program.

Now, select your Windows Server 2008 system, as well as the user name that you want to reset the password for, and click the Reset button. The tool will set the password for that account to be Spower@2011.

windows server 2008 r2 password reset

Note: As you can see in the screenshot, aside from resetting passwords in Windows 2008 Server (R2), the program also gives you ability to add a new account with admin privileges, or delete an existing account on the machine.

Once done, click the Reboot button at the bottom of the screen to restart your computer. Wait for Windows to boot to the Server 2008 (R2) login screen.

IMPORTANT! You will have to remove the disk from the computer after you press the "Reboot" in case the machine will boot from it again.

Congratulations! Now you should now be able to log back onto the Windows server 2008 with the password the tool provided above. Be sure to change the default password to a new password – one you can remember a little easier!

That's it!

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