When you install or reinstall a Windows operating system, you are provided with a password for administrative access. We strongly recommend that you change this initial password. In case you have lost your admin password, it needs to be reset using rescue mode. This article will take you through the process of changing your server’s admin password via the available rescue mode configurations for a Windows OS.
The system has to be started in rescue mode before the admin password can be changed. Log into the OVHcloud Manager and go to the Bare Metal Cloud section. Select your server from the left-hand sidebar under Dedicated Servers.
The netboot needs to be switched to "WinRescue (Rescue System for Windows)". Look for "Boot" in the General information box and click on ..., then on Modify. In the popup window, tick Boot in rescue mode and select "WinRescue" from the menu. Specify an email address below if the login credentials should not be sent to your customer account's primary address. Click Next and then Confirm.
Once the change is completed, click on ... next to "Status" in the box labeled "Service status". Select Reboot and the server will restart into rescue mode. This might take a few minutes. You can check the status on the Tasks tab. An email will be sent which contains some information and the login password for the rescue mode's "root" user.
Now navigate to the IPMI tab to open a KVM session.
To reset passwords, the tool NTPWEdit is required. Install it on your Windows server. Once you are connected via KVM, open the browser and download it from the official website. Navigate to the folder where the downloaded ZIP file is located and extract the contents. Next, open the
ntpwedit64 executable file to start the application.
In this interface, you can manipulate the SAM file in order to clear the admin user's password. The default file path in the WINDOWS directory is pre-filled. Open the file to display the list of users by clicking Open. The relevant user will either be "admin" or "Administrator", depending on the Windows version. If both are present, choose "admin". Then click Change password.
In the popup window, leave the fields blank and click OK. Finish by clicking Save changes and Exit.
After this, the server needs to be rebooted again. First, change the netboot back to Boot from the hard disk in the OVHcloud Manager. Back in the KVM window, select Restart via the Windows Start menu. Now just login to your server via IPMI and Windows will prompt you to reset your password.
Now that you have read this article, you should be able to change the admin password on your Windows Server.