# Reset Window Passwords With Linux

chntpw is a software utility for resetting or blanking local passwords used by Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. It does this by editing the SAM database where Windows stores password hashes.

If you forget the windows password of your computer, or a computer friend. You can easily reset the password with chntpw a Linux terminal based utility.

We need a usb live linux, can be Arch Linux, Debian, Void Linux, Fedora. Make sure that the utility is in the official repos of the distro you choose.

## Install chntpw

For Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S chntpw

For Debian

sudo apt install chntpw

For Void Linux

sudo xbps-install -S chntpw

## Drive Mount

First mount the windows partition (were windows is installed). Find the correct one with

sudo fdisk -l

Take note of the device path, ti should be somethgin like /dev/sda1

New create a directory to mount the partition, let’s say in /mnt

sudo mkdir /mnt/microsoft

Now mount the partition

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/microsoft

Then go to /mnt/microsoft and search for the config directory

cd /mnt/microsoft/Windows/System32/config

If the path above is not correct, check for the correct path for the config directory.

## chntpw

First check the user records

sudo chntpw -l SAM

It should display some information and a table with usernames beside another info

Let’s reset the password

sudo chntpw -i SAM

Chose 1 - Edit user data and passwords, then type the user account name in the next menu press 1 - Clear (blank) user password, at last press q to get out of that menu then q for

You’ll see something like

chntpw version 1.00 140201, (c) Petter N Hagen
Hive  name (from header): <\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SAM>
ROOT KEY at offset: 0x001020 * Subkey indexing type is: 686c
File size 65536 [10000] bytes, containing 7 pages (+ 1 headerpage)
Used for data: 346/37816 blocks/bytes, unused: 23/7016 blocks/bytes.

<>========<> chntpw Main Interactive Menu <>========<>

Loaded hives:
  1 - Edit user data and passwords
  2 - List groups
      - - -
  9 - Registry editor, now with full write support!
  q - Quit (you will be asked if there is something to save)

Press 1 to select (Edit user data and passwords) then type o select the user account name, you will see something like then press 1 - Clear (blank) user password

- - - User Edit Menu:
1 - Clear (blank) user password
2 - Unlock and enable user account [seems unlocked already]
3 - Promote user (make user an administrator)
4 - Add user to a group
5 - Remove user from a group
q - Quit editing user, back to user select
Select: [q] >

When the process is done type q to quit and then press y to save the changes.

Now reboot the computer you should be able to log into windows without a password.



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