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I don't want to reset the password nor delete it. I need to know the password. What can be done? Specific software for that? Easier way of getting the password from inside a non-admin account through Windows itself or reboot is needed? Thanks

EDIT: Also, where are the password files stored? If I get in the system files with another bootable OS, I can read those and get the pwd from it.

EDIT: I don't want to reinstall Windows, I want the password.

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Ophcrack can reveal most passwords if they are not too complex...pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/ophcracksbs.htm –  Moab Oct 13 '12 at 19:25
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Why do you want to do this? Windows goes to great lengths to explicitly prevent this. It's not impossible, but there may be an easier solution to your root problem. –  nhinkle Oct 13 '12 at 20:04

2 Answers 2

The password is stored as a hash and you can not get the password from the hash, you can only test a password and see if you end up getting the same hash afterwards, if the hashes are the same the guess you just tired is the correct password.

The Ophcrack project on sourceforge has a bootable ISO you can use to get a copy of the hash of the password then you can try and crack the password using a variety of password cracking techniques (see Ophcrack's documentation for instructions on how to perform the various steps). Note if the password was long (over 10 characters) it may take a VERY long time to get it.

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Reinstall Windows and recreate the accounts.

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I'm sure there's lots of way that it can be done without having to reinstall, delete or reset the admin password. –  Richard Morton Oct 13 '12 at 18:52

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