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I'm tasked with changing the passwords for the local administrator accounts on two virtual machines running on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server. I have to remote into the VMs and the server they run on, the machine is not local.

I have the current passwords, and I can log in like normal. I can get to the ctrl-alt-del password change screen just fine for both VMs.

I put in the old password and repeat the new passwords correctly.

And the machine tells me "Access is denied". On both VMs.

I've looked around for people with similar problems, but the bulk of topics I found were about people who either couldn't hit ctrl-alt-del using a remote desktop, or people who had forgotten their current password.

From what I'm seeing, this message comes up when the UAC detects that your account doesn't have the authority to change the password. Which doesn't make sense since I'm logged in as the account I want to change, and it's the local administrator account.

The only thing I can think of is that I'm not allowed to change passwords remotely, even if logged into the local administrator account. Either that, or it's because its a VM. Maybe a combination of the two.

I've gone into the computer manager, and I think I can reset the password from there, but it gives me a warning message that changing it from this screen could cause an "irreversible loss of data", and that it's best to change it from the ctrl-alt-del screen.

Edit: It turns out that the account had password changing disabled. I had go to this screen and uncheck the box.

To get here, right click to open the properties menu on the administrator account from the computer management window.

  • If it's a virtual machine you should be able to connect directly to the console, aren't you? What hypervisor is it running on? – techraf Sep 8 '16 at 22:27
  • I suggest you use Computer Management to change the passwords of the user instead. UAC is disabled for the built-in Administrator, so your conclusion with it being a problem with UAC prompt, is flawed. Unless the built-in user is using an EFS, then changing the password through, Computer Management as the built-in Administrator is fine. – Ramhound Sep 8 '16 at 22:38
  • Verify your Administrator account, isn't set in a way, where the password cannot be changed. – Ramhound Sep 8 '16 at 22:53
  • @Ramhound, that was it. The account's property page had a box checked making it so you can't change the password. Thanks for your help. – G3n0c1de Sep 8 '16 at 23:18
  • @G3n0c1de You should submit an answer to this question since you figured it out – Ramhound Sep 9 '16 at 11:35
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It turns out that the account had password changing disabled. I had go to this screen and uncheck the box.

To get here, right click to open the properties menu on the administrator account from the computer management window.

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