Sorry if this is an overly simplistic question, but I'm a bit stuck here.

I need a Windows machine for me to do some programming for class. Since I have my Macbook with me everywhere I go, I figured that it would be easiest to install a VM. Since I can get a copy of Windows Server 2k3 for free via dreamspark, I thought I'd try to do that.

Here's what happened though: I installed Windows Server (disk one). When the system booted up, VMware automatically installed VMWare tools and prompted me to restart. There was also a prompt to start the installation of disc 2, but I figured it would be better to restart before doing that.

When the machine came back up, I was prompted to log in as the administrator. The problem is that I wasn't prompted to make an administrator account or password. Is there a default password I can use? I've tried all the obvious ones (blank, password, etc) and Googling, but I didn't come up with anything.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 10 '10 at 12:56

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • This is old now, but since it was just bumped... Dreamspark now has Server 2008. – Powerlord Dec 1 '08 at 12:42

The correct password is Evaluation1. Just look in the readme file

  • 1
    Evaluation1 worked for me in setting up the Win2k3 image I grabbed from vmware. Thanks. – labratmatt Aug 24 '10 at 17:46

You haven't put any work into modifying the system, so just start over. You'll probably spend more time trying to find a password solution than just reinstalling the OS.

As an aside, I suggest making a copy of your virtual disk after a fresh working install, so you don't have to actually install if you do want a fresh machine.

  • I've been playing with MS's VirtualPC and they have a "difference virtual HDD" thing that lets you leave the old VHDD alone and only store what you change. It would be smaller than a full copy. – BCS Sep 14 '08 at 22:59

Free password recovery tools:

  1. Windows Password recovery - Can retrieve forgotten admin and users' passwords in minutes. Safest possible option, does not write anything to hard drive.

  2. Petter Nordahl-Hagen's Offline NT Password & Registry Editor - A great boot CD/Floppy that can reset the local administrator's password. See the FAQ for more info.

  3. Openwall's John the Ripper - Good boot floppy with cracking capabilities.

  4. EBCD – Emergency Boot CD - Bootable CD, intended for system recovery in the case of software or hardware faults.

But as others have said, you have nothing invested in this install -- easier to just blow it away and start over.


During the Windows Server 2003 installation process you are required to enter an Administrator password. If the installation was interrupted part way through, I suggest that you just re-install it.


you could always use ERDCommander from Microsoft to 'reset' the administrator password, it is a free program and works great.

  • can you pls provide a link? – Gulzar Sep 15 '08 at 4:05
  • google.it/… – Windows programmer Oct 24 '08 at 4:42

Since you have access to the "machine", you could try cracking the password with Ophcrack. But really, I agree with everyone else: just reinstall.


I know this post is probably closed, but just in case anyone finds this thread in the future, I had the same problem and finally figured it out--

When you originally setup the VM before it installed, it gave you the option to customize it with a unquie username and password. Let's take this for example:

username = matt
password = p@ssword

After the stupid VM tools installs and reboots the server, the username is Administrator, but the password was set to whatever you filled out. In this example:

username = Administrator
password = p@ssword

I had the same problem but I found the Solution! In the main window of VMWare it has the options: Suspend, Options, Getting Started. Choose Getting Started and you have all the info. The password is given there:

Username:         Administrator
Password:         Evaluation1


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.