I am currently trying to login to my dedicated server, and have forgotten the password.

I've tried many different things, and currently have SSH access. I boot the dedi into rescue mode (For the SSH) and then back into hard drive boot so I can use Remote Desktop Connection (RDC). However, my most recent attempts where to use the following:

At /mnt/Windows/System32/config -> I use chntpw -u Administrator SAM and tried to use option 2... This was edit/set new user password and it failed. Secondly I tried to blank out the password (Option 1) completely, this appeared to have worked, but unfortunately I get an error when trying to connect via RDC saying invalid password. After much research I realized that often remote connections are unable to use blank passwords.

So, I thought I'd go back onto SSH and edit the password to become un-blank, and see if that worked again. But I get this error: "Sorry, unable to edit since password seems blank already (thus no space for it)" and it asks me to login with no password.

I am looking to either A) Set a new password, or B) Just get the damn admin account accessible again via RDC. Thanks for the help in advance.

1 Answer 1


chntpw comes with a registry editor. As described in the answer "Remote desktop without a password", under the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa you can create a value LimitBlankPasswordUse (type DWORD) and set it to zero.

  1. Start with chntpw -e /mnt/Windows/System32/config/SYSTEM,
  2. then cd into \CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa,
  3. create the value using nv 4 LimitBlankPasswordUse.

This should make Windows accept blank passwords for non-console logins upon the next boot.

After which, you have like five minutes to set a new password for Administrator, until one of those vulnerability scanning bots decides to take this as an invitation to your server...

  • Managed to do it in a similar way, thank you for your help :)
    – Obble
    Aug 13, 2014 at 11:50

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