Reset Windows Passwords with Kali Linux

June 24, 2015 | Views: 76433

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Reset Your Windows Password Using Kali Linux

Hello Cybrary members.

Here I am again to talk about Passwords for Windows 7 or any version of Windows. Sometimes, we forget our password, or we want to reset the Windows password for a friend, officemate or anyone’s laptop in legal way.  Today, I’m am going to teach you how to reset a password using our Favorite Penetration Testing Operating System – Kali Linux.



1.Kali Operating System (click here to download the program if you don’t have it)

2. USB or CD/DVD



Step 1: Download Kali ISO and burn on a CD/DVD – many users are also using bootable USB

Step 2: Boot menu -> Select Live (Forensic Mode) … sounds good!!

Step 3: If you’re a first-time user of Kali, don’t panic at initialization mode. It ill open a terminal window.

Step 4: Find the SAM (Secure Account Manager), where in almost of the Windows’ OS passwords are saved. The file is usually located in Windows Folder. You can find under /Windows/System32/config/

Step 5: On our system, we find at /media/hard_drive_name/Windows/System32/config

SAM Location


Step 6: If we navigate using the image above, we’re going to find and open the SAM. The image below shows the syntax for the SAM database.

Sam database location


Step 7: Type the command: chntpw -l SAM. The image below shows the list of usernames found in the SAM on my Windows 7 OS.



Step 8: Simply run this command:  chntpw -u “username” SAM. For example, in this scenario, our username in Administrator, so simply type chntpw -u “Administartor” SAM.



Step 9: Voila, we found the main action, now you can press 1 for Clear, and so on.


I hope you find this as a pretty cool idea on how to reset the password in any Windows 7 or other Windows OS.


Regards from Philippine Security,














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  1. nice article…..

  2. Does this work against virtual machine’s ? i forgot the password of an important one and i couldn’t figure out how to recover/change it cause it’s an vm.Could anny help ? thx.

  3. I recently ran into a small issue using CHNTPW recently at work. IF you’re attempting to mount and run this against a Windows 8 or Windows 10 system you may need to disable fast startup. If I understand correctly, fast startup puts the drive into more of a hibernate mode and linux will be unable to mount the drive other than read-only.

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