HOWTO Reset Windows 10 Local Administrator account using Kali Linux Live USB
This is a simple hacking guide on how to reset your Windows 10 Pro local administrator. You will only need one tool and it’s free to download, called Kali Linux Live USB. See the references below on how to make a Kali Linux bootable USB drive.
Let’s begin. You need to have a Kali Linux bootable to a USB drive. I will not include the instruction on how to create a Kali Linux Live, just follow this step here.
Step 01. Boot with Kali Linux Live in USB. Most computer, you need to go to the BIOS to setup the workstation to boot to a USB drive. I’ve tested a workstation with Boot Secure function. I have to disable it first so I can boot to USB drive, and re-enabled back after I fix the problem.
Step 02. If you’re successful on booting to USB. You will see a similar Kali Linux flash page. Select the Live (forensic mode).
Images source: Top-password.com website.
Step 03. You need to login using root and “toor” as the default password.
Step 04. Open the File Manager and navigate to /Windows/System32/Config where you can see the SAM file and select Open Terminal here in a blank space.
I was getting an error when I tried to open System32 folder using File Manager. Though I can see the Windows folder so I Open Terminal here and change directory to /system32/config/ sub-folders. It’s another way around to bypass the permission issue.
# cd system32/config [Enter]
Step 05. I type the command chntpw -l SAM to show the list of usernames found in the SAM file. See captured screen.
Step 06. Now to reset the administrator password. Run the chntpw -u administrator SAM [Enter] to reset the password to blank.
For example: # chntpw -u administrator SAM [Enter]
Step 07. Select 1 to clear the user password, then Y to save your changes.
Lastly, remove the USB drive. Restart your Windows 10 Professional, login as the local administrator with a blank password.
I hope this help.
- Kali Linux Documentation. Follow the Kali Linux Live, making a Kali bootable USB drive – https://www.kali.org/kali-linux-documentation/
- Top-Password.com website – https://www.top-password.com/knowledge/reset-windows-10-password-with-kali-linux.html
- Images source: Top-password.com website.