Recovering passwords from a windows 2003 server

Sometimes when a business decide to switch his computer maintenance to another company switched company rejects to give server passwords with or without good reason.

There’s a lot of ways of reset administrator password, but recover any of then can be better.

If you need to recover passwords from a windows 2003 server a easy way is shutdown the server and start a linux live CD like ubuntu.

If you can access to windows filesystem you can access to SAM data, a database with local passwords 馃槢 .

You only need to copy %SystemRoot%/system32/config directory to a flash memory or another storage device.

Install into another computer Ophcrack software. In my laptop running fedora 21 executeas root

dnf install ophcrack

Download XP rainbow tables from here

Open ophcrack

Click on Tables -> install

and load downloaded tables

ophcrack load tables

Now at load button select Encrypted SAM and open the folder %SystemRoot%/system32/config recovered using Linux liveCD

ophcrack main windowand finally click on Crack button

recovered passwordsOnly took half minute, literally in recover 13 of 14 passwords.