How do I recover a Windows password on a Linode?
I use RDP to connect to my Linode, but I've forgotten my Administrator password. How can I recover or reset the password?
Versions of Windows 8.1 and Earlier
Users of should be able to use the ntfs-3g package to mount Windows NTFS partitions and chntpw utility available in Rescue Mode to change the Windows Password.
The command to mount your partition in Rescue Mode would probably be:
mkdir -p /mount/windows mount -t ntfs /dev/sda /mount/windows
If this doesn't work, more detailed instructions for mounting NTFS partitions on Linux can be found here:
A description of how to use the chntpw utility can be found here:
Later Versions of Windows
If you used a later version of Windows you may not be able to reset your password without deleting your data, programs, and settings unless your account is connected to a Microsoft Account. See Microsoft's website for details.
There are third party tools such as John the Ripper that can be used to brute force the password hash on your Windows disk. These can take a very long time to run or be expensive to purchase precompiled word lists. You will likely want to download a copy of your Linode's disks to perform the brute force operation.
Downloading a copy of your Linode's disks for local processing
You will want to refer to our Copying a disk over SSH guide for instructions.