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How To Recover Passwords Using Ophcrack LiveCD


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Wait for Ophcrack LiveCD to Recover Your Password
Ophcrack Software Running

Ophcrack Software Running

The next screen is the Ophcrack LiveCD software itself. Ophcrack will attempt to recover the passwords for all of the Windows user accounts that it can find on your computer. This password cracking process is completely automated.

The important things to look for here are the accounts listed in the User column and the passwords listed in the NT Pwd column. If the user account you're looking for isn't listed, Ophcrack didn't find that user on your computer. If the NT Pwd field is blank for a particular user, the password has not been recovered yet.

As you can see in the example above, the passwords for the Administrator and Guest accounts are listed as empty. If you were cracking a password for a user that Ophcrack shows as empty, you now know that you can log on to the account without a password at all, assuming that the user account is enabled.

Look toward the bottom of the user list - see the Tim user account? In under one minute, Ophcrack recovered the password to this account - applesauce. You can ignore any other accounts you're not interested in recovering the passwords for.

After Ophcrack recovers your password, write it down, remove the Ophcrack LiveCD disc from your optical drive and restart your computer. You don't need to exit the Ophcrack software - it won't harm your computer to power it off or restart it while it's running.

In the next step, you'll finally get to log on to Windows with your discovered password!

Note: If you do not remove the Ophcrack LiveCD disc before you restart, your computer will likely boot from the Ophcrack disc again instead of your hard drive. If that happens, just take the disc out and restart again.

Did Ophcrack Not Find Your Password?

Ophcrack won't find every password - some are too long and some are far too complicated. If Ophcrack didn't do the trick just try another free Windows password recovery tool. Each of these tools work a bit differently so another program might have no problem at all recovering or resetting your Windows password.

You might also want to check out my Windows Password Recovery Programs FAQ page if you need some help.

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Password Protect a USB Hard Drive

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