How to reset password of domain administrator account?

By | January 27, 2015

Recently, I needed to use my lab and I forgot domain administrator password to Windows 2012 R2 Domain Controller. Fortunately I was able to recover it by doing following steps:

  1. Boot Windows 2012 R2 Domain Controller from Windows 2012 R2 ISO. Click Next.admin_reset1
  2. Click Repair your computer.admin_reset2
  3. Click Troubleshoot.admin_reset3
  4. Change directory to D:\Windows\system32 and run commands: copy Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old and copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe.admin_reset4
  5. Reboot system by running command: shutdown /r /t 0
  6. Boot system from local disk and when the welcome screen appears,  hit the Windows key and press "U". Then change administrator password by running: net use administrator password. Reboot system.admin_reset5
  7. Please follow again steps 1-3. Then change directory to D:\Windows\system32. Please run following command: move Utilman.exe.old Utilman.exe.admin_reset6
  8. Reboot system. The password should be changed now.
Author: Mariusz

Architect (~ 15 years experience based on passion...) with strong background as a System Administrator and Engineer. Focused on Data Center Solutions: Virtualization/Cloud Computing and Storage/Backup Systems. Currently living in Poland.