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Windows 7: Is login password recovery possible?

25 Apr 2014   #1
qwertzui

Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
 
 
Is login password recovery possible?

G'day dear community,

In case I forgot my Windows login-password, there exists a relatively easy method of bypassing the password using a Linux installation-CD; what I would like to know:

Is it possible to recover the password, i. e. to retrieve a file where the login-password is written, so that I can continue using it?

All best,

qwertzui


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 Apr 2014   #2
andrew129260

Windows 7 Professional x64 Sp1
 
 

Unfortunately while there are many ways to reset a password, seeing what the password was is beyond my knowledge.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

The easy way is to wright down your password and keep in a safe place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


30 Apr 2014   #4
Shadowjk

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 ; Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by qwertzui View Post
G'day dear community,

In case I forgot my Windows login-password, there exists a relatively easy method of bypassing the password using a Linux installation-CD; what I would like to know:

Is it possible to recover the password, i. e. to retrieve a file where the login-password is written, so that I can continue using it?

All best,

qwertzui
Nope. Passwords are never stored in plain text on the system. They are not encrypted either. The SAM files (Security Account Manager) contain the password hashes. Hashing is a one way trip where a clear text piece of information is converted into a bunch of letters and numbers and are mathematically tied to each other. Unlike basic algebra, with hashes you cannot revert back to the clear text counterpart. What happens during login is that the machine will take the password you entered and generate the hash of it. It will then compare this hash to the one stored in the SAM files for your account. If it is different then the password is wrong. When you think about it, not even the computer truly knows what your password is. It is possible to perform a brute force attack by extracting the SAM files (and hashes), begin to take clear text strings and then make hashes and then check them against the one stored to find the password. That being said, it is a long process and depending on the brute force algorithm could take decades (literally) depending on the complexity of the password.

EDIT: Also, you can't use the hashes extracted to login either. Windows will only take the clear text version of the hash and then re-make a hash of it and compare it. This will be different to the hash of your password. Hopefully that makes sense... Begins to mess with the mind

Due to forum rules I am not and will not post any literal methods for you to follow in order to complete this as there is no way for us to validate that you have ownership of the machine in question.

Hope This Helps clear the question,
Josh
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2014   #5
LMiller7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

This article shows how you can create a password reset disk.
Create a password reset disk - Microsoft Windows Help

Please note that this can only be used on the same computer and by the same user who created the disk.
Of course this must be done before you forget the password.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Is login password recovery possible?




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