Its not that hard to forget a Windows admin password. It can happen to anyone especially those who constantly change passwords or haven’t used their computer for a long time. Although there is one useful way to recover your password by creating a Windows password reset disk. However, if you don’t prefer that method, there is another simple method to crack your password by using a Ophcrack LiveCD that claims to have cracked 99.9% alpha-numeric passwords, but that’s always not the case!
In this tutorial I will teach you a step by step procedure on how to create a Live CD and then use it to Crack a Password.
Step #1: First of all you’ll have to download Ophcrack. Once the Live CD ISO is downloaded, you’ll need to burn it on a Blank Disk. Burn the Disk at a low burning speed.
Step #2: Now when ever you forget or lose your Admin Password. On system restart, insert the Burned Disk onto your CD/DVD ROM. Make sure you have set the boot sequence to CD first. If not go to BIOS and set the boot sequence accordingly.If every thing works, you should see a loading screen like the one below,
(Image Courtesy: LifeHacker)
Step #3: Once the Live CD loads it will automatically start working on the password, using rainbow tables and some pre-calculated data stored in memory (More on Rainbow Tables here) it will crack the password depending upon the length and complexity. For average passwords of length 6-10 letters it can take up to 3-7 minutes. In case you have more than one account, you will have to choose from a list of accounts.
Step #4: Note down the cracked password once its displayed; remove the Live CD from the CD/DVD ROM and restart your computer. Type in the password that you noted in step #3 and enter at log-in. Once you are successfully logged inside, DON’T FORGET to change the password and note down the new password for future references.
Using Ophcrack is a very useful if you have simple and short alphanumeric. However, it does not crack strong passwords. Ophcrack Live CD can really help those who forget passwords on regular basis.