Many times I get into a situation where the Windows 2008 local administrator password is reset when the server is removed from domain. There are other chances where I forget the local admin password. This really frustrates until we recover the password. Hence, there is awaesome trick to reset the local admin password easily. For this you would need 2008 Server Media or any bootable media to access files stored on your local drive.
1. Boot your server using Micrsoft Windows Server 2008 Media DVD
2. From the Install Windows menu, click “Next”.
3. Select “Repair your computer”
4. In the System Recovery Options, select the Operating System instance that you wish to repair and click “Next”.
5. Open “Command Prompt” and execute the commands listed below:
ren Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.old
copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
6. Reboot the server.
7. Press Windows Key + U at Control+Alt+Del screen.
8. Ats the command prompt, enter the following command:
net user administrator Newpassword12
This will set the password for the Administrator user to be Newpassword12 (case sensitive).
Closing the command prompt, you should now be able to log back onto the server using the password you have provided in the last step.
Note: Cleanup Steps
Once you have verified you can log on to the server you will have repeat the steps above and boot using the Windows Server 2008 DVD/ISO and run the command prompt again.
Delete the newly created Utilman.exe from C:\Windows\System32
Rename Utilman.exe.old back to Utilman.exe
You should be back up and running as if nothing ever happened.