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Knowledge Base

How to reset Windows Server 2012 R2 admin password on cloud servers

To reset the administrator password of your Windows Server 2012 operating system, you will need to boot the server into rescue mode, make changes to the Windows registry, and set a new password using VNC console.

A new instance of a virtual server with Windows Server operating system is used as a rescue environment. The disk of your actual server is attached to the rescue instance as a secondary.

Booting into Rescue Mode

Find your server in the "Cloud Servers > Create and Manage" section of the Customer Portal. Use "Reboot to rescue" button on your server details page to reboot the server into rescue mode:

Shall you be presented with a choice of OS version to use as a rescue environment, choose the one similar to the installed on the server.

Setting a password for the rescue of Windows Server

After boot into rescue mode, use "_VNC Console" button on your server details page to access the rescue instance of Windows Server:

You will be required to set a new administrator password. The password must be at least 8 characters long and contain: at least one uppercase letter, at least one lower case letter, at least one number or punctuation character. After you set the password, you will be logged into the rescue instance of Windows Server.

Mounting the disk of your server

Open the Start menu and type "diskmgmt.msc" in the search box. Open the Disk Management Console.

Right click on "Disk 1" and choose "Online" to mount the disk of your actual server with the "D:" drive letter.

Making changes to the Windows Registry of your actual serverĀ 

Open the Start menu and type "regedit" in the search box. Open Registry Editor.

Select "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" key in the registry tree. Click "Load Hive..." in the "File" menu. Choose "D:\Windows\System32\Config\SYSTEM" as a file to load:

Enter the key name for the hive being loaded, i.e. "123".

Open "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\123\Setup" and set both of the following values:

NameData
CmdLinecmd.exe
SetupType2

After setting the registry values, unload the "123" hive by selecting it and clicking "Unload Hive..." in the "File" menu.

Exiting Rescue ModeĀ 

Use the "Exit rescue mode" button on the server details page in the Customer Portal to return the server to normal operation. The server will be rebooted. The changes made to Windows registry allow resetting the administrator password.

Setting a new password for your server

After exiting the rescue mode, use the "_VNC Console" button on your server details page to access your actual instance of Windows Server. The command prompt will appear instead of normal boot process because of changes you have made to the registry of your operating system. In the command prompt use the following command to set the new password for your Windows Server:

Please note, that the password must be at least 8 characters long with at least one uppercase letter, at least one lower case letter, at least one number or punctuation character.
net user Administrator [YourNewPassword123]

Should the password change, you will receive "The command completed successfully" message.

Close the command prompt (cmd.exe) window to continue the loading of the operating system. Use the new password to log in. You do not need to manually revert the changes made to the registry as the value of "SetupType" will be reset automatically after reboot.