MDOP DaRT: Reset forgotten Windows Account Passwords

We have users who use Windows as our primary operating system and most of them are using Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and now lot of users have shifted to Windows 7 Beta. Often when users install Windows, generally they setup a local user (administrator) and then they configure the domain account. After configuring the domain account users usually never login onto our Local User Account. Sometimes user needs to login onto the Local user account for different reasons. For e.g. Domain account password expired and users needs to logon onto computer for accessing data or sending mails, browsing internet. It happens many of the times that because users have not used the local account users tend to forget local user account password. In that case many users reformat the machine.

But ideally spending time on reformatting the machine may not be a good option. So, how do we reset the password of the locked account? We have a solution for this problem. The solution is using DaRT. DaRT stands for Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit.

Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset is a core component of the Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance, a suite of advanced technologies designed to improve desktop manageability and security and decrease total cost of ownership (TCO).


Step 1: Obtain the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 6.0 and create the recovery cd using ERD Commander Boot Wizard based upon WinPE or obtain the CD from the Local IT.

Step 2: Boot the target machine using the DaRT Recovery CD


Select No for NetStart, we don’t require the network connectivity.

Step 3: Select the appropriate language. Default is US and click on Next


Step 4: Select the Operating System. If you have more than 2 Operating Systems, it will show 2 operating systems and Click on Next


Step 5: Once loaded you will see it’s like Windows Vista Bootable DVD Repair tools but with 1 more additional option ‘Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset’; click on it.


Step 6: You will see following tools in DaRT. Click on Locksmith


Step 7: This will launch Locksmith wizard. Click on Next


Step 8: This will show ‘Select New Password’ window. Select the account you want to reset the password. And provide the new password. After that click on Next


Step 9: You will get dialog box ‘Completing the Locksmith Wizard’ On next restart you will have an option to Change the local user account password after you log in.

Click on Finish. Click on Close and Restart


Step 10: Take out the DaRT CD and restart the machine.


Enter the recently changed password for the local user. Then you will get the above message stating ‘The user’s password must be changed before logging on the first time’

Click OK and type in the new password



Voila, you have just changed the password for the local account. Now you can login with the newly created password.