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Retrieve Forgotten Windows password with Ophcrack

What if you have forgotten your Windows password, but there are reasons why you cannot reset your password?
Perhaps you are using drive encryption that would make your files un-retrievable if you changed the password?

An alternative approach is to crack/retrieve the password instead.

Ophcrack is a tool developed just for this task; it can crack your password allowing you to login again, without the need for password change.

Quoting from the Ophcrack website,

“Ophcrack is a free Windows password cracker based on rainbow tables.
It is a very efficient implementation of rainbow tables done by the inventors of the method. It comes with a Graphical User Interface and runs on multiple platforms. “

Step 1: Download Ophcrack

The first thing to do is download the CD image from Ophcrack’s website.

There are two options to download, XP or 7/Vista, so make sure you choose the correct one. The 7/Vista download works with either Windows Vista or Windows 7. The only difference between XP and 7/Vista is the set of ‘tables’ which Ophcrack uses to determine the password.  Also, there are free ‘tables’, and paid-for ‘tables’ for business use and long passwords.

You do not need to download tables separately, as they are provided with the iso. Also, you can use the sfv file that is provided with the tables to verify that they are the same as those on the iso.


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