We’ve all done silly things on the PC but losing your passwords for all of the user accounts, including all administrators, is probably one of the worst.
Fortunately there is a solution out there can an often, but not always, search and recover those lost password.
The tool is called Ophcrack and it can be downloaded from http://ophcrack.sourceforge.net/
How to Use Ophcrack
The first thing to do is to download the .iso CD image and create the CD using the links provided at sourceforge.
Now that you have the CD you should insert it into your system and boot from it. If you are not familiar with how to do this then look for an option on startup of your PC that allows for the selection of ‘Boot Options’. #
The example shown is from an Acer. F12 opens up a Boot menu (see bottom left)
This screen will look different on each system type but you now need to select to boot from your Ophcrack CD, so select your DVD or CD device
Ophcrack will now start up to its initial menu.
Select the Ophcrack Graphic mode – auto
After a short delay you will be prompted to enter a run command (not sure why they don’t just automate this)
Type in ophcrack-launcher.sh dialog
In most cases a basic search will suffice.
Click on Search and OK
Select the partition that you want to search. Usually you will only have one or two.
If in doubt do each one in order.
Ophcrack will now start to run and search our user accounts and passwords.
BE ADVISED THIS CAN TAKE HOURS. It ran for over four hours on an XP system with 512Mb memory.
Once complete Ophcrack will show a table of user accounts and any passwords that it found.