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- Boot from a Windows Server 2012 R2 DVD (or ISO file in a virtual environment) and click Next when Windows Setup loads.
- Press SHIFT + F10 to open a command prompt.
- At the command prompt, enter:
move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bakNote: On Windows Server 2008 R2, you will most likely have to replace the drive letter d: with c:. If you are unsure about the drive letter, search for the drive that contains the Windows folder. The driver letter for the instance of Windows PE that started Windows Setup is x:. (Update: As mentioned by Chidi, you can run the diskpart command and then on the displart prompt, you can enter the list vol command to get an overview of the available drives. The system drive should be labeled accordingly.)
- Replace utilman.exe with cmd.exe:
copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe
- Remove the boot media from the server and tell Windows PE to reboot:
- Once your domain controller is running again, click the Utility Manager icon.
- At the command prompt that (I hope) opened, reset the domain admin password with this command:
net user administrator *
- You can now close the command prompt and log on with the new password. However, mainly for security reasons, I highly recommend restoring the original utilman.exe. For this, you have to again boot Windows Server setup, follow steps 1-2, and then enter:
move /y d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe(Replace the drive letter if Windows isn’t installed on the d:)
- After you removed the boot media, you can reboot the server again with