If you have forgotten the password you used to secure your Windows XP/Windows Vista installation, an easy-to-use software package is available to find your password. The program, called Ophcrack, contains a number of algorithms to quickly identify passwords. Ophcrack is a Windows XP/Windows Vista password recovery software that uses rainbow tables and other advanced techniques to improve on traditional brute force password cracking software. The program is available in a Boot CD edition with Linux kernel, also known as a LiveCD. Using this Boot CD is a practical method to unlock a lost password.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Blank CD-ROM
- CD burner
Navigate to the Ophcrack with Rainbow Tables webpage (see Resources). Click "Download Ophcrack LiveCD".
Click on the download link appropriate to your system. If you are using it for a Windows XP partition, click "ophcrack XP LiveCD." If you are using it for Windows Vista partition, click "ophcrack Vista LiveCD."
Open your (ISO) CD burning application. Follow manufacturer instructions for burning an ISO image. A detailed guide to burning ISOs is available in Resources. Use the downloaded ophcrack LiveCD ISO as your source file. Click "Burn" when the source and destination have been set. The process should only take a few minutes depending on the speed of your CD burner.
Re-insert the newly burnt CD into your CD-ROM drive. Launch the text editor for your operating system (notepad, vi, TextEdit etc...) Read the Readme file that is contained in the root folder level of the CD for directions on how to use the LiveCD. Further support information is available on the Ophcrack support webpage (see Resources).
Tips and warnings
- The rainbow tables contained in the free edition are not complete for extremely complex passwords. Purchase the more complex rainbow tables from Objectif Sécurité (see Resources).
- Do not use this software to access a computer you are not authorised to access. Illegally accessing a computer that is not yours, could result in prosecution or other legal proceedings.
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