Provided by: chntpw_140201-1_amd64 bug


       chntpw - utility to overwrite passwords of Windows systems


       chntpw [options] <samfile> [systemfile] [securityfile] [otherreghive] [...]


       This  manual  page documents briefly the chntpw command.  This manual page was written for
       the Debian distribution because the original program does not have a manual page.

       chntpw is a utility to view some information and reset user passwords in a Windows NT/2000
       SAM  userdatabase  file  used  by  Microsoft  Windows Operating System (in NT3.x and later
       versions). This file is usually located at  \WINDOWS\system32\config\SAM  on  the  Windows
       file  system.  It  is  not  necessary  to  know  the previous passwords to reset them.  In
       addition it contains a simple registry editor and  ahex-editor with which the  information
       contained in a registry file can be browsed and modified.

       This  program  should  be  able  to  handle  both  32 and 64 bit Microsoft Windows and all
       versions from NT3.x up to Win8.1.


       -h     Show a summary of options.

       -u username
              Username or username ID (RID) to change. The default is 'Administrator'.

       -l     List all users in the SAM database and exit.

       -i     Interactive Menu system: list all users (as per -l option) and  then  ask  for  the
              user to change.

       -e     Registry  editor with limited capabilities (but it does include write support). For
              a slightly more powerful editor see reged

       -d     Use buffer debugger instead (hex editor)

              -L Log all changed filenames to /tmp/changed. When this option is set  the  program
              automatically saves the changes in the hive files without prompting the user.

              Be  careful  when  using  the  -L option as a root user in a multiuser system.  The
              filename is fixed and this can be used by malicious users (dropping a symlink  with
              the same name) to overwrite system files.

       -N     Do  not  allocate  more information, only allow the editing of existing values with
              same size.

       -E     Do not expand the hive file (safe mode).

       -v     Print verbose information and debug messages.


       ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /media/win ; cd /media/win/WINDOWS/system32/config/
              Mount the Windows file system and  enters  the  directory  \WINDOWS\system32\config
              where Windows stores the SAM database.

       chntpw SAM system
              Opens  registry  hives  SAM  and system and change administrator account. This will
              work even if the name has been changed or it has been  localized  (since  different
              language versions of NT use different administrator names).

       chntpw -l SAM
              Lists the users defined in the SAM registry file.

       chntpw -u jabbathehutt SAM
              Prompts  for  password for jabbathehutt and changes it in the SAM registry file, if
              found (otherwise do nothing).


       This program uses undocumented structures in the SAM database. Use with caution (i.e. make
       sure you make a backup of the file before any changes are done).

       Password changing is only possible if the program has been specifically compiled with some
       cryptographic functions. This feature, however, only works  properly  in  Windows  NT  and
       Windows  2000  systems.  It  might  not work properly in Windows XP, Vista, Win7, Win8 and
       later systems.

       In the Debian distribution this feature is not enabled.


       reged, samusrgrp, sampasswd

       If you are looking for an automated procedure for password recovery,  you  might  want  to
       check  the bootdisks (can be used in CD and USB drives) provided by the upstream author at

       You will find more information available on how this  program  works,  including  in-depth
       details  on how the registry works, in the text files /usr/share/doc/chntpw/README.txt and


       This program was written by Petter N Hagen.

       This manual page was written by Javier Fernandez-Sanguino <>, for the Debian
       GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).

                                         13th March 2010                                CHNTPW(8)