If you meet this, don't worry, it happens to most of us, you're not alone. Here I am going to share two tricks with you to reset lost domain controller password on Windows Server 2003 environment.
Trick 1: Change Windows Server 2003 domain controller password with SAVANY
Step 1: Restart Windows 2003, press F8 when windows loads, then choose Directory Service Restore Mode. When the login screen appears , log on as local Administrator to access to the computer, but it disable Active Directory, you cannot make any changes to Active Directory.
Step 2: after access to the computer , install SRVANY. SRVANY and its installer "INSTSRY" are applications provided by Microsoft. SRVANY allows Windows applications to run as a service. After download, copy ARVANY, INSTSRV and cmd.exe to a temporary folder. Suppose the folder name and location is d:\temp.
Step 3: Start a command prompt, and point to d:\temp, type: instsrv PassRecovery "d:\temp\srvany.exe"
Step 4 : Start regedit, and open the key as follow HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\PassRecovery.
Create a new subkey called Parameters and add two new values like below:
name: AppParameters type: REG_SZ (string) value: /k net user administrator new_password
Step 5: Go to Control Panle-Administrative Tools- Services, open PassRecovery property tab, choose the startup type Automatic. Then select the Log On tab and enable the Allow service to interact with desktop.
Step 6: Restart Windows, SRVANY will run the net user command to reset domain controller password. Log on as Administrator on your domain by using the password you've reset above.
Trick 2: Reset Windows Server 2003 domain controller password with Windows Password Key Enterprise
The trick one is a bit complicated and it need times to operate, the big difficulty of the trick is that you need to spend time to find out SRVANY. For those who are unfamiliar with the operation, here is an easy and quick way.
Step 1: Log in any available computer you can access to, download and install Windows Password Key Enterprise.
Step 2: Insert a blank CD/DVD or USB flash drive to the computer. Run the program, select Domain Administrator and burn the ISO image file to a blank CD/DVD or USB flash drive.
Step 3: Insert the newly created CD or USB flash drive to your Windows Server 2003 computer, make sure your computer boot from the CD or USB by changing your BIOS setup. If you have difficulty to set BIOS, don't worry, take a look this tutorial.