Recover a Windows Password with Ophcrack

When Windows stores a password, this is done by instantly entering the password in the LM hash and inserting it into the Windows SAM file. In the terrible case where you lose your password, but you do not want to pay for a geek in order to have full root access to your computer, you need to retrieve it using Ophcrack. Ophcrack does not remove the password, or pass it on, it breaks the hash password using the rainbow tables.

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Ophcrack is popular for use on live CDs. Windows has a security margin that does not allow all access to the SAM file when the system is in use. To combat this, partition with the Windows file system should be installed using an operating system that can download and run it in memory. This prevents the Windows system from loading, and allows the SAM file to be read from.

In today's Hackers Field, we will burn Ophcrack medium to disc, and use its tables with our Windows password to test its power.


  • Windows installation on your hard drive
  • Empty CD

Step 1 Burn Ophcrack to Disc

We need to burn our tool to a CD so we can start on it and crack our SAM file.

  • First, let's install free software that is easy to use to burn our ISO.

  Download the free ISO Burner.

  • Download Ophcrack ISO compatible with your OS.
  • Open the free ISO Burner and select the Ophcrack ISO file. Here is an example

  • See Complete Disc.
  • Set the burn rate as low as possible. The Slower the Burn, the quality increases. It also helps to reduce the conversion of CDs into a coffee coaster due to improper burning of the image.
  • Click "Brun" (program typo).

Step 2 Boot from Ophcrack

  • Insert the disk into your disk drive Tray.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Press the button to enter the setup menu at startup (Variable f * key)(eg F10, F12, F11).
  • Boot from CD first.
  • The software should have a popup window that runs the rainbow tables against your SAM file.

I'm not sure how big the Ophcrack tables are, but some people swear it has a success rate of over 90%. I doubt it will be my own, with my ridiculous passwords.

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