Ophcrack is a widely used software application to recover forgotten or lost passwords on Windows PCs. It is a versatile utility that offers two different ways to reset your password: one is to install the software after downloading it, and the other is to use a Live CD method that does not require any installation. The application runs on Windows, Mac OS as well as Linux systems, and can quickly crack LM and NTLM password. The software is primarily used for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, but users have also tried it on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 even though the success rate is not as high as with older versions of Windows.
Part 1: Ophcrack Password Recovery Software Review
The easier way with Ophcrack is to use the Live CD method, because all you need to do is download ISO image file and then burn the file to create bootable media on a DVD / CD or a USB drive. The application also offers free tables for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Basically, Ophcrack works by dumping and loading hashes from the SAM (Security Account Manager) file that is found in the appropriate drive partition.
Of course, there are also several disadvantages to using this application. The first one is the text interface, as we saw. Because it appears to be a complicated tool, users who are not familiar with it often refuse to try it out. Another downside is that you first need to create a bootable media with the bootable ISO file for Chntpw to work. But probably the biggest drawback is that the latest version dates back to 2014. This is a typical problem with freeware applications that have been around for a while. That means there are no regular updates, which could expose them to being used as vehicles to deliver malware payloads. For this reason, users who wish to try the chntpw tool are advised to download the ISO file only from the original and official source.
The best as well as the worst part of Ophcrack is that it is open source. While this means you don't have to spend any money on a licence, it is equally true that open source software is more susceptible to being infected by malware if you do not download it from the correct source. You will also not find the kind of customer support or product support that comes with premium software. In addition, the text-based interface tends to put off some people from using the software, especially novice users who are uncomfortable with the technical side of Windows password recovery.
Part 2: How to Recover Windows 10/8/7/Vista Password with Ophcrack Bootable USB
The process below describes how to use the Ophcrack Live CD method to reset your Windows password:
Step 1: Since we are assuming that your Windows PC is locked and you do not know the password, the first step needs to be carried out on a different PC with internet access and administrator privileges.
Step 2 : Download the correct version of Ophcrack Live CD from the official website to the second PC.
Step 3 : Burn the ISO file to a USB or CD. To do this, you will need an ISO burning application. Now proceed to the next step of the password reset process.
Step 4 : Remove the bootable media from the second PC and insert it into your locked Windows machine. Let the computer boot up from this media instead of the native Windows installation. This is made possible by the fact that Ophcrack itself contains a small operating system that can run independently of your Windows OS. In a few moments, you will see the Ophcrack interface on your computer.
Step 5 : You will now see a menu with 4 options. Leave it on the default option, which is automatic. After a few seconds, you will see the Ophcrack Live CD loading and then the disk partition information being displayed as Ophcrack identifies the one with the SAM file.
Step 6 : Once the process has been complete, you will see a window with several user accounts and their passwords displayed in column format. Against the previously locked username, look for an entry in the NT Pwd column.
Step 7: This will be your recovered password, so note it down. You can now remove the Live CD from the drive and restart your computer. You will be able to login to your user account using the password that was recovered by Ophcrack.
Part 3: Can't Find Windows Password or Ophcrack Error? PassMoz LabWin Can Help
Ophcrack is good enough to recover lost password on Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista. However, there is no official built for Windows 10 up to now so it failed many times as reported by online users. In addition, it would days or weeks to crack the password if it was strong enough, let's say over 8 digits. So you should look for a good alternative to replace Ophcrack.
In here, we will recommend PassMoz LabWin, which is designed for the latest Windows 0S and no matter how strong the password is, it can remove the password in seconds. That is the best part of it. You can follow this guide to get the issue fixed if Ophcrack doesn't work in your case.
Some users have found a little success using Ophcrack with later versions of Windows, such as Windows 8 and Windows 10. Most of these have been simple and small passwords, and the overall success rate has not been very high. If you have a PC running the newer versions of Windows, there are several other password reset applications that you can consider using.