How to Crack Windows XP and Vista Login Passwords

by on 12/18/2008 in Software, Tech

I have seen this so many times where people forget their login password and start to panic. There’s no need to panic with this freeware application called “Ophcrack”.

Download Ophcrack here.

Ophcrack is a Windows password cracker based on a time-memory trade-off using rainbow tables. This is a new variant of Hellman’s original trade-off, with better performance. It recovers 99.9% of alphanumeric passwords in seconds.


It’s recommended that you download the LiveCD and burn the ISO to a disc. All you need to do is boot your computer from the LiveCD and run Ophcrack. I tried the XP version and had no problems retrieving my 7 character password which had special characters and numbers. It took only 10 seconds to crack the password and I was thrilled.

Once you have retrieved your password and you’re able to login again, put your LiveCD that you burned in a safe place. Hey, maybe you can be a hero for a friend one day.

23 Responses to “How to Crack Windows XP and Vista Login Passwords”

  1. The Raging Tech

    Dec 18th, 2008

    It’s key to note that this won’t always work. For some reason, Ophcrack will sometimes get the hash wrong and you’ll wind up with *most* of the password. This also won’t work with obtaining the password for accounts on an Active Directory or OpenDirectory domain, but you may still be able to get at the local accounts.

    • Frank J

      Dec 18th, 2008

      Very true, but it does work more than 95% of the time. I tested this with 5 different passwords with special characters and it worked all 5 times. I am sure it will have issues with some passwords, but it’s a good little piece of freeware that could bail you out of a situation.

  2. zephoid

    Dec 18th, 2008

    rather than retrieve your old password, burn a copy of Ultimate Boot CD, launch the password utility, and reset the password from inside that to what ever you want. heck, you can even create new accounts or change the administrator password. passwords for windows are NOT secure AT ALL. you need to encrypt your hard drive to have any chance of protecting your data.

    • Frank J

      Dec 18th, 2008

      You can also do that as well. There are a few remedies and I have pointed out just one.

      Thank you for sharing!

  3. vinod maheshwari

    Dec 27th, 2008

    I want utility to creak and recover window xp / vista password

  4. H Singh

    Jan 2nd, 2009

    There may be something wrong with the “live cd” image available at

    I tried to burn the image to a CD using Nero 7 Ultra. When I selected the image, Nero gave me the following message, “The entered block size does not correspond to the image length. The block size may be wrong. Do you want to correct the value or ignore the problem?”

    I chose ignore and burnt this image anyway and rebooted. When it tried to boot up my machine using this CD, it failed. I will try the “Correct” option to see if that works any better.

  5. Slim Shady

    Jan 3rd, 2009

    I couldn’t get it to crack my password. It’s not like it’s a really long or complex password either. It’s 8 characters, no numbers or special characters.

    • Frank J

      Jan 4th, 2009


      It’s 90% accurate so you may have been that 1 in 10. I have tried it and it was successful on an 7 character password with numbers.

  6. KevinFLL

    Mar 7th, 2009

    I also have a problem with burning the cd. Does any have a resolution yet.

  7. scooterman

    Apr 7th, 2009

    I down loaded ophcrack live, what is the ISO file? Im obviously not that computer savy. Also what if the computer does not have a winzip program on it?
    Any help is greatly appreciated

  8. scooterman

    Apr 8th, 2009


    Thank you for your quick responce. Should I only burn certain files or just burn the whole folder to the disk? Does it matter if the target computer has winzip?

    Thanks again…

    • Frank J

      Apr 8th, 2009

      Burn the whole folder as all files are needed.

  9. scooterman

    Apr 9th, 2009


    I uninstalled ophcrack-vista-live, then downloaded it again. I then burned it to a disk using free easy burner, using the exact instruction to burn an ISO file. Then put it in the computer, changed the boot sequence and nothing. Tried it a few time and nothing.
    What went wrong?

    Please help!!


  10. miak

    Apr 17th, 2009

    Hi Guys, I am having the same problem.

    I downloaded ophcrack-vista-livecd-2.1.0.iso onto my hard disk. I then burned it to a disk (both DVD as well as CD) using free easy burner and Nero 9 respectively, using the exact instruction to burn an ISO file. Then put it in the computer (Vista Home premium on Deall Inspiron), changed the boot sequence and Windows loads up. Tried it a few time and same thing ocurrs.
    What went wrong? Please help

  11. tye

    Apr 18th, 2009

    i try the ophcrack live cd but it cannot crack my pass i try it couple times still not happen please help me with other method

    • Frank J

      Apr 18th, 2009

      It’s not 100% effective, but when we tested it, we had 5 successful try’s.

  12. pyanxman

    Jun 8th, 2009

    @Mr Frank J
    have u tested with windows vista?

    • Frank J

      Jun 9th, 2009

      Yes I have and it works, but not 100% of the time.

  13. ctadmiralronnie

    Jun 10th, 2009

    Quite cumbersome to use, actually, there are some easier ways of cracking the passwords.

    • Frank J

      Jun 10th, 2009

      It would be nice if you provided a better way “Quite cumbersome to use.” This is your opinion, but no facts provided or resources.

  14. Jana

    Jun 27th, 2009

    Nice article. I have a problem slightly complicated. I have a hardisk which is encrypted using safeboot. On boot up normaly safeboot prompts for a username and password. I remeber the password.I enter it and go to the login window of xp. But I forgot the password of the xp machine. So I cant proceed any further. I tried using ophcrack live CD to recover that password. It detects the disk but cant read anything from the disk as it is encrypted. Can you help me here. Is there a way where safeboot is launched, I enter the password and then ophcrack is booted. This way safeboot decrypts the data and then ophcrack is launched and able to recover the password.

    • Frank J

      Jun 27th, 2009


      I do not use safeboot, but I would Google it to see if there are any forums that have that answer. You can also ask this question on Yahoo Answers in the Computer Category.

      Good luck!