Howto: Reset a lost VMware guest password

So you’ve forgotten your VMware Linux or Windows guest password?  Here’s how to reset it.  These instructions focus on resetting the password through the Virtual Infrastructure Client, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do it using VMware Workstation or VMware Server.  

1. Grab a Kon-Boot .iso image.
2. In the Virtual Infrastructure client, configure the problematic guest’s Virtual CDROM for the Kon-boot ISO image.
3. Boot the problem guest server.  At the VMware BIOS screen, press the ESC key to bring up the boot menu.  Select to boot from CD-ROM.
4. When the Kon-Boot splash screen appears, press Enter to boot Windows.
5. At the Windows login screen, enter administrator as the user name, with any password you’d like.  Note:  This password is not persistent!  You must set the administrator password manually! Once the password is set, reboot the server and you will be able to login with the newly set credentials.
If you are trying to reset the password in Linux, the steps are the same, but instead of logging into Windows and resetting the adminstrator password, login to Linux and reset the root password.

7 Responses to “Howto: Reset a lost VMware guest password”

  1. Anon Says:

    This was simple and worked wonderfully. Thanks!

  2. Mike J. Says:

    WOW! It really was easy and worked on the first try. I’m a believer in this tool!!

  3. Manuel M. Says:

    Worked great – thank you – saved my week 🙂

  4. Prasad Says:

    it really vey hepfull and works in the first trail, thank u very much dude

  5. SAPPI Says:

    Hi all,

    does anybody have experience with windows server 2003 Standard Edition? Kon Boot does not work for that version.

    Is there another solution?

    best regards

  6. Louisiana VMware Users Group » Reset a lost VMware guest (Windows) password Says:

    […] here is a link and ISO that totally works great. Works fine on Windows-based VMware guests. The direct link to the ISO I used: […]

  7. kais Says:

    Im experiencing a problem with windows server 2008. That doesn’t work in a guest VMWorkstation machine. Im using an active directory domain. i used the local machine name to logon without a domain, but no success either. please help

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