How To: Recover Passwords for Windows PCs Using Ophcrack

Recover Passwords for Windows PCs Using Ophcrack

There are loads of reasons for somebody to want to recover a Windows password, and there are lots of different ways of doing it. My favorite of all of these ways is to use a piece of software called Ophcrack because:

  • The free tables are suitable for almost all uses (I've never been unable to recover a password with them),
  • There's a success rate of around 99%,
  • You can install it on a CD, USB flash drive, or directly onto the operating system,
  • If it's installed on removable media, then there is no need to boot Windows, and
  • It works on Windows XP, Vista and 7.

I'm going to say now that Ophcrack isn't perfect. Occasionally a password won't be cracked, there will be problems running it (but are easy to fix; I will explain the main one later in this guide), and it won't crack roaming passwords from a client.

Installing Ophcrack:

Step 1: Download

Go to Ophcrack's website and click on the "Download Ophcrack LiveCD" link, then select the link for "Ophcrack XP LiveCD" if you're using Windows XP and download it.

Then go to the Tables section of Ophcrack's site and download the "Vista Free" table, and if you want, the "XP Free Fast" table, although this is optional. Any tables that don't have the word "free" in the title are paid tables.

Step 2: Installing to CD or DVD

If you want to install Ophcrack to a USB flash drive instead of a CD, then skip this step.

To install Ophcrack on a CD/DVD, you need to mount the .ISO image you downloaded in the previous step onto the disk. On some versions of Windows, when you double-click the downloaded file, the Windows Disk Image Burner will open. Just select the drive you want to burn to and click "Burn".

If your operating system doesn't have a built-in .ISO burner, there are plenty available as freeware on the Internet. Just Google it and look at the reviews to choose the best one.

Now, unless you want to install Ophcrack to a USB drive or hard drive, skip ahead to Step 4.

Step 3: Installing to USB Flash Drive or Hard Drive

There are several ways of doing this, but I'm just going to cover the simplest (in my opinion).

The fist step is to download the Universal USB Installer from Pen Drive Linux. After it's downloaded, run it and agree to the license agreement. Because Ophcrack has been update more recently than the installer, you will need to select "Try Unlisted Linux ISO (New Syslinux)" in the first box. Next, browse to your file, select your USB drive letter and click "Create". The wizard should do the rest for you, with the occasional "OK".

Step 4: Adding Tables

To add the Vista tables, you must create a folder called "vista_free" in the Tables folder on your CD, DVD, or USB drive. Then extract the Vista free tables .zip file that you downloaded earlier into this. You can do the same with "XP_free_fast" and the corresponding tables.

Step 5: Using Ophcrack

To use Ophcrack, you should boot from your CD or USB drive from the BIOS menu. If all goes well, then Ophcrack should open after a short period of time, and you just click "Crack" to crack the password. However, there can be some problems, the most common being a "Tables not found" or "No tables found" error. To solve this, you open the Linux terminal in the applications menu and type the following (each line is a new line and spaces must be included as they are here):

su root
mkdir /mnt/usbkey
ls /mnt
mount /dev/sdb /mnt/usbkey
ls /mnt/usbkey

Hopefully now, Ophcrack should start as intended. Any other problems can normally be solved by Google or you can ask in the comments and I'll do my best to help.


  • This software should not be used for malicious purposes.
  • There may be laws regarding the use of this software in your area.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.


Nice article, I would recommend using bold text on the commands and putting Ophcrack into uppercase as it makes it a tad easier to read as it is the name of proper noun, other than that it is a good, solid article.

Thanks, I've done what you said.

Looks beautiful.

Congrats on getting home page buddy

Thanks, and thanks for the suggestions, I'll try to write another as soon as I think of a subject I know enough about, I should have plenty of free time soon.

is it possible to use ophcrack to recover an admin password to a win 7 pc on a work network domain?

I think it is but I've never tried myself, I recommend searching Google and maybe a Q&A site to find out what you need to know.

By the way did you ever try this? I'd be interested to know.

I can't download the Universal USB Installer without an administrator password. Isn't the whole purpose of this to find out the administrator password ( which I forgot...).

When I tried the commands in the Sakura Terminal, it gave me an error message. When I put the "mount /dev/sdb /mnt/usbkey" command in, I get "mount: mounting /dev/sdb on /mnt/usbkey failed: Device or resource busy". And when I try to finish out the commands, I get "sh: ./ not found" for the last command. Help?

  1. How can I add vista free tables on my CD drive? The program ophcrack is already burned on the CD and I have no way of adding any additional tables but can only use those which are burned on the CD with the ophcrack program!
  2. When I activated the program, I received the message just as Luranna: "mount: mounting /dev/sdb on /mnt/usbkey failed: Device or resource busy"
  3. Any suggestions? Please anyone?

I do not know if this is too late but I may be able to offer some help to you, Karol, or any others reading this.

  1. The directions are a little side ways for the CD, as you will need to add the files the .ios before burning the CD. With the USB option, the tables can be add to the .ios whenever.
  2. The error may be related to no rainbow tables or not using a USB
  3. I suggest you try this tool (Ophcrack) on a kali linux live CD. You can add the table files to the .ios before burning, same them to a flash drive and load from that, or just copy from your windows directory to the live CD once the session starts. See link if you want to try this, but I am not responsible for anything that happens and this is best left for advance users.

This was helpful to a point. I have no idea where to find the Linux terminal. So I am up a creek.

This method is antiquated . We have 2 other methods on this site to crack Widows open with a lot less hassle.

I have never used Ophcrack before , due to i am using MS to complete Windows 10 password reset program , i can login into computer with Microsoft account , and i am able to reset password on Windows ,

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest