Reset password for Vultr VPS

Sometimes, during work, you forget the root account password and can not access Vultr VPS. This article will guide you how to reset the password depending on the operating system, through the VPS management page interface.

1. For CentOS 6

Click View Console to access the VPS and then click Send CtrlAltDel to reboot the system. Boot interface appears, press any key for 3 seconds to continue the process.

At the GRUB boot manager, press the a key to access the command prompt.

Access single user mode by typing single at the command prompt.

The system will reboot and allow root user access in single user mode.

Reset the password with the command # passwd and reboot the system # reboot -f.

2. For CentOS 7

Click View Console to access the VPS and then click Send CtrlAltDel (upper right corner) to reboot the system.

As soon as the boot process starts, press Esc then select and press the e key to edit the first boot option (usually CentOS Linux 7 Rescue…)

Find line starting with linux16, replacing ro with rw init=/sysroot/bin/sh. Specific:

Finish, press Ctrl + X to boot into single user mode.

Access the system with root user: # chroot /sysroot.

Reset the password: # passwd and reboot the system # reboot -f.

3. For Debian/Ubuntu

Click View Console to access the VPS and then click Send CtrlAltDel (upper right corner) to reboot the system.

VPS will boot into GNU GRUB, select Advanced options for Ubuntu and then select and fix by pressing the e key with the first boot option (usually Ubuntu, with Linux 4.8.0-46-generic).

Find the line beginning with linux /boot/, and add init = “/bin/bash” to the end of the line. Specific:

Finish, press Ctrl + X or F10 to boot the system with root user.

When accessed, you only have read access. To add editing permission, you need to remount with the command:

Reset the password: # passwd then reboot the system.

4. For Windows 7

To reset passwords for each user in Windows 7, I used the Active Password Changer tool in Hiren’s Boot CD 10.2 (Direct link file ISO).

To boot the system with HirenBoot, you need to upload ISO to Vultr then select Attach ISO and Reboot.

  • Click View Console to access the VPS with the Hiren’s BootCD 10.2 interface.
  • Select Dos BootCD.
  • Select 3.Password & Registry Tools.
  • Select 3.Active Password Changer 3.0.420 for the program to run (Yes if asked to accept running)

Select 2 Search for MS SAM Database (s) on all hard disks and logical drives for the password in MS SAM Database.

Wait for the program to find MS SAM database with the message There is one MS SAM Database. Press Enter to continue… then press Enter.

The program displays the User list. Select the number corresponding to the user you need to reset the password.

By default the program will choose Password Never Expires and Clear this User’s Password for you. You just press Y to save changes.

Successful notification User’s attributes have been successfully changed. Press any key to exit and press Esc three times to exit the program.

To reboot into Windows, you need to remove Hiren’s Boot ISO in the Custom ISO page.

Then you can access VPS without password. If you want to reset your password, edit in Control Panel/User Accounts.

5. For Windows Server

I will guide you to reset the Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 / 2012/2012 R2 administrator password by using the Finnix rescue disk. Finnix is very useful for repairing your hard drive, boot records, or system restore.

Boot with Finnix

On the Vultr – Setting – Custom ISO menu, remove the ISO of the installed Windows Server and select Finnix – 111×86 in ISO Library and click Attach ISO and Reboot.

Connect VPS with View Console. As soon as the VPS starts up, you will see the Finnix interface.

Select Boot Finnix (64-bit) and then Enter. Finnix will switch to the command prompt for your operation.

Mount the Windows Drives

You need to rmount the Windows Server installation hard disk.

Check the hard drive partitions with # fdisk -l. An easy way to identify a Windows Server hard drive partition is to compare its size with the size of the VPS Vultr. For example, my VPS is 45GB installed with Windows Server 2008 R2. The results show that 44.9G /dev/vda2 is a Windows Server installation.

Once it’s done, mount to /mnt/win:

Note: If you encounter the error message The disk contains an unclean file system (0, 0)… then use ntfsfix to fix the problem: # ntfsfix /dev/vda2 and then proceed to mount again.

Delete the Administrator account password

Access the \Windows\System32\config directory: # cd /mnt/win/Windows/System32/config/

Edit the account Administrator with the chntpw tool: # chntpw SAM

Now you can delete the password and unlock the Administrator account (locked because you visited too many times before reset password). In turn make the following choices:

  • Type 1 – Delete the Administrator account password.
  • Type 2 – Unlock account Administrator.
  • Type q – Exit chntpw.
  • Type y – Confirm Accept.

After done, you need to unmount the hard drive partition:

Boot into Windows

To reboot into Windows, you need to remove Finnix ISO in the VPS management interface – Settings – Custom ISO.

Then, you will be accessing VPS with Administrator account (without password).

You need to reset your password immediately after login. In recent versions, password settings are made through the Ctrl + Alt + Del menu.

6. For FreeBSD

  • Click View Console to access the console and click Send CtrlAltDel (upper right corner) to reboot the system.
  • Select 2. Boot Single User to access single user mode.
  • Reset the password: # passwd then reboot the system.

7. For CoreOS

By default, CoreOS will authenticate with the SSH key and Vultr will create the user and password for the root account when creating the VPS. If you choose SSH key when creating VPS then you can use that key to login VPS with user core.

So, you can login user core to reset user root password via # sudo passwd

In case of loss of SSH key, you can login user “core” by the following:

  • Click View Console to access the console and click Send CtrlAltDel (upper right corner) to reboot the system.
  • As soon as the boot process starts, press Esc then e to edit the first boot option.
  • Find lines starting with linux$, add coreos.autologin=tty1 to the end of the line.
  • Finish, press Ctrl + X or F10 to reboot and login with user core.

So, you know how to reset passwords to access most popular operating systems on VPS in Vultr. Hopefully, this article will help you in the future.

If you need support in the operating system not mentioned in the article, please feel free to comment below.

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