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How to change the Domain Administrator Password

This is a question I’ve been asked ( and not asked – to the users later found nightmare ) quite often. For whatever reason being that the password has been leaked or its just been in use too long.

Now there are a number of things to do before we actually change the Domain admin accounts password. Follow this quick guide and there should be no issues.

1) Create a backup account – just in case. Just do this by copying the administrator account and then putting in a new password..

Change Domain Password Guide

Change Domain Password Guide

2) Once this is done we then need to make sure on EVERY server in the domain that no services are running with the old administrator account and password

Launch servces.msc from Start > Run or launch services from administrator tools >Services.

Then go through the full list of services checking that none say DOMAINNAME\administrator. If they do then change the service to use another domain account or local account with the relevant rights. For instance on the picture below you will see arc serve services. Sometimes people install software as the administrator account.

Change Domain Admin Password Guide

Change Domain Admin Password Guide

Once you are sure that that none of  your services are running the old administrator password you can then proceed to change the administrator password.

Change Domain Admin Password Guide

Change Domain Admin Password Guide

Yes I know this may seem dead simple but you wouldn’t believe the amount of admin’s that just go ahead and change it without taking these simple steps!

Tags: Domain admins, password

Allen White

Allen is a Consultant for ITPS in the North East of England and holds the following accreditations. MCSA, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP, CCA, CCSP, VCP 4,5 and HP ASE, AIS - Network Infrastructure.

Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    Andre Monaghan

    |

    Don’t forget to also check for Scheduled Tasks that are running as DOMAIN\administrator. These tasks will need to have the password manually reset also.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      admin

      |

      Thanks for your input Andre 🙂

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Scott

    |

    I am facing the same issue, I have used a program called Hyena that I can select all of my systems and tell it to look for services and scheduled tasks along with a lot of other things. it will also dump it into a spreadsheet. Works great.

    Reply

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