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Fastest, tested, mostly free password recovery software with benchmarks and review

Operational Systems → Windows NT/2000/XP password recovery

Overview of Windows NT/2000/XP password protection: Historically, all systems of Windows NT branch had to support two user authentication schemes Ė the so-called LanManager (LM) hashes and NT (NTLM) hashes. The first one contains grave cryptographic flaws. The worst one is that the passwords which are longer than 7 characters arenít cracked longer than the 7-symbols ones. Nowadays it takes just few minutes to crack a password of any length, consisting of letters of both cases, and the exhaustive search of all printablle passwords will take only couple of weeks.

The second scheme is much more secure, but usually itís no use cracking it, as the system often stores both hashes, and all attention is paid to the LM-hash.

Password recovery tools
Windows NT/2000/XP crypto algorithms: proprietary (LM) / MD4 (NT)
Windows NT/2000/XP encryption weakness: human factor, weak hashing algorithm
Possible attacks against Windows NT/2000/XP: exhaustive key search / brute force, dictionary
Attacks complexity: 243(LM) / 2103(NT)

Sponsored
Windows Password Recovery Bootdisk 4.0 +++
(2174 downloads)
by Rixler Password Recovery
Pentium 4 rate: not tested
Core 2 Duo rate: not tested
AMD rate : not tested
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for


Shareware
Price:  $19.95

Description: With Windows Password Recovery Bootdisk you will be able to retrieve logon passwords in three steps. First, the program creates a special record on a removable device, like CD or flash disk. Then, you use it to remove Windows users passwords or restore password hashes, even if they are encrypted with syskey. And finally, submit hashes to the Rixler Password Recovery Service to get back your Windows user password.

Sort by
Proactive Password Auditor (PPA) 1.61 ++
(7948 downloads)
by ElcomSoft Co.Ltd.
Pentium 4 rate: 4.500.000 (LM) / 2.500.000 (NT)
Core 2 Duo rate: 15.000.000* (LM) / 7.000.000* (NT)
AMD rate : 8.500.000 (LM) / 4.000.000 (NT)
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for P2,P3; P4; AMD; Dual

fastest

Commercial
Price:  $299.00
buy!
Description: A GUI utility, imports hashes from local machine (memory or Registry; SYSKEY supported), remote machine (AD is supported), binary Registry files (SAM, SYSTEM), dump files. Brute-force and dictionary attacks on LM and NTLM password hashes are effectively optimized for speed; also includes a "rainbow" attack based on pre-computed hash tables that allow to find most passwords in minutes instead of days or weeks.

SamInside 2.5.7.2 ++++
(8221 downloads)
by InsidePro
Pentium 4 rate: 2.500.000 (LM) / 6.000.000 (NT)
Core 2 Duo rate: 6.500.000 (LM) / 13.000.000 (NT)
AMD rate : 6.500.000 (LM) / 11.000.000 (NT)
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for P2,P3; P4; AMD

fastest

Shareware
Price:  $40.00
buy!
Description: The Saminside program is designated to recover Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 users' passwords. Could import password hashes from SAM file, local machine memory, from PWDUMP file (SYSKEY supported). Includes all standard attacks plus rainbow (pre-calculated tables) attack.

Cain & Abel 4.9 +++
(91951 downloads)
by Massimiliano Montoro
Pentium 4 rate: 2.100.000 (LM) / 3.200.000 (NT)
Core 2 Duo rate: 5.000.000 (LM) / 4.800.000 (NT)
AMD rate : 5.300.000 (LM) / 5.200.000 (NT)
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for Pentium II/III; Pentium 4; AMD


Free
Price:  $0.00

Description: Cain & Abel is primarily a password recovery tool for most types of password Microsoft Operating Systems. It also supports a lot of other applications and hashes, includes sniffers and password dumpers.

LCP 5.04 ++++
(29733 downloads)
by nh
Pentium 4 rate: 800.000 (LM) / 16.000 (NT)
Core 2 Duo rate: 1.300.000 (LM) / 28.000 (NT)
AMD rate : 1.000.000 (LM) / 25.000 (NT)
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for


Free
Price:  $0.00

Description: Main purpose of LCP program is user account passwords auditing and recovery in Windows NT/2000/XP/2003. Could import hashes from local and remote computer, SAM, PWDUMP file.

chntpw 050303 +++
(22401 downloads)
by P. Nordahl-Hagen
Pentium 4 rate: -
Core 2 Duo rate: -
AMD rate : -
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for

Recommended

Free+sources
Price:  $0.00

Description: A command-line utilities, don't crack the password but change it directly on disk.

Proactive System Password Recovery (PSPR) 4.1 +++
(14354 downloads)
by ElcomSoft Co.Ltd.
Pentium 4 rate: not tested
Core 2 Duo rate: not tested
AMD rate : not tested
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for P2,P3; P4; AMD


Shareware
Price:  $60.00
buy!
Description: A GUI program to recover all types of Windows passwords: logon password (when user is logged on and has Admin privileges), screensaver password, .NET Passport password, RAS and dial-up passwords, passwords to shared resources, SYSKEY startup password, passwords stored in cached credentials, Wireless (WEP and WPA-PSK) encryption keys etc. The program also shows all users and groups (with their properties), allows to run any programs in other user"s context, show password history hashes, read password hashes from SAM and SYSTEM files, read Protected Storage records, decrypt Windows scripts, reveal passwords hidden under the asterisks, enable disabled controls, and run brute-force and dictionary attacks on PWL files (Windows 9x). Finally, it shows product IDs and CD keys for Windows, Microsoft Office and other Microsoft software installed.

Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery 2.71 +++
(24143 downloads)
by ElcomSoft Co.Ltd.
Pentium 4 rate: not tested
Core 2 Duo rate: not tested
AMD rate : not tested
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for Pentium II/III; Pentium 4; AMD; NVIDIA GPU


Shareware
Price:  $599.00
buy!
Description: High-performance distributed password recovery for forensic and government agencies, password recovery and data recovery services and corporations. Recover the most complex passwords and strong encryption keys in realistic timeframes. Accelerate the recovery by offloading calculations to NVIDIA GPUs and scale to over 10,000 workstations with zero scalability overhead.

Ophcrack 2.2 ++++
(22603 downloads)
by Philippe Oechslin
Pentium 4 rate: few sec. (requires rainbow tables) (LM)
Core 2 Duo rate: not tested
AMD rate : few sec. (requires rainbow tables) (LM)
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for


Free (GPL)
Price:  $0.00

Description: A Windows logon password cracker based on the faster time-memory trade-off using rainbow tables. It can recover 99.9% of alphanumeric passwords in few seconds. Imports hashes from local or remote computer, SAM file and PWDUMP.

Elcomsoft System Recovery 1.0 ++
(2637 downloads)
by ElcomSoft Co.Ltd.
Pentium 4 rate: not tested
Core 2 Duo rate: not tested
AMD rate : not tested
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for


Shareware
Price:  $49.00
buy!
Description: Are you locked out of your computer because your password isn't working, or because somebody messed up your access rights/privileges? Forgot the Administrator's password? Elcomsoft System Recovery (ESR) makes it simple to gain access to your PC again, without formatting and reinstalling the system. ESR is a special boot disk that works on all PCs. Simply reboot your computer with the ESR CD or USB flash drive, and fix all of your access pro

Windows Password Recovery Lastic 1.0
(517 downloads)
by PasswordLastic Password Recovery
Pentium 4 rate: not tested
Core 2 Duo rate: not tested
AMD rate : not tested
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for


Shareware
Price:  $19.95
buy!
Description: Windows Password Recovery Lastic is a simple tool to remove any Windows user account password. Run the program and 3 minutes later you will have a bootable fully standalone USB stick or CD/DVD disk. Boot from that device and select passwords you want to remove. Additionally, you can save or view Windows password hashes and try to crack them in attempt to find the original password. Restoring of a previously removed password is also supported.

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