How can I recover a hard drive password?

Episode 1146 (15:31)

Alan from Orange County, CA

Alan inherited an IT job and the previous person didn't leave documentation on how to access the hard drives. He tried a password recovery tool, but it didn't help. Is there a way?

Leo says that passwords are crackable if he has physical access to the machine. LophtCrack is one such utility. PogoStick is a popular one with the chatroom. There's also KON-Boot, which is a Windows bypass tool.

In Windows 8, the passwords are kept in a "Sam" file. If he wipes that file out, he can start from scratch and create new ones. But if he used BitLocker, it requires passwords to unlock them and he'd be out of luck then.