You cannot access DPAPI data after an administrator resets your password on a Windows Server 2012-based domain controller

Applies to: Windows Server 2012 DatacenterWindows Server 2012 DatacenterWindows Server 2012 Standard


Assume that a domain controller is upgraded from an earlier version of Windows Server to Windows Server 2012. After an administrator resets a user's password in the domain, the user cannot access Windows Data Protection API (DPAPI) protected data. For example, the user cannot access the certificate private key.

Note This issue may occur when users change their password by themselves.


This issue occurs because of an incompatibility in the authentication mechanism that is used by domain controllers. If DPAPI keys are backed up on domain controllers that are running on pre-Windows Server 2003-based servers, and the same keys are retrieved from domain controllers after an upgrade to Windows Server 2012, key retrieval fails after an administrator changes a user's password.


Important Do not install a language pack after you install this hotfix. If you do install a language pack, the language-specific changes in the hotfix will not be applied, and you will have to reinstall the hotfix. For more information, see Add language packs to Windows.

To resolve this issue, apply the hotfix that is described in this article on the Windows Server 2012-based domain controller. Even though this issue was observed only on Windows Server 2012, the hotfix also applies to Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix Download Available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, go to the following Microsoft website: Note The "Hotfix Download Available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


There is no to apply this hotfix.

Registry information

To use the hotfix in this package, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.

Restart requirement

You may have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.


To work around this issue, revert to the user's old password.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.


See the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe software updates.