To many, the most important file on a Windows system is the SAM file. This is where the hashes for the users are stored. The hashes are not salted in Windows, so rainbow tables can be utilized. All of the operating systems prior to Windows Vista use a LM hash and an NT hash. Starting with Windows Vista, only the NT hash is used by default. 

Discuss the SAM file, LM, and NT hashes and discuss password cracking tools or websites that can be used to crack Windows password hashes. Some of the most popular tools are John the Ripper, Cain, and ophcrack, which are all free. Finally, you might want to mention if the hashes from Active Directory are stored in the SAM file. If not, where are they stored?

Crack this password and explain how the password was cracked:

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