k well There is no "password file" under Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP. Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP stores encrypted password hashes in the Windows Registry

If you can access the Registry you can use PWDump by Jeremy Allison to view the password data.

PWDump output consists of seven colon delimited fields

User number
Encrypted password
LAN Man Password Hash
Windows NT Password Hash
Full Name and Description
Home directory

sample passwd entry: will:1000:30FA7B24C6108C5A8B4BCCA42D5816FF: B3823C82B43238D31BAF98FA4035255FWill Spencer, FAQ Author::

Broken down, this password entry shows:
Username will
User number 1000
Encrypted password 5fg63fhD3d5gh
LAN Man Password Hash 30FA7B24C6108C5A8B4BCCA42D5816FF
Windows NT Password Hash B3823C82B43238D31BAF98FA4035255F
Full Name and Description Will Spencer, FAQ Author
Home directory

RDISK stores a compressed backup copy of the password hashes in %SystemRoot%\repair\sam._. If you can access this file, you may be able to restore it to another system and access the password information contained within it