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Vista Home main login password

Posted on 2010-08-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
A client has forgotten his pw (sigh)

1. is there any timeout/lockout for guessing?  (thus he can try alternate spellings, etc. indefinitely)
2. Does a System Restore disk wipe out user files or just restore system files?
3. If he has to start from scratch and reinstall Vista, will that wipe out user files?

thanks
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Question by:willsherwood
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ploftin earned 668 total points
ID: 33496717
1. I don't think so.
2. Performing a system restore using the System Restore utility will not affect the Documents folders. Documents should not be affected.
3. Reinstalling Vista will not erase user files - as long as he does NOT choose to format the drive during installation.  The current Windows and Program Files folders will be saved in a folder called C:\Windows.old.
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by:Tom Beck
Tom Beck earned 668 total points
ID: 33496721
Does the system have a recovery partition? On some systems that have it, if you boot into the recovery partition, you get a choice of complete (destructive) restore or just OS restore (saves user files).
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 664 total points
ID: 33496727
My recollection is that Vista won't let you try passwords indefinitely, but I have not tried this for some time.

With respect to (2) and (3), (3) will definitely wipe out user files. With respect to (2), a system restore in Vista (no CD) will not wipe out user files. However, vendors define things differently and done from a CD, it may well take out your user files. DO backup everything, and if there is any doubt, hard drives are cheap. Consider doing a complete reinstall on a different drive. In any event, back everything up. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 33496732
excellent, many thanks
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 33496733
There's a temporary lockout after a number of failed attempts but it's reset on boot.
A System Restore will keep the account (and password) settings
Reinstalling Vista will remove all their files & settings
Have they tried to boot into safe mode - if the privileged Admin account there has no password set they can reset their own account settings from that.
 
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 33496737
Wow - that one closed fast!  :)
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by:John Hurst
ID: 33496739
Thank you, and good luck going forward. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:willsherwood
ID: 33496925
thanks Masq - very good info, wish i could have given you points too.
appreciated!
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 33496953
:-)
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