Windows 8 getting to safe mode

Posted on 2014-09-05
Last Modified: 2014-10-06
Customer forgot their password to Windows 8.  Their Toshiba computer has no CD drive, no Windows 8 disk.   I can't get to safe mode.  Have taken the hard drive out and put in a non UEFI computer and booted from the Linux (Peter Nordahl) password reset disk, but it won't work because Windows is in an "unclean" state and needs fully shut down before it can access where it needs to access to change the password.  Obviously since we can't get in normally because of the forgotten password, and can't get to safe mode to fully shut down, we are at a loss as to how to proceed.

Question by:gbta
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 40306278
Standard accounts on Windows 8.x are m$ accounts connected to hotmail/OneDrive. Those need to be reset via hotmail by using a web-browser, and at the hotmail login option, you can select "Can't access your account", and then a code is sent to the alternative address that was needed when the account was setup. After that you can logon to hotmail using that code, and change settings.

If it really was a local account that was used, then connect the disk to a windows and run chkdsk /f /r on all it's partitions. After that you should be able to use the linux password reset tool.

Assisted Solution

gbta earned 0 total points
ID: 40306302
Thanks for the response.  We resolved the issue.  The gmail account that was being used as the windows live account was owned by the previous owner of the computer and would not give the password, so we did a factory reset.
LVL 55

Assisted Solution

McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 40307304
The nordahl disk offers to override the unclean shutdown.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 40319292

Even for the helper/expert it is sometimes frustrating. This time it is because you don't give feedback why you could not use nordahl. As I wrote: the nordahl disk even offers to override the unclean shutdown and works.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40327531
Sometimes there isn't any getting around a reinstall.

Author Comment

ID: 40364407
We couldn't bypass with nordahl disk because the only account was a windows live account.  There was some argument between the seller and purchaser of the computer, and the seller was not cooperating with letting us in to the computer and it was set up on his account.  He basically said screw you to the purchaser and we had to do a reset.  I don't know the particulars of the sale, but did talk to seller and confirmed the laptop was sold and not stolen.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40364452
That should be the standard anyway. A PC that is sold should always be set to factory defaults, with no data or user accounts. It should though have been the seller's responsibility to reset the PC to factory defaults.

Besides that, any BIOS and HD passwords must be removed, as those, if set can't be easily removed by the new user (BIOS passwords can be removed by contacting the manufacturer and supplying proof of ownership, but it usually isn't free, and HD passwords can't be reset). But of course it is always important for the new user to set such passwords, as that makes the notebook a brick to thiefs.
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 40364582
>  because the only account was a windows live account
I doubt that, because the local admin "administrator" is always there, no matter what account type the others are. But nevermind.

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