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Cant remember password

Posted on 2016-09-09
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Last Modified: 2016-09-28
I was donated a laptop to work on and the problem is nobody can remember the password. Pls help. What can I do
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Question by:Maureen Leahy
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8 Comments
 
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 288 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41791264
Is this truly an XP machine?

Use Pogostick as an offline Password Reset tool

https://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
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LVL 96

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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 284 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41791266
reset the password as long as full disk encryption wasn't used.

I don't think the utilman trick works with XP (never tried it - it might).  But I've seen a lot of people use:
https://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
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LVL 47

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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 284 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41791269
If you are talking about Windows password then you can reinstall Windows. Or just remove the password with password removal tools.
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LVL 10

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by:ecarbone
ecarbone earned 284 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41791408
This is just a general comment (no points needed)

Just my opinion - Unless you needed the data off of that drive, I would just replace it with a solid state drive and do a clean install of Windows. (You'd need access to an OS installer and a license)

One of the worst things about inheriting a computer is also inheriting any potential software/operating system issues. Doing a clean install of the OS takes care of that and ensures the laptop is running as good as new.

The experts above gave you a good solution to your question.
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 292 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41791536
Which password are you talking about? If it is a BIOS or HD password, then it won't be easy to reset. An HD password you can forget. It is not removable if you don't know it. If it is a BIOS password, you need to get in touch with the Laptop manufacturer, give him proof of ownership (for example the invoice) is usually what you need). and then they will usually be glad to help you reset the password, although in some cases this will cost, or you might even have to send the laptop to them so they can change the mainboard. If it is an older model that is no longer supported, they will sometimes not help you.

Only an OS password can be easily reset.
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LVL 29

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by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 284 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41792035
rindi is on the money.

Hard drive passwords are (by design) not breakable.

BIOS passwords are today generally stored securely such that the machine must go back to the manufacturer.

If it's the Windows password -- since this is a donated machine -- reload Windows and then you'll have a nice clean machine with no possible malware in it.
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LVL 93

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by:nobus
nobus earned 284 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41792253
what motherboard model is this, or pc model?

if an XP system, chances are you can reset the password  easily

otherwise try this :
boot from install cd - when windows OS is detected, hit Shift+F10 to open cmd prompt
type :
move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak
copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

remove all usb and DVD  and enter  
wpeutil reboot

It will restart your PC and bring back to Windows 10 login-page.
From the left bottom corner, click Utility Manager. (= 3/4cirkel)
A command prompt will appear. -now  Type :
net user YourNewUserName /add
net localgroup administrators YourNewUserName /add

After you add the new user, now close command prompt,
you should see the YourNewUserName in your Windows 10 login screen.
Click that new user and you will be able to re-access the Windows again.
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41819436
System requested idle question close
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