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How to reinstall Windows 10 without losing any apps or data.

I have a Windows 10 machine that I can no longer get logged into.  I can get to the windows login screen and that is pretty much it.
Here are the things I have tried:
  • Reset password, but I don't have a password recovery disk
  • Reset password by manually creating an admin account, but it wont allow me to create one.  Says path not found with I follow the steps from the CMD prompt.
  • Reset PC, but it asks for an admin password.
  • Reset password using a 3rd party software, can't open the SAM file.
  • Repair Boot files, repair completes, but still can log in.
  • Restoration point, but there are no restoration points.

My last option to try is to reinstall Windows 10 without losing any of my apps or data.

Can anyone provide guidance on steps to try or tell me how to reinstall windows 10 without losing any of my data?  I ahve created a bootable Win10 USB drive.


Thanks!
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Alkesh Patel
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Alkesh Patel
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1 Solution
 
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Use Windows Media Creation Tool.
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McKnifeCommented:
The simple, usual  bootable usb stick image will let you enable the local administrator account: https://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/usb140201.zip
Directions:
https://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/walkthrough.html
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Alkesh PatelAuthor Commented:
I have already used the Windows Media Creation Tool to create my bootable Win10 USB drive.
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Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Sorry, missed... You need something else.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Can you clarify that the problem you have is that you have forgotten your Windows 10 login password?  

If so, then you don't necessarily need to reinstall Windows. Resetting the password as per McKnife's suggestion could save you a lot of unnecessary work.
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Alkesh PatelAuthor Commented:
It is my niece's desktop.  She said 2 days ago she was unable to log into her machine.  She might have downloaded some questionable software prior.  That is where my journey began.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
She said 2 days ago she was unable to log into her machine.

What happens when you try to login.  
Are you getting any errors?  
Do you know her login password, or is the problem that she has forgotten it and that's why you're unable to log in?
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Alkesh PatelAuthor Commented:
It simply says the password is incorrect.  It's a local account so her Microsoft online password would not be an issue.  She types it in, click the preview to confirm it was typing in correctly, and it is.  

Whats concerning is the SAM file is not accessible by 3rd party password reset software.  That makes me think something may be messed up.
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McKnifeCommented:
"the SAM file is not accessible by 3rd party password reset software" - what software? Did you try the nt password and registry editor that I linked?
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