Lost Password

A client's mother-in-law passed away suddenly and he needs to access her laptop to get insurance and banking information. Unfortunately, they do not know her password. This laptop is an HP 15 with Windows 10. I have tried some password recovery programs with no luck. I used Windows Password Key Enterprise Edition and Offline NT Password & Registry Editor. I even bought one called Spower that is supposed to boot and reset the password even if the computer is using UEFI - which it is. Unfortunately, the only way to get the optical drive to show up on the boot options is to enable Legacy Boot and disable Secure boot. Even though the optical drive is on the list of UEFI devices and I set it as first in the boot order the computer does not boot from it and it does not appear as a boot option when I press F9 to change the boot order. If I boot with Legacy boot enabled two of my programs can't find an operating system and the other causes a blue screen, Please help!

Robert
Robert EhingerIT specialistAsked:
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Hi Robert,

This page at iSumsoft gives step by step instructions in resetting a Windows 10 password using a Windows 10 Installation DVD. Just use Option 1. Manually reset password without needing to create or use any type of special Boot Media.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Any chance the person had a Microsoft Account?  If so, you can enter the email address into the Microsoft Account system and say "forgot password" . That may work. Many persons use Microsoft Accounts.

Otherwise, try Pogo Stick on a bootable USB key.

https://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
I tried Andrew's suggestion and all seemed OK until I got to the net user command. I am attaching the result.
cmd.jpg
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Robert,

That error indicates you're not putting in the correct login information. It's unlikely to be the same as what you see after the user logs into Windows - in your case "Carolyn Sue Morris" -- You will need to identify the profile name of the user - that's what you need to pass to the net user command.

To identify the profile name, change to the root of the server drive, and enter the following commands

C:
CD\
CD Users
DIR

The above commands will give you the profile names. Pass the correct profile name to the "net user" command and everything else should work.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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William FulksSystems Analyst & WebmasterCommented:
Is it just a Windows user account password? I haven't tried this with Windows 10, but on previous versions of Windows I would download a Linux ISO and burn it to a bootable disc, then load it as the OS and browse away on the hard drive. You could also remove the drive and place it in another machine as a secondary disk and then login as admin and browse it that way.
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McKnifeCommented:
At the screen of your screenshot, simply list the users with the command
net user

Open in new window

that will be the easiest way to get to the correct user names.
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Shaun VermaakTechnical Specialist/DeveloperCommented:
In that screen type
net user Temp /add Password1
net localgroup administrators /add Temp

Open in new window


Then restart and login with Temp and Password1
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
I followed these instructions and got a list of user names. I used the csmor account because the user's screen name is Carol Sue Morris. I have attached an image of the users accounts and the resulting error.

To identify the profile name, change to the root of the server drive, and enter the following commands

C:
CD\
CD Users
DIR

I also tried the suggestion from John Hurst but a drive could not be mounted.
Users.jpg
User-Error.jpg
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McKnifeCommented:
Robert, csmor is a Microsoft account and the error message says, you cannot reset its password that way, which is correct. Simply activate the local administrator:

net user administrator /active password

Then logon as administrator and change the account type of csmor to a local account.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Robert,

If the account you are trying to change the password on is a Microsoft Online Connected account, then you need not go through all of this. I was assuming the other account was a local account.

If the account is connected to a Microsoft Live account, simply use Microsoft Online to reset the password. Just choose "I forgot my password" using that link and follow the prompts.

Else, if it's a local account, following the process in the link I gave you will work. I just verified it myself as I'm currently writing a much more detailed article about the whole process which will be hosted on Experts Exchange.

Let us know how you go.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Did you try the password reset (forgot password) for a Microsoft Account. We suggested that much earlier on here.
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McKnifeCommented:
Resetting a MS account online is possible if you have security questions or a last-resort e-mail address at hand, then that is surely easy.
If not, as I mentioned, use the local admin to get to the data. if that is not enough, take this tutorial to change the MS login into a local account. It's complicated and in german, but browser translation features should be at hand: https://www.administrator.de/forum/umwandlung-lokales-konto-admin-konto-361057.html#comment-1256802 (colinardo's 1st comment)
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
@McKife
change the MS login into a local account. It's complicated and in german
That's one of the things I'm covering in the article I'm working on right now - Mine will be in English, but I was tempted to do it in Polish! ;)
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Try this software, they claim for Microsoft account, Renee Passnow will turn the Microsoft account into local one and preserve all the data inside the account.
https://www.reneelab.com/reset-windows-10-password-without-reset-disk.html#method-3
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
OK, I tried Shaun Vermaak's suggestion -

1. net user Temp /add Password1
2. net localgroup administrators /add Temp

I can now log on but nothing opens. The only thing that works is right clicking on the start button to shut down.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Robert,

I've recently completed an article on this problem with step by step instructions and screenshots, which is currently waiting for editing and review, but you can access it here;

https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/31752/How-to-Reset-a-forgotten-Windows-10-Password.html

If you're still having problems, give it a look.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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McKnifeCommented:
"I can now log on but nothing opens." - what should that mean? The start button shows what when pressed? What happens if you  start explorer using winkey+e?
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
Nothing happens when I click start unless I right click. None of the desktop shortcuts work. If I try to search for control panel it does not open etc. I wanted to go to the user accounts and try to change the password for the owner but can't get there. There is also no input from the keyboard once I log into windows.
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McKnifeCommented:
Ok, try to activate another another account from the pre-logon command shell, for example the local administrator. As I wrote before:
net user administrator /active password

Open in new window

Then logon as administrator and see if that account works better.
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
the last time I logged in Windows ran some updates and now I am able to open apps and files etc.
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
It took a combination of the selected solutions to finally access the computer.
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Thanks for updating the thread and it's great to hear it's sorted for you now Robert. Please don't forget to close your question and award points to the comments that you found most helpful.
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
Problem solved.
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
I have selected the best solution and 2 assisted solutions but when I click the Close Question button I get a popup wanting me to select the best solution. I have already done that. What am I doing wrong?
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Robert, don't click the Close Question button. Rather, click the Best Solution first, if it unselects, click it once again and then scroll up and down to tick any Assisted solutions as well. Once done, click the Next button, edit points if so desired and then click Accept Immediately. That will close your question and award the points you've specified to the experts you've selected.

Here's a walk through article on the process as well.

http://support.experts-exchange.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2527982-how-do-i-close-my-question-

I hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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Andrew LeniartSenior EditorCommented:
Well done Robert. Thank you for taking the time to close your question.

Regards, Andrew
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