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My dad would have known the answer
February 9, 2014 3:56 PM   Subscribe

My dad passed away on Friday, and my mom is eager to get into his computer (Song Vaio running Windows 7) and Blackberry (Bold). Both are password protected. Is there any way to change the password on each without wiping the data? I'm fairly computer literate, and my father will have every software disk he's ever received. We also have access to his email if that helps with the Blackberry. Thanks.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta to Technology (9 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
You might be able to pull out the hard drive, put it in an external enclosure, connect it to another computer, and read the files that way. I haven't done that with Windows 7 drives so I'm not sure how serious their password protection is.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:00 PM on February 9


If it's a regular windows password you can use any number of bootable recovery DVD or USB disk images which will allow you to access the files and/or change the password.
posted by Jairus at 4:09 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


NTPWEdit will let you reset Windows passwords with a minimum of fuss (and may be included in some bootable environments).
posted by smangosbubbles at 4:11 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


You should be able to get access (to the desktop computer) by burning an Ubuntu live DVD and booting it from start-up. All of the files will be accessible on the C: drive.
posted by Poppa Bear at 4:13 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I work as a computer repair technician. We use Kon-Boot when we need to get into Windows computers that are password-protected. We have it on a flash drive. All you have to do is boot up the computer from the flash drive. Kon-Boot lets you right in.
posted by topoisomerase at 4:59 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Perhaps the simplest way to do this would be to boot the Vaio from an Ubuntu CD or bootable USB and copy the entire C drive onto an external hard drive. You could then format the Vaio and reinstall Windows and can peruse your dad's files on the external at your leisure.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:46 AM on February 10


I would try and get into his email first. You probably know his password help question answers. The passwords may be in there. Or, the password may be the same. Did he work for a company? They may be able to reset the password for you.
posted by xammerboy at 11:26 AM on February 10


Thank you all for the advice. We're happy to know that it's do-able, but we've decided to leave it in the hands of a professional.

Any leads on the Blackberry?
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 1:21 PM on February 10


What service provider did he have the Blackberry with? I'd call them and see if they can help.
posted by Aizkolari at 8:29 AM on February 12


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