Windows XP - need password
March 31, 2004 5:22 AM   Subscribe

Win XP pword issue. I'm locked out of my laptop. I don't use it often, and the password expired - it was set to 30 days. Being an idiot, I didn't make written note of the admin password anywhere. Multiple guesses have so far yielded me nothing. I found this site but haven't tried it yet, since I have no access to the Win 2000 cd.

Anyone know how to get in w/o losing all my data and reformatting/re-imaging the thing?
posted by yoga to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Do you have access to another machine that runs XP? If so, pull the laptop hard drive out and hook it up to the secondary machine (you have to use a laptop-to-desktop IDE adapter if the second machine is a desktop). Log in as administrator on the second machine, and all your files on the transplanted hard drive should be accessible. You'll be able to pull any data you need off it. You'll still have to reformat, but you won't lose any data.

Also, are you using XP Pro or Home on the laptop? If it's Home, the hard drive is probably formatted as FAT32, not NTFS, and you'd be able so see your files on pretty much any Windows machine that's 98 or later.
posted by deadcowdan at 5:31 AM on March 31, 2004

There's a tutorial on Windows Password Hacking over on the TechTV site.
posted by crunchland at 5:50 AM on March 31, 2004

i asked the same question for w2k a while back - i think i recorded in that thread which solution worked for me.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:06 AM on March 31, 2004

There is a linux utility that runs off a linux bootdisk that will allow you to change your admin password. When I have more time I will seek it out and post a link.
posted by a3matrix at 7:14 AM on March 31, 2004

I think this is the bootdisk that a3matrix is referring to. I've successfully used it quite a few times on Win2K and WinXP machines. Just make sure you pay attention to the prompts, otherwise you can do more damage than good.
posted by ecrivain at 8:39 AM on March 31, 2004

1. When it gets to the password, hit escape. Sometimes that'll allow a log in to a default user, which might do the trick.

2. go to this site and download a boot disk app that will let you do it. Be sure to read all the disclaimers. (I think, for instance, if you have files encrypted under the WIN XP default encyption, they can be lost.)
posted by sixdifferentways at 11:41 AM on March 31, 2004

Response by poster: *sigh* well I made several coasters. Learned how to make an image, not just copy a file. Still can't get the laptop to boot from the cd, even when I changed the BIOS boot order in setup. Over my head. :( Guess I'll be re-imaging.
posted by yoga at 5:15 PM on March 31, 2004

« Older I have a mystery CD burner; how do I tell what...   |   Help me with Folder Action scripts in Mac OS X. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.