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DrKlahn, Computer Engineer
Category: Laptop
Satisfied Customers: 2152
Experience:  BSci: Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr, and Computer Sci.
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Reset password ***** password ***** disk

Customer Question

Reset password ***** password ***** disk
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Laptop
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 2 years ago.
Good morning from the USA. (Local time here is 10:56 AM.) I'm Bruce, and my expert nickname is "DrKlahn."
The system says this is your first visit to JustAnswer. I find that new users often skip or do not notice some information during question setup. It is boilerplate but it is very important.
• Prices and payments issues must be handled by Customer Service.
• JustAnswer is not your computer manufacturer's official support site. That is why there is a fee. I support products from all manufacturers and I happily troubleshoot all issues, including those where a manufacturer says "The problem is not in our product."
• Experts are not salaried or paid hourly. My assistance goes unpaid without your positive rating.
• Patience is required during Q&A. I get responses by email, which takes up to 8 minutes. Then I have to prepare and type a reply. Please allow for this.
• JustAnswer provides services 24/7, but both experts and customers have daily schedules. If you respond significantly later it might be the next day before I can reply.
Now that you've read the above, please let me know if you'd like to proceed. What you request is possible but there are issues that might make it easier and I'd like to discuss them first.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 2 years ago.
There are four types of passwords that can impede access to a computer. Presented in the order that they occur after startup, they are:
1. BIOS password. The system displays the manufacturer's startup "splash" screen. It may or may not start Windows. Symptom: It is impossible to change settings in the BIOS system hardware setup screens.
2. Hard disk password. The system displays the manufacturer's "splash" screen, hardware setup can be done in the BIOS setup screens, there is no BIOS password. Symptom: The system prompts for a hard drive password.
3. Windows password. Symptom: Windows starts up normally, but demands a password ***** log in before Windows can be used.
4. Password ***** a web site, such as Newegg or CitiBank, or to an online service such as Yahoo! or Hotmail / MSN Live email. Symptom: Windows starts and runs normally.
Or is it: Something else entirely, such as a password ***** a program like Quickbooks.
Which of these is causing the problem? Your original message implies that it is the Windows password, but I need to be sure of this before offering advice.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No 3 tried password ***** disk but got an error occurred meassage
Expert:  DrKlahn replied 2 years ago.
Thank you ... I've just logged in for the day and seen your last message.
Since the password ***** disk has failed, the possibilities are limited.
I assume that there is no other user on the system with Administrator privileges who can reset the password. If there is, that is the best available option. If not, the simple options are gone and the possibilities down to two.
Before we going down the hard and dangerous path -- forcing a password ***** -- (a) do you have a recent full backup of the system when the account password ***** known, and (b) would it be a solution if you restored such a backup despite the fact that some recent changes would be lost? If so, I recommend doing a safety backup of the drive as it stands now, then restoring the system from the last full backup, then restoring any missing files from the safety backup.
If this is not a possibility, continue below.
The remaining possibility is forcing a password ***** This is both difficult and dangerous.
If there are any Windows encrypted files on the system (you will know this if there are, the encryption must be applied manually and it is not a forgettable operation), then resetting the password ***** render those files forever unrecoverable.
If there are no Windows encrypted files on the system, then a password ***** is an option. This used to be much simpler but with the recent Microsoft requirements for all PCs to have UEFI hardware, I no longer think it can be done by anyone except a trained PC technician who has done it before.
Fortunately, it is not an expensive operation if you have it done at a locally owned PC shop. The usual charge is $25 to $35 on a carry-in basis. I say "locally owned" because it is about 1/4 the cost of a chain store such as Best Buy, it gets done immediately rather than in two weeks, and it eliminates "Peek Squad" issues.
I do have instructions on how to do this for Windows 7 systems if you are an experienced PC hardware hobbyist, but they are complicated and must be done precisely without error. For Windows 8 systems, I think it is no longer possible for consumers no matter how experienced.
When the problem has been resolved and the locked account is able to log in again, I highly recommend enabling the normally-disabled "Administrator" account or adding a second account with Administrator privileges. Lost passwords are only one of the problems that are much easier to solve if a second privileged account is available.
To enable the "Administrator" account under Vista or Windows 7, see the link below:
I am going to mark this as the official Answer but don't Rate it until you are satisfied that your questions have been answered satisfactorily. Don't hesitate to ask any further questions you may have.

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