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Byron, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Software
Satisfied Customers: 2836
Experience:  12 years in operations at a large law firm supporting both retail and specialty applications.
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My parents got a laptop, my dad set it up and didn't write

Customer Question

Hi -My parents got a laptop, my dad set it up and didn't write down the password ***** didn't do the usb backup wizard so we are locked out of their laptop - is there a hard reset to wipe it and start fresh? or a way to override the login password?
JA: What's the make/model of your device? How old is it?
Customer: aspire one cloudbook 14 and i think she got it at christmas
JA: How long has this been going on? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: about a month, when there was an update and it rebooted. i've tried every combination of their passwords i can think of and nothing and since he didn't do the usb option i can't do that either i'm visiting from MA and they were sure i'd be able to fix it - i'm on my laptop
JA: Anything else you want the electronics expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: nothing i can think of
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Software
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Hello. My name is***** to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with your reply momentarily.

Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

To get started, I need to know what type of computer you are using, a Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10?

This will determine the reset steps. They usually come with ten. Can you tell me if he set it up

with an email or when you turn on the pc you just see a name of your family like John, Mary instead

of an email?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I just see a person's name - and I believe it's windows 10
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Ok, that means its a local account. Lets try to restore to factory.
Give me just a few minutes. I will send you directions.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
if it was an email it would have been***@******.*** but all i see is my mom's name
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
did you send it to me?
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Shut down the windows 10 computer, start it.. When it gets to the windows sign in screen, dont sign in.

Instead, left click the power button at the bottom right.

Then, hold down the shift key on your keyboard, and then click restart.

This should bring you to the blue screen menu.. Choose troubleshooting, advanced, and then choose system restore.

Once system restore loads we want a full factory reset. Taking out all files, programs etc when you are going

through these options.

These may vary. Look at this guide for OPTION 1.

Tell me if it asks you for a password. If it does we may need the disc it came with or

to burn one, or use a simple 'key' to bypass that password. Which it is a local acct and it will

be simpler if recovery wont allow you to advance without a password?

Tell me if you can get to full system restore and reset to follow next troubleshooint steps.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
it gives me a system restore with the option to choose an account to continue and then on the bottom it says forgot your password ***** don't see your account?
Am I to choose her account? and if I do will it ask for a password? or should i click the forgot message?
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Click forgot for me to see if we can reset w/the email you gave me?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
it says
This list only shows administrator accounts that have previously signed in to this PC, and does not include standard or user or domain accounts. You need to be signed in as an administrator to use some repair and restore tools. If you don't have a password ***** any of these accounts, you can restart or try signing in to Windows to manage your user accounts.and then there is a button for 'restart'
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
do i restart?
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Ok, restart the pc. Go to your, log in on another device for this, use the password

you believe your gmail is and tell me if it allows you in that gmail. If not, we will reset the gmail

password, restart your pc and enter the password ***** that account to test it.

If it does go through and lets you log into gmail successfully, use that password ***** you restart the pc.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I logged into her gmail on my laptop, reset that password ***** tried that password ***** her laptop and it said it was incorrect.
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Look on the bottom. That computer MUST have the internet running to it. Do you see it connected

to wifi or internet by ethernet cord? If you see this is enabled, restart the pc and try again with that

password. If not, connect ethernet cord to it to give it internet access.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
they only have wifi here at the house and it does say it is connected
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Perfect. Reboot the pc normally to get it to 'see' the change and it will tell us if it is connected

to that email account. Try the password ***** reboot

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Nope. still says the password ***** *****
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

That limits our options.

Do you have the windows cd that the pc came with?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
there's no CD or usb etc...there's no cd drive even
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Wait, your pc doesnt have any CD ability or usb ports?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
it only has usb ports
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Perfect. You can do this one of 3 ways.

You will need a recovery usb, create one, or buy one from a store or online.

You can use this for the iso files from another pc to a usb or disc for the windows 10

computer that needs repaired: (it also shows you how to use it in the other links)

Or you can purchase one at places such as here:

If you use a store such as bestbuy, make sure you tell them you need a windows 10 recovery

usb, if your pc is a 32 or 64 bit, windows 10, etc. (I PREFER THE UNIVERSAL ONES TO MAKE SURE FOR


Make sure you look on your pc for the product key on a sticker on the pc or box it came in.

These are your options. I usually use amazon for most of mine or Bestbuy for quick pick up.

The first link i left, although it is an iso file, it is time consuming. It has to download ALL of windows

10 in its entirety. That link shows you how to use the recovery usb too.

Once you get one you wish to recover with, i can help you with that too.

Please rate this solution with the 5 star rating to close out as it is the only way i am listed as successful and credited by the companies ledger

of solutions finished. If you need further assistance, just leave a reply and we will continue as opposed to closing out the question and email

updates between us.

Thank you,


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
if i were to select the secure connect and let you fix it would you be able to do that?
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

No. We can only get you 'in' your pc to connect that way. Your options are the 3 methods

above to get back in it. Even to enable your admin account. We may be able to do that, but

it will most likely ask you for a admin account password ***** do it. Lets try, but it is a last resort.

Click/Tap on the Power button under the Start Menu or on the lower right-hand side of the Login screen, press and hold the Shift key, and click/tap on Restart. This will open a command prompt at boot.

net user Administrator /active:yes

If for some reason that doesn't work, do the following:

  1. In the command prompt, type regedit, and press Enter.

  2. In the left pane of Registry Editor, click/tap on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.

  3. Click/tap on File (menu bar), and on Load Hive.
  4. Open the drive (ex: D ) that you have Windows 10 installed on, and browse to the location below. NOTE: The drive letter (ex: C) will not always be the same at boot as it is from within Windows 10.


  5. Select the SAM file, and click/tap on Open.
  6. In the Load Hive dialog, type REM_SAM, and click/tap on OK.
  7. In the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to and open the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\REM_SAM\SAM\Domains\Accounts\Users\000001F4
  8. In the right pane of the 000001F4 key, double click/tap on the F binary value to modify it.
  9. In line 0038, change 11 to 10, click/tap on OK.
  10. Close Registry Editor and the command prompt.
  11. Click/tap on Continue to startup back in Windows 10.

When you reboot this pc and you were successful; look for administrator account

now for a name instead of your user account.

Please pay CLOSE attention to the spaces. such as that net user command. make sure

all the spaces are in place such as that command has a spaces.

follow this article for more clarification if you get stuck:

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
best buy does not sell recovery windows 10 usb
Expert:  Isaac Franklin replied 4 months ago.

Your area may not, im sorry. Ours does in this location.

I would strongly suggest calling your area walmart, but i only knew of their discs.

If not, you have to use that iso file download that i do not recommend as it takes

a long time and anything done, if one step is missed or it doesnt download right, you have

to start over from another pc again.

I use amazon primarily for just about everything. Or ebay.

This one is extremely affordable and can be used for recovery/restore.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
i created a windows recovery disk on my laptop, plugged it into her laptop and it says it needs a password ***** disk? what is that and how do i get it?
Expert:  Byron replied 4 months ago.

Hi. My name is***** password ***** disk is something that can only be created after you have logged in. Since that

is not an option, please follow these steps to reset the machine and start fresh:

While looking at the login screen, hold and keep down, the left Shift key.

Click the Power icon in the lower right corner of the screen (far right) and select Restart.

Release the Shift key when the Choose an Option screen appears.

click Troubleshoot

click Reset this PC

click Remove Everything

click Just Remove Files

install to the drive where Windows is installed, if asked.

Once Windows has been reloaded you'll create a new user account

and password ***** have access to the machine again.

Let me know the result please.