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Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?

GUEST,Uncle_DaveO 13 Jun 11 - 07:03 PM
Jack Campin 13 Jun 11 - 07:13 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Jun 11 - 08:34 PM
GUEST 13 Jun 11 - 09:47 PM
Barbara Shaw 13 Jun 11 - 11:18 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 14 Jun 11 - 12:24 AM
JohnInKansas 14 Jun 11 - 02:17 AM
Barbara Shaw 14 Jun 11 - 08:40 AM
keyofzed 14 Jun 11 - 09:28 AM
Newport Boy 14 Jun 11 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,999 14 Jun 11 - 12:56 PM
Barbara Shaw 14 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM
Sawzaw 14 Jun 11 - 01:09 PM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Jun 11 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jun 11 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jun 11 - 02:20 PM
Bernard 14 Jun 11 - 02:40 PM
JohnInKansas 14 Jun 11 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jun 11 - 06:42 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Jun 11 - 05:21 AM
Bernard 15 Jun 11 - 05:52 AM
Bernard 15 Jun 11 - 05:54 AM
Bernard 15 Jun 11 - 05:55 AM
Newport Boy 15 Jun 11 - 07:42 AM
keyofzed 15 Jun 11 - 10:39 AM
JohnInKansas 15 Jun 11 - 02:59 PM
ripov 15 Jun 11 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Uncle_DaveO 15 Jun 11 - 05:46 PM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Jun 11 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Jun 11 - 06:26 PM
Tootler 15 Jun 11 - 07:36 PM
Barbara Shaw 15 Jun 11 - 09:55 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Jun 11 - 06:24 AM
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Subject: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST,Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 07:03 PM

I have big trouble. When my computer was new (5 or 6 months) I evidently responded to a prompt by creating a bootup password, with an accompanying Hint. But all that time the computer never asked for the password, until two days ago. It prompted me with "wheredave", which I believe to be a truncated version of the hint I set up originally. It now suddenly wants the password, and why the hint is truncated, I have no idea.

I apparently never wrote down what the password should be, like a natural-born fool.

That original hint had to continue with something like BORN, EDUCATED, IN ARMY, MARRIED, and the like. "BORN" could be Rochester, or Rochester Minnesota, or Minnesota without the city, or St. Mary's or St.Mary's Hospital or something like that. If it was "ARMY", the password would surely be Germany. And similarly with names of grade and high school, university, or private business school. And maybe some other "wheres" that I can't think of. And of course any of those would be subject to variations of capitalization, spacing, and/or punctuation.

To make a long story a trifle shorter, I've worked over those possibilities exhaustively, and haven't struck the real password. I've more or less run dry with variations.

That's not a technical problem that Mudcatters could help with, so I have to assume I am not going to come up with the password. And therein lies my present dilemma.

The computer came with Windows 7 installed, and I do have a brand-new, never-used, Windows 7 installation set, which I bought for a different computer but haven't installed because that computer doesn't have enough memory or hard drive space. Which leads me to a number of puzzlements:

1. Older versions of Windows, when installed, wiped out EVERYTHING on the hard drive, or at least left them irretrievable. I think I have heard that Windows 7 does not. Does anyone know?

I could live, if necessary, with a wiped-clean hard drive. I have or can get installation disks for the software, and recreating or retrieving the data from backups would be possible, though a pain in the neck.

2. But is it even going to be possible to install the new Windows 7, with or without the hard drive contents? Since I can't boot up, can I run the Windows 7 installation CD(s)?

3. Where, if anyone knows, is the password stored? If it's in some semipermanent memory in the computer rather than on the hard disk, might I be stuck with that unknown password even after a new Windows 7 install?

4. Or even if I installed a different new hard drive and managed to install Windows 7, would I still be stuck?

As you can readily see, I'm desperate. HELP!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 07:13 PM

Find somebody with a Mac and a spare drive bay. Take the drive out of your machine and put it in the Mac. The Mac won't boot from it but should mount the drive and be able to copy your files somewhere else. Then get a new drive, put it in your machine, install Windows on it and put your files back.

For Mac read Linux if you have friends who swing that way.

You have a real problem if you've been using the disk encrypted.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 08:34 PM

Microsft says if you have more than one user account on the computer you may be able to log on as another user and reset the password (or create a new account with a password you'll remember).

This brief article says that if you don't have another account you can get into, you'll have to reinstall Windows, but implies that there shouldn't be a problem with doing that.

There are two links at the article that you can follow for detailed instructions, if you have another account or a password reset disk.

A "Microsoft Social Network" hit from the same search indicates that there are third-party programs for recovering passwords; but a Google search probably is as "trustworthy" as anything that appears there. I've not found their "Social Help" even remotely helpful.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 09:47 PM

Hard Drives are cheap...

Remove the old one ... smash it with a hammer....

Purchase a new one...under one hundred.

Replace, reconfig and reboot. Some do it twice a season to retain   health.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 11:18 PM

Your computer should still be under warranty. Call up support and ask them to walk you through it.

If you're considering tossing the hard drive, you could try re-installing Win 7, and this time write down the password and maybe tell someone in the household. Or don't use a password.

I don't understand why it let you boot up all this time without the password and that would be another question to ask support.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 12:24 AM

This sounds like it would make a perfect scenario for one of those off-site storage companies which I hear advertised on radio all the time. Lets you retrieve data from there, assuming you haven't forgot that password, then you could put it on the new drive...assuming you can install one, thereby accessing the computer.

Are there no 'geek squad' type folks who could retrieve your password without changing drives or sacrificing your files? Just a suggestion, but them I'm pretty illiterate when it comes to tech things.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 02:17 AM

There's no real reason to remove or destroy the existing hard drive.

ANY BOOTABLE INSTALLATION DISK for any Windows OS starts the installation with a reformat of the drive, unless you override the default and tell it not to reformat first. The FORMAT command doesn't care what's there, it just writes over anything already on the drive.

Windows passwords saved on the computer are "strongly encrypted" so recovering one from the computer is exceedingly difficult. Since there's no limit on the number of users you can have, if you have another user with administrator privileges, you can log on as that user and create a new user (Administrator2?) to use only for Administrator functions. If you can't get on as the original Administrator, nobody else is likely to be able to, so it won't harm anything to have an "extra" accound that never gets used.

Reinstalling Windows will clean things up. You DON'T need to boot to anything already on the computer, if you boot from the installation disk, so the pre-installation reformat doesn't know what's "privileged and doesn't care. It should wipe the whole disk clean enough* to proceed with seting up anew.

* Even a reformat doesn't obliterate all the data to the point of "no recovery," so you really need a "write-over" eraser if you really want to discard the drive.

If you can boot from the install disk, and get "Command" access to the hard drive, you may be able to copy at least some of your data files to another drive before reformatting the existing one and reinstalling the OS. An alternative would be to use an "image" program to copy everything off to somewhere else. Once you have the OS reinstalled, and an Administrator account set up on the new installation with a known password, you should be able to attach the copied drive as an external to the "new computer," and the Administrator should be able to override any "unshared" data files to do a restoration. (Copy to new folders. The new folders will "belong to" Administrator, who can then SHARE the folders to "All.")

The Administrator CANNOT recover lost passwords, though due to the "unbreakable encryption."

Due to the way password information is encrypted, even making a "ghost" image frequently makes the data unrecoverable and unusable, even if you know what the original password was. (parity and checksum bits are encrypted with the rest of the password file, and adding new ones when the copy is written breaks the unencryption.) That's one reason a lost password must be considered permanently lost by rational users, and your only recourse is to cry about it or get over it and get on with business.

Thre are numerous programs you can find by searching the web that claim to be able to recover lost passwords. Only people really interested in invading other peoples computers are likely to know how to write one, and the people who know how also know how to include keystroke loggers and other malware invisibly into any program they offer to give you. Advice is DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT USING any such program without a certification from the FBI AND Homeland Security (including the DEA, CIA, and INS wouldn't be a bad idea) that the writer is "one of theirs" and that they won't give what they steal to any "unauthorized" others. (this paragraph is just an opinion, of course.)

Back up what you can, if you can. Reformat and Reinstall - (after you're fairly sure you've tried all likely passwords you might have used, of course).

JoSC - Offsite storage sounds like a great idea, but I don't know of a server of the kind that hasn't been recently hacked, with "unknown loss of personal information" for those using it. The IMF hasn't really said what they lost, Visa & MasterCard both hit. Sony, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Barnes(nook) all invaded.

IMO, you might as well write your "master password" on the outside of your garage door, so you'll know where it is, before you trust any online site (that will mix your stuff with "high value" info from others?) where it will be a tiny part of a big target. Even Home Depot and Best Buy are trying to reconstruct their customer account records as we type, according to reports.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 08:40 AM

I just intentionally entered the wrong password on my login and after telling me it was wrong, it gave me a link to reset the password. Does that come up on you Win 7 login? You may not have noticed this very small change under the password box.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: keyofzed
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 09:28 AM

Is this a Windows password? - on a Windows branded graphic background.
Is it a BIOS password? - usually just a plain text screen.
Or is it in some sort of pop-up box?

It may help to know which


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 12:10 PM

I just intentionally entered the wrong password on my login and after telling me it was wrong, it gave me a link to reset the password. Does that come up on you Win 7 login? You may not have noticed this very small change under the password box.

Surely this can't be right? What sort of password can be by-passed as easily as that?

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 12:56 PM

Usually that type of request means you gave a separate e-mail address to which the link would then be sent.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM

The link to reset the password requires that you've previously created a password reset disk, which will let you into the following procedure, according to the MS site:

What to do if you forget your Windows password

If you've forgotten your Windows password and you're on a domain, you should contact your system administrator to reset your password. If you're not on a domain, you can reset your password by using a password reset disk or by using an administrator account.

If you forget the administrator password and don't have a password reset disk or another administrator account, you won't be able to reset the password. If there are no other user accounts on the computer, you won't be able to log on to Windows and will need to re-install Windows.


I haven't followed this through, but it sounds like a re-install of Windows is what Uncle DaveO will need to do.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Sawzaw
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 01:09 PM

If this is a BIOS pass word, just remove the battery on the motherboard and/or short it out and the PW will go away.

It it is a Windows PW, there is a self booting Linnux disk that will crack it called OPH or Ophcrack.

But beware. Anytime you search for anything with the word crack in it on the net, you will get malware sites and programs to download that will install malware.

To guard against that, I use the free program at Malwarebytes.org


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 01:16 PM

Two replies:

keyofzed: I get a Microsoft screen, identified as such at the bottom.
It contains two icons, one "DAVE" and the other "DAVE AS ADMINISTRATOR". Clicking either one gets me a request for password, with the same hint on both. Neither one responds to any of my guessed possible passwords. I have no recollection whether I declared a password for the Administrator icon.

Barbara Shaw and Newport Boy:
Clicking the "Reset Password" link just gives me a prompt to insert the Password Reset Disk (if I made one) in the drive and follow instructions. I think that I did not make a password reset disk back when I set up the computer on Windows 7.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 02:12 PM

First of all I must mention that I am not an expert, so the sequel is FWIW.

The screen you mentioned is the menu to login as a "user". Your computer has two user accounts, one with admin privileges, the other perhaps not, or meant to be restricted. Did you create these yourself? Has this screen been displayed before? Did you then press Return to make it disappear? If so, the computer seemed to assume the "empty" password. Which of the two user icons was highlighted?

Have you tried highlighting the other icon (click or press arrow-down) and then press Return? You might have pressed an arrow key accidentally two days ago, and now your computer keeps assuming you want to login to the other user account, which is password-protected.

If switching the highlighting does the trick and you are lucky enough to be administrator then, you can just delete the other user account if it is never used.

FWIW, as I said.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 02:20 PM

On rereading your last post, I assume you have tried both icons. Therefore, and because of that strange truncated hint, I guess something has gone wrong with your Windows.

Don't destroy your hard disk, since your data are still there and *easily* recoverable, e.g. using a "Live Linux CD Rom" and a USB stick. Then you can reinstall Windows.

NB: Ask a real expert first.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 02:40 PM

You should be able to go into Safe Mode and log in as Administrator. You can then reset the password on your user account, or even roll back to a date prior to the oddity occurring - in which case you can investigate further as to why it happened.

If you cannot do this (because an Administrator password is 'required'), then the machine has probably been compromised by a trojan or rootkit infection. In which case, a new hard drive and new install will be the quick fix, after which you can put the old drive in an external caddy and read your data that way - after running an extensive scan with something like Microsoft Security Essentials.

Windows 'security' (i.e. password protection) is only intended to put off the casual snooper. More robust security permissions are controlled by a domain server in business environments.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 06:19 PM

If you didn't set an Administrator password, the "password" needed should be just an "Enter." You may need to click your mouse on the box for the password, or Tab to it, and hit the Enter key without typing anything else.

In some Windows versions, you may need to click on an "arrow" adjacent to the login boxes to proceed from there rather than just repeating the "Enter" key, because when "Enter" is the password hitting it twice makes the OS think the password you intended is "Enter Enter."

You've probably already tried a "no password" logon, but just to be absolutely certain you've done it all it must be mentioned(?).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 06:42 PM

AFAIK, the "safe mode" is intended for cases when hardware drivers don't work properly, i.e. of no use in the present case.

Instead of buying a new HD, you can buy or borrow a "Live Linux CD/DVD Rom" for a couple of $. Put it into the tray, reboot. If you still see Windows, reboot once more with F8 kept pressed. The BIOS screen will appear; choose a "boot sequence" that puts the CD/DVD drive before the HD. Reboot. Ask someone who can use Linux to access and save your data. Then insert the Windows installation CD, reboot.

Alternatively, use another Windows computer and an HD-to-USB adapter (25$) to save the data.

All FWIW. If you wish an advice that is more detailed and/or better researched, just ask.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 05:21 AM

There are shedloads of CDs readily available on ebay that will retrieve passwords. So long as it is not a locked domain.

But in many respects the most complete route is a new hard drive install OS, install good antivirus and then connect the old one as a slave.

For future reference just put programs on one hard drive, and keep all data on a bigger separate drive. Keep a partition of that for a clone of your OS (using something like "Ghost" or "Driveclone"). Also when you download a program save it to a download programs folder on the data drive and run to install from there.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Bernard
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 05:52 AM

Nope, 'Safe Mode' is used for olling back to settings that worked.

If an administrator password is asked for, and you didn't set one up, it's a typical example of rootkit behaviour.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Bernard
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 05:54 AM

Hah! rolling! This laptop needs a new keybord!!

;o)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Bernard
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 05:55 AM

keyboard!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 07:42 AM

Don't try to blame the keyboard, Bernard - it's those weak LH fingers!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: keyofzed
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 10:39 AM

Shame it's not a BIOS password, that would have been an easy fix. You should try JiK's blank password suggestion (just hit enter) on both user accounts. Another possibility is the "hidden" Administrator account. Usually this is not enabled, but it's possible that your PC supplier has enabled this account and set a password. You'd need to ask your supplier.

Finally - has anyone else been using your PC? You say it hadn't asked for your password until a few days ago. I wonder what might have caused that to change?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 02:59 PM

You can set up to boot to a user who has no password set, and some people set up a "GUEST" user account that way. If you get in the habit of just using the computer "however it comes up" you can often go for a rather long time without needing to enter a password.

If you kick off something that requires additional rights - usually Administrator authority - the computer will ask you for the Administrator password, and if you don't come up with a valid one the computer can be buggered until either a valid password is entered, or the process that needs it is completed or cancelled.

If you're set up in one of the "power saving" modes where the computer sleeps or hibernates, unless you've set the requirement for a password to "wake up" the machine, you can go for a rather long time without needing to log back on - since the machine never fully shuts down and you're never logged off. Unfortunately, even a brief power failure results in a complete shutdown, so you have to run a full "cold boot" - which requires a new login, and you'll see the demand for a password for the first time since whenever.

There are probaly other reasons why a password can be required "unexpectedly," but usually you get used to the ones that happen with reasonable frequency.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: ripov
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 04:43 PM

Can't help with the password, but listen to Richards advice, when you get sorted out keep your data seperate from windows. Then it doesn't matter what windows does (within reason), a reinstall won't touch your data, even if you format the C: drive. (I don't think formatting the drive is the default if there is already a sytem installed, the CD will want to repair the system).

Either as he says use a seperate hard drive, or partition the windows disc.

Every system from w98 to vista lets you assign "my documents" to another drive, probably w7 does the same, which means you can make your new partition the default documents folder for every installed programme. And similarly with your "my everything else" folders if you use these.

Good luck with it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST,Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 05:46 PM

Grishka said,

The screen you mentioned is the menu to login as a "user". Your computer has two user accounts, one with admin privileges, the other perhaps not, or meant to be restricted. Did you create these yourself?

Those were created as part of the initial setup of the computer, brand new out of the box. The administrator account would, in an office setting, be for the technical supervisor. It has powers that other users don't have.

Has this screen been displayed before?

Of course, every time I reboot the computer those two icons on that page appear. They are an essential part of starting up.

Did you then press Return to make it disappear?

In normal usage, clicking on DAVE loads things, and the next thing you see is the DESKTOP. DAVE AS ADMINISTRATOR is similar, but the desktop you see is specialized to serve just those functions that the technical director for the system can use.

Which of the two user icons was highlighted?

Neither. I click on the one I want to exercise. Actually, I've only once or twice clicked on DAVE AS ADMINISTRATOR, and then only out of curiosity.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 06:23 PM

PROBLEM RESOLVED.

I called Dell Technical Support, where I had/have a prepaid software support program good for a year, up to four software incidents. I had three incidents left, now two left.

The agent had me run a repair section from my Windows 7 distribution disk, and then, with my cooperation, took remote control of my computer. He renamed a couple of .exe files and did some other stuff which I couldn't follow, although he patiently explained what he was doing, step by step.

I asked him to remove the password(s) entirely, because they serve no purpose in our household (just my Beautiful Wife and me) and just make for extra delay and aggravation. Then he exited and rebooted to test it, it seemed to work fine, and he had me power down and come back and test it myself. Fine. Then he gave me control of the computer back, and told me he'll check with me in maybe a week to see that it's acting right.

The whole thing may have taken three quarters of an hour. Frankly, it's the smoothest support call I've ever had with India--or anywhere else, for that matter.

Thank you, everyone, for your interest and suggestions. I'm vastly relieved not to have lost the hard drive or any of its contents.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 06:26 PM

Dave, it seems that your Windows is corrupted, either by some accident or by malicious software.

I'd proceed with a Live Linux to either recover the user passwords (I don't know how to, but I believe it should be possible), or to save your data and reinstall Windows. The latter procedure has the advantage that any malware is destroyed.

You need a Live Linux CD Rom, which you can burn on another computer from an "image" you can download for free, and some[one with] basic Linux proficiency.

Keep us informed about your decisions. Some mudcatters probably know more than I, but not all of them ;-).

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 07:36 PM

Whatever else you do, you should back up your data on to some sort of external device so that if anything goes wrong its not lost. I have mine backed up twice on to two separate external USB hard drives. I'm not quite conscientious enough to keep the two drives in different places. That way, if you have to reformat and reinstall from scratch, you have not lost your data. I don't back up programs, they can be reinstalled but I do back up settings for my important programs so I keep a backup of the settings files for my browser, Open Office and one or two others. I have copies of special fonts that I use and also plugins for audacity.

USB external drives are not all that expensive and knowing I have copies of all my data makes them worth their money.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 09:55 PM

Now you need to uncheck the box allowing remote access to your computer, if it hasn't already been done. Look in Control Panel, System and Security.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Forgot Bootup Password WHAT NOW?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 06:24 AM

DaveO

Now that your system is back up it might be a good idea to make your own "recovery disk." It appears that you have the Win7 recovery disk provided by Dell(?) but Windows systems update frequently and you are likely to soon encounter the "update" problem. When you use an original recovery (or installation) disk, you get the version that was released when you bought the computer, so you then need to go to Microsoft update to get all the updates that have come out since then. The updates can require several hours in some cases.

Since WinXP, I think, you can use a built-in Windows utility to create a recovery disk that will restore the operating system in the same state as it exists at the time you make the disk. Using the disk that you make should replicate the entire system setup, including all the options you've chosen, to what you had when the disk was made.

Restoring from a "Recovery disk" you've made recently should avoid the need to go fetch updates made before the time when you made your disk. (And you can make a new one any time you want to.)

The method(s) vary a little with the specific Windows version you're using, so it would be best to get them directly from the Help files on your computer. They shouldn't be hard to find, using "Recovery Disk" or "System Recovery Disk" as a search term.

System Restore automates recovery to some extent, but it can only keep a few "prior states" and it's quite common for a problem to go undetected through severl updates of those restore files, so that the problem is restored by any of the restore points available in System Restore. The disk you make records a single setup permanently.

Those who do use passwords should also know that all recent Windows versions allow you to make a "Password Recovery Disk." Lots of people use a thumb drive for this, since the files are small; but I believe you need a separate one for each user (including Administrator). Instructions for making a Password Recovery Disk should also be in Help on your computer(s).

John


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