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Forgot password more than standard security from previous use

\015 I have this laptop with which the password has been forgotton and the personal files and family photos on it are to be retained. I am virtually all out of ideas. This is what I have tried. It is a Dell Latitude D410 PPGSS with windows xp on it.\015\012\015\012Being a domestic use laptop I tried the standard admin bypass to no success, all possible combinations. So I then went into dos (I have some knowledge of the A+) listed the usernames for the laptop and some company names were listed. It still has a security policy in place from a previous use.\015\012\015\012I tried to create a new user name with administrator rights. It said ''Access denied''.\015\012\015\012I thought perhaps removing the CMOS battery might work and took apart the laptop removed the cmos pack, booted the computer and... nope. No success (I am wondering whether to disconnect it for half an hour or so and try again). \015\012\015\012I then thought maybe I can bypass Windows all together by some remote desktop like UBUNTU, mount the drive, extract the files and reinstall windows. Nope. I can't tell the computer in BIOS to boot from anywhere other than the hard drive (Administrator rights again). \015\012\015\012Aside from the half an hour the only other thing I can think of is booting the hardrive with another computer altogether and perhaps I can boot from wherever I say then? Don't trust those windows reset password things for sale on line, by the way. Can anyone advise me please? I am an IT student.\015

Answers :

Firstly windows has an account called "administrator" which doesn't normally show up on the welcome screen but you can get to it either by booting in safe mode (it does show up on the welcome screen when in safe mode) or by pressing ctrl+alt+del at the welcome screen to get an old fassioned login dialog. Often this account will have no password on it.

If the administrator account is locked out or has a password on it then there is a third party password reset and account unlocking tool available from http://www.windowsloginrecovery.com

It sounds like you have a dual password issue. The system appears to have a BIOS Admin password and apparently some group policy issues from the original corporate image.\015\012
\015\012To resolve the BIOS ADMIN password, you can refer to this:\015\012http://www.fixya.com/support/r3656360-dell_portable_computer_bios_hard_drive\015\012Once you get the master password from Dell, they can give you directions on how to use it to clear the ADMIN password in the BIOS.\015\012
\015\012As for the Windows Password, your best bet is to slave the drive to another system, then take ownership of the files via this:\015\012
\015\012http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421\015\012
\015\012once data is recovered, then clean reinstall the OS to eliminate Password and Group Policy issues.
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