Hi, I need to copy files from a windows 7 laptop. I don't have the password for the machine. There is only one user account. Reinstalling the OS or recovery mode is not an option. Is there any way I can retrieve the files on a USB? I am thinking if I can get to the command prompt during bootup and if it recognizes the USB, I might be able to copy some of the files at least. Do you think this will work? What could be another option? Sorry, quite lost here.Will appreciate any help. Thanks, John
Well, I think you can crack or reset the password for your Windows Vista, here is a good topic on the forums which seems to answered the question?
Just read the suggestions in that forum and I think you'll be alright.
By the way, is that laptop yours and you just forgot the password?
Of course, you can do this on your own PC if you happen to forget your password. Doing this on somebody else's PC is piracy, and explaining how to do it is forbidden by our TOS.
You can try going into the Administrator account in Safe Mode and accessing the files from there. Usually the Administrator has the privilege to open anything on the computer as he/she wants. And it comes password-less by default.
Resetting the password is one option that I have talked about here before but I think in your situation the easiest would be to copy from one hard drive to another.1. Considering you want to copy from a laptop hard drive, you may need to purchase a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE Hard Drive Adapter (http://www.cablestogo.com/product/17705/5.9in-laptop-to-ide-hard-drive-adapter-cable) or (http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/). I believe the connector for SATA is the same for laptop and desktop hard drives.2. Take the laptop hard drive out of the laptop and connect it to your desktop PC. The laptop hard drive should be connected as a secondary or auxiliary hard drive meaning your desktop OS still boots and the laptop hard drive is recognized as a drive letter other than c:/. For IDE the laptop will be a slave and for SATA it will be anything other than SATA1.3. Once you have booted to your desktop OS see if you can access the laptop hard drive. If so copy your files, else see below.a. Windows sets the owner of a file to the current System SID which is unique to every Microsoft box. You will need to take ownership of the laptop files before you can access them. (I am doing this from a XP machine so I might not have it completely right but it is very similar.)b. Right-click the laptop drive letter and go to security or permissions.c. Click the Advanced tab and acknowledge any UAC warnings along the way.d. Click the Owner tab in Advanced tab.e. Select your current account or the Users account and set that to the new owner. Make sure you also select the Inherit from parent check box.f. It may take a few minutes for the permissions to be changed. If you still can’t access the files try changing the permissions one more time, perhaps with a different option. I find it sometimes takes me a few tries before everything is working.4. If the laptop drive has encryption (BitLocker) or your files are encrypted then give them up for dead. You might be able to get them if they are encrypted by the Windows built-in encryption but that is beyond my knowledge.
This all seems very suspect if you ask me. Why on earth would you want to retrieve files from a locked out laptop and yet leave it in the exact condition it is now?If you had acquired this laptop and it is now yours I could understand you wanting to gain access and reset the password etc. but this is far too dodgy.I would have asked you to provide more details on why you wanted to access these files before helping you however it would seem FirefoxRocks and tansqrx have already provided you with a means to access this laptop.
Briefly speaking, seems that you want to steal some files from a laptop, and hope the laptop owner cannot see that you accessed his laptop.Explaining how to perform that is forbidden by our Xisto TOS.Of course, you have seen on the TV that some clever secret agents know how to do this within seconds. None of us here knows how to perform this.
My method will certainly raise some red flags. Once all the files have a new owner, putting the laptop hard drive back and booting it will raise hell. Personally I doubt the laptop will boot but I have never tried to do it myself. If the laptop does manage to boot, either the profile will not be loaded or the user will not be able to access their files.
The second method of resetting the password will also raise a red flag but perhaps not as large. The normal method of breaking the password by booting from a Linux distribution only sets the Administrator password to NULL. When the laptop user comes back and finds that they either donât have a password or it is nothing, questions will be asked. I know I would certainly be finding out what happened if it was my laptop but a more casual user may not notice.
I do know of a way to find the password in some cases using the Linux method but I have never tried it on Vista or Windows 7. I know Vista really started to lock down security so it may not be possible anymore. I have always held the philosophy that knowledge is not dangerous; itâs how you use it. Knowing how to do such things has no harm. Doing this to your own systems or with permission also does no harm and is actually helpful. Doing this to steal information is simply illegal. Threat this like a loaded gun. Do what is right and the gun is a good thing, not bad.
P.S. I did not elaborate on the password breaking method because there have already been hints of breaking the TOS. If the powers that be approve it I will go into detail. I have already posted several times about resetting the Windows password at http://forums.xisto.com/topic/91164-topic/?findpost=1064355282.
Teaching furtive ways for obtaining windows administrator passwords for a laptop is definitively against Xisto TOS. Concerning topics will probably be destroyed and the poster should be banned. Please do not play with this kind of stupid things.
I do know of a way to find the password in some cases using the Linux method but I have never tried it on Vista or Windows 7.