well first im new to this place so greetings everyone. i currently have an hp laptop, windows xp pro. the computer was given to me after my father passed away. ive had this thing sitting in the closet for months now and i just decided to start tinkering with it. im however at a loss because i can't access anything without passwords or account names. ive tried everything all over the web and am at a loss to getting into this thing. ive tried just typing administrator but it would appear that account has been set with a password. i have no cd's with the computer and no way to just reformat it and start fresh. any suggestions out there? thanks in advance.
Download a Linux distribution that supports LiveCD (e.g. Ubuntu), burn it to a CD and pop into the laptop and restart the laptop (if required) and let it run. Once inside the LiveCD environment, enter the main hard drive and start browsing around to see if there are any "important" files (i.e. things your dad has on the computer that you would want to keep also). If there aren't any, then just re-install Windows or something. If there are some, get a usb flash drive or something similar and store it in there, then just re-install Windows or something. Forget trying to figure out any passwords.
There are ways to break into Windows but it takes some know how. I hope it's not the BIOS password and that you cannot access Windows because of Windows password.My first question is, do you have files which you must retrieve from your father's laptop? If so, simply purchase laptop EIDE or SATA to USB kit and save your files before attempting anything.HP will sell you a restore disks for small price. Depending on how old this laptop is, perhaps it would be worth $50 or so. Once disks have arrived simply put the first disk in and let it restore the laptop as if it was operating for the first time.Good luck. And sorry for your loss.
Definitely go with the linux live CD option. Basically you will need to download an ISO file and it will take some time depending on your connection speed. Then you will need to burn this to a disc: http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/
Personally i simply open it with 7zip and copy the files to a CD and it works. But you can follow those instructions if its your first time.
Once the disk is made (obviously you will need to do this on a working computer) place it in the locked laptop and reboot it. You will be asked to "press any key to boot from cd" in which case button bash
Wiuth any luck you will be asked to choose a language and then an option. Choose "Try Ubuntu without making any changes" using the arrow keys and enter. It will take a few minutes to load up but when it does you can go to "Places" at the top and then "Computer" and that is sort of like "My computer" in windows. Your hard drive will be one of those options, it probably wont be "filesystem" and it wont be "Cd-rom" or dvd etc... But try them all and look for a folder called "Windows" inside one. Then you have found the hard drive. Go into "Documents and settings" and then you will be shown all the user accounts on the machine. There is no password protection or anything to explore and copy what you need.
Then you will need to re-install windows or learn to crack the passwords which isnt particularly easy.
What you might want to do before buying anything is try to find a recovery partition on the hard drive. Make sure you do what i said above to copy important data to a USB drive or something. Now take the CD out and reboot the computer (the shutdown button is in the top right corner of ubuntu.) Watch the screen closely as it starts up for a message like "Press F10 for recovery" or anything that mentions recovery (you dont want BIOS at the moment).
If you see that message hit the key it asks for and hopefully you will be able to re-install windows without paying. But you will almost certainly loose all the data on the laptop so really make sure you have copied everything you need and verify it on another computer to make sure it's there.
Hi!@shadowxI'm not really sure if 7zip can burn an ISO image to a CD or to a DVD. It can, however, extract ISO disk images, which is not what you would want to do if you want to create a bootable CD or a bootable DVD with an ISO image. Microsoft Windows 7 has the built-in ability to write ISO images to CD or DVD. If you don't have Windows 7, you would need software to write the ISO image to CD - either Nero, Roxio, Alcohol, PowerISO, or something similar.@My2biglefttoesI'm sorry for your loss. I am guessing that you do not have a CMOS password, since you mention that you tried using the Administrator account on Windows (or at least that's what I think you have mentioned in your post). If you would like to retrieve files that are present in the computer, you can boot up the computer with a Linux LiveCD (Knoppix, Ubuntu, Fedora LiveCD etc) and transfer the files either via a USB disk, or over the network. You can even send the files to yourself via email! I believe there are torrents for Windows LiveCDs too, so if you are more familiar with Microsoft Windows and feel adventurous, you can go that route.Get a USB hard drive bay will enable you to unscrew a couple of screws on the laptop case, slide out the laptop's hard disk drive, insert it into the USB hard drive bay, and plug it into any other computer as a standard USB external hard disk drive. You can also get a kit to fit the drive into your desktop. Tthe kit merely lets you fit the smaller disk drive into the larger bay of your desktop.If you do not need any of the files that are present on the computer, you can go with trying to restore the operating system and factory-installed program files using the recovery partition on the hard disk drive - most computers these days have one. If you do not have a recovery partition, or any of the operating system CDs that came with the computer, you can purchase a copy of Microsoft Windows 7 from a store and install it on the computer by booting up from the CD. You might have to download the software drivers from the Internet and install them after getting Windows up and running.@BuffaloHelpDid HP charge you $50 for a set of restore disks? I'm guessing they charge 50 in whatever the local currency is so if you happen to be in a part of the world where the currency doesn't have a high value, you just might end up getting the restore disks for cheaper. I'm not entirely sure but they charged me 50 in my local currency and they charged you 50 in US dollars, so it's worth trying to get a set of disks while holidaying some place.@truefusionI would have been curious about why you mention an "if required" when you instruct My2biglefttoes to restart the computer, but I tried a Ubuntu install that started from within Microsoft Windows and was quite impressed with how far Linux has come so far. It would help if Ubuntu could also add a Windows-based installed for a co-operative Linux (coLinux) setup... but there still is the option of using the cooperative Linux installer to download Ubuntu off the Internet through the installer.
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