Vista - unable to log in to D drive to do a "restore system to factory setting" - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

Vista - unable to log in to D drive to do a "restore system to factory setting"


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Vista - unable to log in to D drive to do a "restore system to factory setting"

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Long story short - Computer got a rootkit, clean it but blue screen of death. Trying to restore to factory setting. 

Problem:  During process (f8 repair)  it requires the "original"  Admin username and password. Have entered the current

Admin username / password and it will not recognize it.  Unknown what the "original" username/password was.

Error message is:   "specified domain cannot be contacted or does not exist"

Is there some other way to get to the D partition to run PCRestore.exe ?        Startup in command prompt?

Note I have been trying to do all this remotely for my mother-in-law. Having her ship the computer to me. 

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  • If it's a Laptop, Dell support is the ONLY one that can help you.  And you have to prove to Dell that you are the legitimate, registered with Dell, owner.

    The reason this is done, is because of the large number of stolen laptops.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU

    Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives.  Studio One 3 Recordng Studio Software.

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  • No it's a desktop. Since my mother-in-law originally purchased we have changed the admin setting. But I wonder if you might be on to something in general...hope someone from Dell sees this...

  • You do not access the partition directly. You must use the normal procedure and if that's not possible, you will have to reinstall from disk. Try just using Enter when asked for the admin password. It is not asking for a user password, just the administrator password that is set to nothing (null) at the factory. You need to mention your model computer and operating system when asking a question for a more specific answer.

    Directions for factory restore here:

  • I tried accessing via the normal "F8" process; and had her try the null password, no luck. I agree with you on model and etc, but remotely I couldn't find the info and mother-in-law is NO help there, although bless her, she tries. Hoping maybe when it arrives here I can use one of my utility disks to access the D drive and then start PCRestore.exe .....maybe.

  • That will not work. There is no way to start the process from the D drive. If you have a dell reinstall disk for your computer, you can use that to reinstall from scratch. It has to be the exact same version of windows to match the sticker and product key on her computer. Or you can try a asking for a replacement disk from Dell:  Only the owner can request replacement disks.

    Those older computers with the recovery drive on the D partition rarely work after a couple of years. Now the recovery partition is hidden so users don't see them and cannot alter or add to it. Changing or using the partition renders it useless.