I think it must be the administrator password. As to whether it's the BIOS or windows admin pw, I'm not sure. I don't know the HDD password, so I think I'd better not do anything with the BIOS if I can still get online, use the computer, etc.
Thanks, I appreciate your advice.
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If you need to reset your Windows Administrator password, there is a really great, FREE solution.
Best of all, it doesn't change any of your settings and you don't have to reinstall any applications either!
Even so, you should ALWAYS keep a current backup of all of your important files, and I use Symantec Ghost to make images of my PC's hard drives so I can reinstall Windows and all my apps and settings in 5-15 minutes, versus hours and hours. That said, I am not responsible for any damage you may cause to your computer and/or software. If you follow these steps to the letter, nothing can go wrong anyway.
Here's how: First of all, get your Windows XP CD and insert it in the drive, then reboot. If it won't boot straight from the CD automatically, hit F12 when you see the Dell logo (POST screen) and use the arrow keys to highlight the CD/DVD option, then press Enter. When it says "Press any key to boot from the CD...", just press the space bar or the Enter key. After it goes through the hardware detection phase (usually takes 30 sec - 2 min), you will see the Welcome to Windows XP Setup screen. Press Enter to choose to setup Windows now. Press F8 to accept the Licensing Agreement. It will say “If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it”.
Press R to begin the Repair process. This next part is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! When the lower left side of the Setup screen shows
"Installing Devices" and a progress bar, press Shift + F10 (while holding Shift, press F10).
Type NUSRMGR.CPL and hit Enter.
This opens up a window just like if you had gone to Control Panel in Windows and clicked on User Accounts.
From here, you can change and/or remove any password you prefer.
If you wish to enable auto-login to Windows (without having to type a password), type
control userpasswords2 at the command prompt and hit Enter.
IMHO this is a very BAD idea, and I highly recommend that you always use a password to gain access to Windows.
Then again, some people are just lazy :O
Once you are finished with all necessary changes, close out of both windows
(User Accounts and Command Prompt) and allow the Windows Repair process to complete fully.
One of the best things about this method, is that all of your precious user-specific settings remain untouched and intact! And even better than that, it's FREE!
- soltero -
After pressing F8 on the screen to accept the licensing agreement, the next screen is not what you had described. It ask me to choose Partition 1 or partitioned 2 or unpartition space. I think if I choose any of these, it will delete all my stuff in my hard drive. So please help and see if you ahve any other suggestions how to bypass the administrator password.
I just confirmed successful operation of this procedure on my Inspiron 600m laptop. Mine only showed me one partition because my hard drive only contains one partition of the entire hard drive space. In your situtation, simply highlight the listing which contains the installation of Windows XP Professional and hit the letter 'R'. After that, just follow the rest of the directions. The only way you could possibly 'delete stuff' on your hard drive, is if you instead hit the Escape key (Esc) and chose to format and reinstall Windows. As long as you hit 'R' to choose the Repair option, it will not delete anything. The Repair process does not create partitions, nor does it do any formatting of partitions. It ONLY deletes the existing Windows system files (only files used to run Windows), then re-copies them from the Windows installation CD.
- soltero -
There is no option to hit R
Here is what it says:
The following list shows the existing partitions and unpartitioned spaced on this computer.
Use the Up and Down Arrow key to select an item on the list.
1.To set up Windows Xp on the selected item, press ENTER.
2.To create a partition in the unpartition space, press C,
3.To delete the selected partition, press D
In the box:
-: Partition 1
C: Partition 2
Please help me if you know how to solve this.
Just to clarify, what is it you're wanting to do? Are you simply wanting to reset the Administrator password? If so, then the guide I provided, should work. You mention that you don't want to lose all of your work. I would highly recommend booting from a live linux CD or USB stick and backing up all of your important files to the USB stick or an external USB hard drive. Booting to a linux live distribution (pm me if you need more info) is great because it offers you unfettered access to all of your hard drive's partitions (Yes, even the hidden ones) so that you can back up whatever important files you need. I am able to read and access all of the files on my hard drive even though it is an NTFS partition.
Let me know exactly what it is you're trying to accomplish and I'll do my best to help you out.
- soltero -[/i]