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Old 11-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
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Laptop Password Protected

My BIL bought a used laptop at a flea market. When he turned it on, Windows came up but it is password protected. He only gets a password hint "bite." Is there anyway to override this password protection? I would never buy a used laptop unless it was someone I knew to be trustworthy. It could be stolen.
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
My BIL bought a used laptop at a flea market. When he turned it on, Windows came up but it is password protected. He only gets a password hint "bite." Is there anyway to override this password protection? I would never buy a used laptop unless it was someone I knew to be trustworthy. It could be stolen.
Did he get the Windows Installation Disc? If so, here's a link that explains how to reset the password: How to Reset Your Windows Password | PCWorld

I've never tried this, so I don't know how well it works.
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
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I can't really offer a solution without knowing what version of Windows the laptop runs or if it's the admin account or a user account that you need to get past.

There is tons of information out there on how to get around the problem ~ Google ftw!
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:48 PM   #4
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Yes, hopfully he got the OS disc.
If he can't over ride the password he can always pick up a new hard drive, which is probably the safest thing to so.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:38 PM   #5
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The down side to purchasing used computers is that there are a lot of unknowns, and there is almost always some work that always needs to be done to make them usable again.

Passwords are there for a reason: to protect someone's data. The previous owner could be deceased or simply wasn't computer savvy enough to wipe out his data before selling the laptop.

That aside, as the new owner, your BIL will no doubt want to have a clean slate to work with. I would first use a boot disk to format the drive. You can use any existing computer to create one. Some PCs will also allow you to format the drive from a system setup screen that is accessible during boot up. It usually involves pressing F2 or F6 during the power up sequence. Whichever key it is, it will say so on the screen (although it will probably flash by very quickly).

Once the drive is formatted, the next thing he would need to do is reinstall the operating system. If the laptop didn't come with an OS disk, then BIL needs to chalk it up to caveat emptor and go buy one.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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Pretty sure if it was a flea-market find it didn't come with boot discs and user manuals. ;)

Boot it up in safe-mode, chances are you can restore safely from there. That'll also give you a fairly clean slate to start from.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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You never know. I've bought used computers off eBay. Some have come with the original boxes and all the disks. Others have been completely stripped of everything, including disk drives and memory.

Even in safe mode you will get prompted for a password. There would be no point in having computers password protected it it were that easy for hackers to break in.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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I've still got all the discs that came with my computers that I don't use anymore. If I was going to sell the computer I'd include the discs. I'd pull the HD though.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
The down side to purchasing used computers is that there are a lot of unknowns, and there is almost always some work that always needs to be done to make them usable again.

Passwords are there for a reason: to protect someone's data. The previous owner could be deceased or simply wasn't computer savvy enough to wipe out his data before selling the laptop.

That aside, as the new owner, your BIL will no doubt want to have a clean slate to work with. I would first use a boot disk to format the drive. You can use any existing computer to create one. Some PCs will also allow you to format the drive from a system setup screen that is accessible during boot up. It usually involves pressing F2 or F6 during the power up sequence. Whichever key it is, it will say so on the screen (although it will probably flash by very quickly).

Once the drive is formatted, the next thing he would need to do is reinstall the operating system. If the laptop didn't come with an OS disk, then BIL needs to chalk it up to caveat emptor and go buy one.
Or install linux, which is free.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
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Did it belong to the NSA first? If so, please save that hard drive! Ha!

I am joking.

Yes, if you have the original OS disc, you can install a new hard drive. Or you can still buy a version of Windows and install it on a new hard drive for it.

With love,
~Cat
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