Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?

Posted: 11-19-2008, 12:31 AM
A cousin passed away in July. I have inherited her Acer laptop. My problem
is that it is password-protected upon sign in.

I've seen people talking about signing in as an admin and the like, but I
can't get past the opening password screen.

Is there anything I can do to access this computer?

Thanks if you can help.

Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?


Responses to "Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?"

Salvador Manaois III
Guest
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RE: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 05:41 AM
Reinstall the OS. =)

Or crack/break the password.

--
Salvador Manaois III
MCITP | Server/Enterprise Admin
C|EH MCSE MCSA MCTS CIWA
Bytes & Badz : http://badzmanaois.blogspot.com


"LSordo" wrote:
> A cousin passed away in July. I have inherited her Acer laptop. My problem
> is that it is password-protected upon sign in.
>
> I've seen people talking about signing in as an admin and the like, but I
> can't get past the opening password screen.
>
> Is there anything I can do to access this computer?
>
> Thanks if you can help.
Studler
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 08:47 AM

The best thing to do would to just format the laptop, and do a fresh
install of your chosen Operation System.


--
Studler
LSordo
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 04:19 PM
Well, of course I've thought about reinstalling the OS. The problem is that
no one's yet found her disc. I do have a good copy of XP that I could put
on, but I'd rather not have to do that.

The larger problem is that I believe that this computer is where she had her
photographs and iTunes. I'd like to preserve those in memoriam.

Is there any way to get to them?

Maybe getting on as an admin would do it? If so, how do I do that? Boot
from the safe mode screen like you can in XP?

I realize that this is an unusual situation, but I can't imagine this is the
first time something like this has happened.

I have a copy of the death certificate and the will naming me as a
beneficiary if that will help somehow.

Thanks for your help so far though, I appreciate the responses.



"Studler" wrote:
>
> The best thing to do would to just format the laptop, and do a fresh
> install of your chosen Operation System.
>
>
> --
> Studler
>
Louie
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 04:57 PM
On Wed, 19 Nov 2008 08:19:01 -0800, LSordo
<LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
>I realize that this is an unusual situation, but I can't imagine this is the
>first time something like this has happened.
No one knows you. You might easily be someone with a stolen computer.
Michael Walraven
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 05:00 PM
What I would do if my priority was retrieving data from the hard drive......
Remove the hard drive from the laptop, usually pretty easy, check web site
of maker if you do not have the manuals.
Purchase a compatible external hard drive case (take the removed drive with
you to Best buy for instance).
Purchase a new drive compatible with the one you removed.
Install the original drive drive in the case. Install the new drive in the
computer.
Install an OS (XP should be fine).
You should now have a working computer and a working external hard drive.
You might need to 'take ownership' of the external hard drive in order to
read the data there.

If you decide to just install a new OS, watch out for options that are
presented to you, it will be very easy to end up partitioning or formatting
your data away if you answer a question wrong.

Michael

"LSordo" <LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:3CD682F9-ED11-4AD2-A1D8-A0238E3D1F6B@microsoft.com...
> Well, of course I've thought about reinstalling the OS. The problem is
> that
> no one's yet found her disc. I do have a good copy of XP that I could put
> on, but I'd rather not have to do that.
>
> The larger problem is that I believe that this computer is where she had
> her
> photographs and iTunes. I'd like to preserve those in memoriam.
>
> Is there any way to get to them?
>
> Maybe getting on as an admin would do it? If so, how do I do that? Boot
> from the safe mode screen like you can in XP?
>
> I realize that this is an unusual situation, but I can't imagine this is
> the
> first time something like this has happened.
>
> I have a copy of the death certificate and the will naming me as a
> beneficiary if that will help somehow.
>
> Thanks for your help so far though, I appreciate the responses.
>
>
>
> "Studler" wrote:
>
>>
>> The best thing to do would to just format the laptop, and do a fresh
>> install of your chosen Operation System.
>>
>>
>> --
>> Studler
>>
LSordo
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 05:23 PM
Studler -- yeah I know I can't be distinguished from a thief, which is why if
there's a service that does this sort of thing, I can use the will and so
forth to establish that I'm llegit.


"Michael Walraven" wrote:
> You should now have a working computer and a working external hard drive.
> You might need to 'take ownership' of the external hard drive in order to
> read the data there.
Ooooh. I could do this. So the password wouldn't block me accessing her
files when the orginal harddrive is in the external enclosure? What's this
"Take ownership" step?
> If you decide to just install a new OS, watch out for options that are
> presented to you, it will be very easy to end up partitioning or formatting
> your data away if you answer a question wrong.
>
So there is a way to install a new OS without wiping the system? I've
installed a new OS before and feel comfortable doing so, but I don't recall
ever seeing a step saying "preserve files on disc" or the like. Is this a
fairly easy thing to do?

Many many thanks for all your help.

> "LSordo" <LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:3CD682F9-ED11-4AD2-A1D8-A0238E3D1F6B@microsoft.com...
> > Well, of course I've thought about reinstalling the OS. The problem is
> > that
> > no one's yet found her disc. I do have a good copy of XP that I could put
> > on, but I'd rather not have to do that.
> >
> > The larger problem is that I believe that this computer is where she had
> > her
> > photographs and iTunes. I'd like to preserve those in memoriam.
> >
> > Is there any way to get to them?
> >
> > Maybe getting on as an admin would do it? If so, how do I do that? Boot
> > from the safe mode screen like you can in XP?
> >
> > I realize that this is an unusual situation, but I can't imagine this is
> > the
> > first time something like this has happened.
> >
> > I have a copy of the death certificate and the will naming me as a
> > beneficiary if that will help somehow.
> >
> > Thanks for your help so far though, I appreciate the responses.
> >
> >
> >
> > "Studler" wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> The best thing to do would to just format the laptop, and do a fresh
> >> install of your chosen Operation System.
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Studler
> >>
>
Michael Walraven
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 05:46 PM
As you would be an 'administrator' you will have access to the files on the
external hard drive. The method for taking ownership (if needed) will depend
on the operating system you install and how the drive was formatted (FAT
formatted drives have little security, NTFS have more) but as administrator
you will have ability to get the data. In any case it is not difficult but
as it depends on exact conditions any advice before you are ready would have
to many if and buts to be useful. After you get setup and if you are having
trouble seeing what you think is supposed to be there, get back with the OS
you have installed, the type of formatting that the external disk has and
check back for 'taking ownership' under those conditions.

I am assuming that the drive was not 'encrypted' (not very likely), if it is
you are basically out of luck.

From my experience, the menus and guidance are different depending on what
type of installation disk is involved. An 'upgrade' disk tends to expect
that you want to keep the old data, an OEM disk seems to think you want to
start over with a clean machine, and a 'boxed' full installation tends to
also expect you to want a clean install but makes it a bit more obvious how
to keep the old data.

Also if you have an available computer you could skip the step of installing
a drive and reinstalling the OS and just connect the new external hard drive
to that machine to get the data off and then put the drive back in the
laptop and rebuild from scratch.

Michael



"LSordo" <LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:BC256991-A66F-4459-96D0-F9AF52BAA366@microsoft.com...
> Studler -- yeah I know I can't be distinguished from a thief, which is why
> if
> there's a service that does this sort of thing, I can use the will and so
> forth to establish that I'm llegit.
>
>
> "Michael Walraven" wrote:
>> You should now have a working computer and a working external hard drive.
>> You might need to 'take ownership' of the external hard drive in order to
>> read the data there.
>
> Ooooh. I could do this. So the password wouldn't block me accessing her
> files when the orginal harddrive is in the external enclosure? What's
> this
> "Take ownership" step?
>
>> If you decide to just install a new OS, watch out for options that are
>> presented to you, it will be very easy to end up partitioning or
>> formatting
>> your data away if you answer a question wrong.
>>
>
> So there is a way to install a new OS without wiping the system? I've
> installed a new OS before and feel comfortable doing so, but I don't
> recall
> ever seeing a step saying "preserve files on disc" or the like. Is this a
> fairly easy thing to do?
>
> Many many thanks for all your help.
>
>
>> "LSordo" <LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>> news:3CD682F9-ED11-4AD2-A1D8-A0238E3D1F6B@microsoft.com...
>> > Well, of course I've thought about reinstalling the OS. The problem is
>> > that
>> > no one's yet found her disc. I do have a good copy of XP that I could
>> > put
>> > on, but I'd rather not have to do that.
>> >
>> > The larger problem is that I believe that this computer is where she
>> > had
>> > her
>> > photographs and iTunes. I'd like to preserve those in memoriam.
>> >
>> > Is there any way to get to them?
>> >
>> > Maybe getting on as an admin would do it? If so, how do I do that?
>> > Boot
>> > from the safe mode screen like you can in XP?
>> >
>> > I realize that this is an unusual situation, but I can't imagine this
>> > is
>> > the
>> > first time something like this has happened.
>> >
>> > I have a copy of the death certificate and the will naming me as a
>> > beneficiary if that will help somehow.
>> >
>> > Thanks for your help so far though, I appreciate the responses.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > "Studler" wrote:
>> >
>> >>
>> >> The best thing to do would to just format the laptop, and do a fresh
>> >> install of your chosen Operation System.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Studler
>> >>
>>
DDW
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 07:06 PM
On Wed, 19 Nov 2008 09:23:01 -0800, LSordo
<LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
>Studler -- yeah I know I can't be distinguished from a thief, which is why if
>there's a service that does this sort of thing, I can use the will and so
>forth to establish that I'm llegit.
Take it to a computer shop.

DDW
--
Reply via this group
No email please
JP
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Inheriting a password locked computer -- what to do?
Posted: 11-19-2008, 11:27 PM
Do a search for Ophcrack-xp-liveced or ophcrack-vista-livecd depending
on what version you are trying to get into.

JP
On Wed, 19 Nov 2008 12:46:10 -0500, "Michael Walraven"
<mexxwalraven@verizon.not> wrote:
>As you would be an 'administrator' you will have access to the files on the
>external hard drive. The method for taking ownership (if needed) will depend
>on the operating system you install and how the drive was formatted (FAT
>formatted drives have little security, NTFS have more) but as administrator
>you will have ability to get the data. In any case it is not difficult but
>as it depends on exact conditions any advice before you are ready would have
>to many if and buts to be useful. After you get setup and if you are having
>trouble seeing what you think is supposed to be there, get back with the OS
>you have installed, the type of formatting that the external disk has and
>check back for 'taking ownership' under those conditions.
>
>I am assuming that the drive was not 'encrypted' (not very likely), if it is
>you are basically out of luck.
>
>From my experience, the menus and guidance are different depending on what
>type of installation disk is involved. An 'upgrade' disk tends to expect
>that you want to keep the old data, an OEM disk seems to think you want to
>start over with a clean machine, and a 'boxed' full installation tends to
>also expect you to want a clean install but makes it a bit more obvious how
>to keep the old data.
>
>Also if you have an available computer you could skip the step of installing
>a drive and reinstalling the OS and just connect the new external hard drive
>to that machine to get the data off and then put the drive back in the
>laptop and rebuild from scratch.
>
>Michael
>
>
>
>"LSordo" <LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>news:BC256991-A66F-4459-96D0-F9AF52BAA366@microsoft.com...
>> Studler -- yeah I know I can't be distinguished from a thief, which is why
>> if
>> there's a service that does this sort of thing, I can use the will and so
>> forth to establish that I'm llegit.
>>
>>
>> "Michael Walraven" wrote:
>>> You should now have a working computer and a working external hard drive.
>>> You might need to 'take ownership' of the external hard drive in order to
>>> read the data there.
>>
>> Ooooh. I could do this. So the password wouldn't block me accessing her
>> files when the orginal harddrive is in the external enclosure? What's
>> this
>> "Take ownership" step?
>>
>>> If you decide to just install a new OS, watch out for options that are
>>> presented to you, it will be very easy to end up partitioning or
>>> formatting
>>> your data away if you answer a question wrong.
>>>
>>
>> So there is a way to install a new OS without wiping the system? I've
>> installed a new OS before and feel comfortable doing so, but I don't
>> recall
>> ever seeing a step saying "preserve files on disc" or the like. Is this a
>> fairly easy thing to do?
>>
>> Many many thanks for all your help.
>>
>>
>>> "LSordo" <LSordo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>>> news:3CD682F9-ED11-4AD2-A1D8-A0238E3D1F6B@microsoft.com...
>>> > Well, of course I've thought about reinstalling the OS. The problem is
>>> > that
>>> > no one's yet found her disc. I do have a good copy of XP that I could
>>> > put
>>> > on, but I'd rather not have to do that.
>>> >
>>> > The larger problem is that I believe that this computer is where she
>>> > had
>>> > her
>>> > photographs and iTunes. I'd like to preserve those in memoriam.
>>> >
>>> > Is there any way to get to them?
>>> >
>>> > Maybe getting on as an admin would do it? If so, how do I do that?
>>> > Boot
>>> > from the safe mode screen like you can in XP?
>>> >
>>> > I realize that this is an unusual situation, but I can't imagine this
>>> > is
>>> > the
>>> > first time something like this has happened.
>>> >
>>> > I have a copy of the death certificate and the will naming me as a
>>> > beneficiary if that will help somehow.
>>> >
>>> > Thanks for your help so far though, I appreciate the responses.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > "Studler" wrote:
>>> >
>>> >>
>>> >> The best thing to do would to just format the laptop, and do a fresh
>>> >> install of your chosen Operation System.
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> --
>>> >> Studler
>>> >>
>>>
 
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