Laptops

Question

Laptop inaccessible due to password. What should I do?

by rainbowpandabear / February 26, 2013 5:59 AM PST

I have a Dell Latitude D630 with Windows XP Professional that I bought at a government auction. I was assured no sensitive data was still on the machine. I haven't been able to boot from external drive, USB, or CD/DVD. I have queried multiple web sites for possible work-around to no avail. Any solution short of replacing the hard-drive is welcome. Is it possible there is some sort of disk encryption software present? If so, how do i deal with this?

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All Answers

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Answer
Probably best would be to restore to factory settings
by wpgwpg / February 26, 2013 6:36 AM PST

If you got the discs to restore to factory settings, that's what I'd do. If you don't have them, you could probably get Dell to ship them to you for a small fee. You'll need to give them the service tag from the sticker attached to the computer. Otherwise you'll have to buy an XP install disc from Amazon or wherever you can find them and reinstall from scratch. If you do, be sure to get the drivers you'll need.

Good luck.

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tried these suggestions already
by rainbowpandabear / February 26, 2013 7:15 AM PST

I have no discs, i have tried to change the bios settings to boot from USB and CD to re install complete OS but only get blinking cursor on black screen. i have also tried f 11 from dell splash screen to access partition/ reformat to re-install OS to no avail, i have no formal training in this field only experience from use of computers over the past 20 years as a consumer and any help would be very much appreciated.

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Since no CDs you don't have the tools to do repairs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 7:22 AM PST

As such you have to consider what happens when you are missing tools and parts. I'm guessing you need to have it written so here goes.

You'll need to find or obtain the right CDs as well as fix the laptop's issues. If the CD drive is old, then you replace that. If the HDD has failed you fix that (by replacing.)

Once the machine is repaired and you have your CDs then you can install the OS fresh and get the drivers from Dell.com.

This is how most learn about how awful Windows installing can be. There is no single guide to get you out of where you are. But as you can tell, you get to repair what's broke and then install fresh.
Bob

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Answer
I'd start fresh.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 6:46 AM PST

You didn't reveal which password stopped you so you can put the HDD into a good machine to boot NTPASSWD from CD and reset the one on that HDD. Put the HDD back into the PC and try again.

HOWEVER if the system was set to boot and connect to a domain, it's game over. You'll need to fix whatever stops the CD from booting so you can reinstall the OS.

Again, no. There is no other supported method to change from a Domain login to a login you are used to. I won't write further about domain logins as you don't have a domain. It's not productive to write further.
Bob

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Answer
Re: password
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 6:51 AM PST

Two possibilities:
1. It's the BIOS password. Then find out how to reset that. Changing the hard drive won't help.
2. It's the Windows password and the BIOS has been set to boot from the hard drive first. Then go into the BIOS setup and change the boot sequence. Changing the hard drive to an empty one might help also, because if boot from the hard disk fails it will try the next option (the CD) so you can boot Linux or do a clean install of Windows XP.

No need to go into the details before it's clear which of the two it is. An interesting option is that it is the BIOS password, but once you've solved that the Windows on it is locked to a domain. Then you'll have to do a clean install also.

Kees

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Laptop inaccessible due to password. What should I do?
by rainbowpandabear / February 26, 2013 7:27 AM PST
In reply to: Re: password

it is the windows pass word, I have no discs, i have tried to change the bios settings to boot from USB and CD to re install complete OS but only get blinking cursor on black screen. i have also tried f 11 from dell splash screen to access partition/ reformat to re-install OS to no avail, i have no formal training in this field only experience from use of computers over the past 20 years as a consumer and any help would be very much appreciated.

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Re: f11
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 3:54 PM PST

Isn't it ctrl-F11 with a Dell?

Kees

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Isn't it ctrl-F11 with a Dell?
by rainbowpandabear / February 26, 2013 10:53 PM PST
In reply to: Re: f11

yes it is and ive done this but nothing happens

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Re: boot
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 11:08 PM PST

If you can't get it to boot from any CD (Windows, Linux, NTPassword) it's hopeless, unless you take the disk out and use another PC to remove that password (see Bob's reply above) or install Linux on it.

I hope you didn't pay to much for it. The value of a 6 year old laptop without warranty is no more that $75, I'd say, and only if not DOA like yours.

Kees

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