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Forgot Administrative Password and laptop is now frozen...

HELP! I forgot the administrative password for my Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop (OS Windows Vista Home Basic). I don't know what button I hit but now the only screen that will come on says that I must enter the system password or the administrative password in order to access data. I have the installation disk that came with my laptop but when I put it in and press F12 or F2 (or anything at all), I get the same screen with the same message. I contacted Dell but their IT said they had to transfer me to another dept and that dept immediately told me they would love to help...for $129. Does anyone know a way to get around this so I can reinstall Windows Vista? I don't mind losing data and going back to the original factory settings...I just want to be able to use it again. I would appreciate any information! Thank you!

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Have you been able to access your BIOS? Typically, you can do so by repeatedly pressing either F2, F6, F8, or DEL during start-up (varies by system).

In your BIOS, change your boot options to have your DVD ROM as first priority and reboot with DVD in tray. This will hopefully allow you to reinstall Vista.

Let us know your findings.


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Access to BIOS

I've tried F2, F8, F12 and delete but I don't think I've tried the F6. I think I'll give them all another try and hope for the best. On my last Dell laptop (with Windows XP instead of Vista) if I turned it on and hit the F8 several times that allowed me to start the re-installation process but it doesn't seem quite as easy with Vista. Thank you for your help! I'll let you know if it works...

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Re: system recovery

With Dell, it's ctrl-f11 during the display of the Dell logo or earlier.
When I got my Dell, it was mentioned in the manual. Isn't it with you?


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System Recovery

I checked my manual (and at the bottom of my screen) and it says F12 for boot options and F2 for setup but I have tried those, as well as all of the other function keys and it's still stuck on the same screen. I just checked the online Dell Support and it said that I can call them to reset my BIOS Password. I'm not sure if that's what I need but I'm going to give it a try tomorrow.

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F2, indeed is the key to come into the BIOS. And if that's password protected, you have to enter the password. That's as it should be. And it has nothing at all to do with system recovery. So better forget about that.

Resetting the BIOS password is the thing to do now. From your post, I understand Dell customer support will help you with that. Generally, it means removing the CMOS battery for a minute or resetting a jumper on the motherboard. So you'll have to open the case for that.


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Resetting BIOS Password

Well thank you for letting me know that system recovery is just hoping that Dell Support has an answer for me tomorrow.

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