Computer Help forum

General discussion

forgot computer password

by starfish59 / April 21, 2009 12:37 PM PDT

I have a Gateway computer, vista windows and just changed the log on password and then forgot it.
Is ther anyway to change the password, yet I don't know it? If I keep pushing F8 as it is coming on and reboot then will I lose all the pictures and data I have?
Or anyway to go back in time before I changed it and use the old password.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: forgot computer password
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: forgot computer password
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
What version of Vista?
by Paul C / April 21, 2009 7:25 PM PDT

I suppose you didn't make a password reset disk as suggested, right? I also suppose that you didn't backup your files? If the answer to those questions is "No," then you know what to do in the future. You have been warned... Devil

You could try to pressing F8 during bootup and entering Safe Mode and seeing if that would let you reset the password, but I doubt that would work, unless you're running Windows Vista Business or Ultimate.

Ultimately, you may have to reinstall Windows and all your software. Fret not, though; during the reinstall, Vista creates a folder named windows.old that will have all the data that was on the C:\ partition prior to the reinstall. Assuming your pictures and data are on the C: partition now, you'll be able to copy them from the windows.old folder to the new install. After you finish that, you can delete the windows.old folder, as it no longer has any usefulness.

Hope this helps,

Paul

Collapse -
Re; forgot password
by Kees Bakker / April 21, 2009 7:34 PM PDT
In reply to: What version of Vista?

1. It's good practise to have more than one account with administrator capabilities on a machine to prevent situations like this. Do you have a spare key for your car? Or do you simply buy a new car when yp\ou lose the key?

2. Vista has a secret administrator account you can use, but it's different from XP. So if you didn't activated while you still could it won't help.

3. Google the NTPASSWORD program to reset your password.

Kees

Collapse -
I forgot about that progran, Kees. Thanks.
by Paul C / April 21, 2009 7:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Re; forgot password

I, alas, would never be able to use it, as I have a number of encrypted folders that would be lost to me if I did.

I'll stick with making proper backups and the like, thank you...

Collapse -
If not encrypted ...
by Kees Bakker / April 21, 2009 7:44 PM PDT

all files are still there and readable. Just mount the disk in an external enclosure and take ownership if needed.

Still, most people prefer to backup to cover hardware failures also. It's one of those good practices the OP forgot about.

Kees

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

FALL TV PREMIERES

Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!