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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.

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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,


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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.


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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...

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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.


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