XP Professional No Password

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by dropframe, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. dropframe

    dropframe Registered Member

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    I purchased a laptop at a corporate auction. It has XP Professional installed. When it boots up it is looking for a password, but not like a normal XP. There is a place for a password, but it also has something like a domain associated with the password.

    Normal XP password bypasses do not seem to work. Any ideas?

    How can I make this computer work? Or did I buy a boat anchor?
     
  2. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    It sounds like the computer was joined to a domain. Since it's no longer connected to the domain you have to click the drop-down menu and switch it to local computer (or words to that effect). You still need valid credentials to log in. If you boot into SAFE mode the hidden Admin account should become available, and if you're lucky it won't be password protected. Also I expect there are password retrieval/removal tools that can be used from a boot CD.

    Once you're logged in you can remove the domain and the logon screen will show two fields again.
     
  3. dropframe

    dropframe Registered Member

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    One of the choices to "Log onto" is "this computer". Does it need to be connected to their (no longer existing) network to find the password?

    Another major problem is that I can not get it to boot from anything other than its hard drive, even if I change the boot-up order to start with CD drive. If I physically remove the hard drive it will boot to a Lynux boot disk I have. Any ideas there?
     
  4. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    No, the password for "this computer" is on the computer, not the network. Did you try SAFE mode to attempt logging in with the hidden admin account?

    If the computer won't boot from the optical drive the drive may be bad. If the BIOS supports it you could trying booting from an external USB optical drive or a USB stick.

    If you can get it booting from an external drive/stick why not just reinstall Windows XP Professional? Does the computer have a proper XP license key tag? If you've got the key you only need the media. Drivers can usually be had from the manufacturer's website if they're not available via Windows Update.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  5. dropframe

    dropframe Registered Member

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    The problem is that it will NOT boot from the optical drive or USB (no matter how I set boot order) unless I physically remove the hard drive. Then it boots. But what good does that do me, the hard drive is not installed.

    If I could get it to boot, then I could try various password workarounds. But I need help on the boot problem.
     
  6. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Sometimes a BIOS will offer a function key during the POST - F12 or whatever - to bring up a boot menu where you can manually select the boot device. Does your laptop have that option?

    Since you know the computer will boot from the optical drive when the hard drive is not installed, and if you can go the XP reinstall route then put the hard drive in an external USB enclosure and format it on another computer. Then when you put it back in the laptop it should still boot from the optical drive. You can image the hard drive first as a precaution so you can get back to where you were if necessary.

    I just thought of another option which you could try before formatting - access the drive's partitions with a partition manager (while it's in an external enclosure attached to another computer) and make the primary partition "inactive". That should prevent it from booting.
     
  7. clubhouse

    clubhouse Registered Member

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  8. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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  9. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    Unless I'm misunderstanding the problem, you might want to try this

    -http://www.raymond.cc/blog/reset-bios-password-from-windows-with-cmos-de-animator/-

    In your case, you might need a Windows PE disk though.
     
  10. clubhouse

    clubhouse Registered Member

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  11. dropframe

    dropframe Registered Member

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    All of these are great ideas but:

    The problem is that it will NOT boot from the optical drive or USB (no matter how I set boot order) unless I physically remove the hard drive. Then it boots. But what good does that do me, the hard drive is not installed.

    If I could get it to boot, then I could try various password workarounds. But I need help on the boot problem.
     
  12. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Dude, did you try any of my suggestions? If you're willing to put the hard drive in an external enclosure you have options. Try marking the partition inactive first, which will make it unbootable. Then put it back in and see if the machine will boot from the optical drive.
     
  13. dropframe

    dropframe Registered Member

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    Regarding putting the hard drive in an external enclosure:

    I have no external enclosure that the laptop hard drive will fit into.

    SO, this is what I did.
    Under setup I found a "Disk Sanitizer" (To erase completely the hard drive). So I erased the hard drive. Now the following happens:

    I have a Linux boot disk on a DVD. When I power up the computer with this disk installed, it boots into Linux with no problems. (Before wiping the drive it would not boot to this disk)

    I have two different windows boot disks on CDs. When I power up the computer with either of these disks installed, it does not boot. I get the non system disk error.

    All three of these boot disks work just fine in another computer.

    My plan was to get a Windows 7 upgrade and install it using the Windows Vista Business OEMA Product key that is on the sticker. However, I am hesitant to purchase a Windows 7 upgrade if it will not boot to a windows boot disk.

    Any ideas out thereo_O?
     
  14. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Are the Windows CDs homemade or commercial? There may be a problem with the optical drive.

    Edit: If the BIOS supports booting from USB put the windows installation files on a bootable flash drive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  15. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    You tried the Disk Sanitizer within windows XP via a setup program? You stated that you can boot a linux CD. I would download the bootable version Partition Wizard (free) based on linux. Burn the iso file and boot. Does it see your hard drive? If so, select the drive and then wipe disk as shown in the following link. Do the fast zero fill. After the zero wipe, create a new partition and format it NTFS. Then try the install of Windows 7.

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/video-help/wipe-disk/wipe-disk.html

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html
    Bootable is at the bottom of the page.

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

    Windows 7 upgrade media needs a installation of Vista on the computer in order to install. But, you can do a clean install of the upgrade using the following trick.

    http://winsupersite.com/article/windows-7/clean-install-windows-7-with-upgrade-media-128512
     
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