Reformatting a hard drive if you forgot the password?


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AyBayBay
I am Luvin TheGuG
Member for 7 years 4 weeks
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So I have a laptop form 3 years ago that has been tucked under a dresser for awhile. I used to have it password protected and for the life of me I cannot remember the password since it has been so long. I want to reformat it and give it to a friend for her school work but can't for the life of me figure out how now that I don't remember the password. Is there a way to do this?

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lou ann (not verified)
Re: Reformatting a hard drive if you forgot the password?
i have a desktop, i have the main disk to reinstall windows, i do not know the password anymore. it wont let me reformat, reinstall, wont read the disk or usb. wont go into safe mode. can anyone tell me what else to do
Stevie
I am new here at GrownUpGeek.Com from Horse Country, Kantuckee
Member for 8 years 2 weeks
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Re: Reformatting a hard drive if you forgot the password?

If you simply want to reformat (erase the hdd (hard drive)), you should be able to boot to a Win98 boot floppy and reformat without a Windows login password.  You should also be able to boot to a bootable Windows CD which would reformat/reinstall Windows without a Windows login password.  However, if you have a system password that was enabled in BIOS, you will need to remove the CMOS battery to reset the CMOS memory and erase the password.  This is a flat watch battery.  This is a problem with laptops because they are hidden under the keyboard or in other odd places.

STaRDoGG
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I am Easily distracted from Olympus
Member for 6 years 51 weeks
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Re: Reformatting a hard drive if you forgot the password?

 

Here're instructions on getting around the password in XP.

If you need a boot disk this is the site to go to, if you just want to format.

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animestrinity
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Re: Reformatting a hard drive if you forgot the password?

if you just want to unlock the password boot in in safemode... pick the admin account (not your passworded one)... 9 times outta 10 people don't password that one... from there I think you can reset your password on the other account...

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Hubby
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I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Reformatting a hard drive w/ forgotton password

if you have the manufacturers 'restore' disk or the original Windows disk, you should be able to boot-from one of them and restore/reformat, with no need for the password.
have you tried?

AyBayBay
I am Luvin TheGuG
Member for 7 years 4 weeks
GuG-Points: 79
Re: Reformatting a hard drive w/ forgotton password

I haven't tried. Can I use any system restore disk that came with one of the other computers I have bought in the last year? I don't think I have the one for that particular one. I was lucky I found the power cord!

Stevie
I am new here at GrownUpGeek.Com from Horse Country, Kantuckee
Member for 8 years 2 weeks
GuG-Points: 2316
Re: Reformatting a hard drive w/ forgotton password

system restore disks usually are not interchangeable from manufacturer to manufacturer or even to different systems under the same manufatcurer.  you could try to boot from it though - no harm in trying.

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