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Win10 Possibly 11 password issue

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A100man
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Joined: 19 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: 15:49 - 27 Jul 2022    Post subject: Win10 Possibly 11 password issue Reply with quote

Sad story.. a colleague of 20+ years died unexpectedly about 1 month ago. Today I collected his work PC from his Widow. It was one that he put together from parts at the start of Covid so its the first time I've seen it. I do know it has some project data on that would be very useful to extract.

Trouble is he died without telling anyone the login password(s) etc... I followed 'lost password instructions that say it can send a text to masked number:-

.........90

but noone knows who or where than number is (it's not his old mobile number)..

So anyone know if it's possible to get entry into this machine or am I metaphorically buggered?

Cheers
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Paddy.
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Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: 16:10 - 27 Jul 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

With physical access you can get into pretty much anything, there are some instances where its a lot harder, bitlocker and TPM combo etc.

You could remove the drive and plug in to yours as a secondary drive and see if its visible, if its Win11, for the most part its TPM enabled but you never know..

If you are local (Lincolnshire area) I am happy to assist but its a case of try and find out.

I do have some recovery software for drives should it all go bang though.
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kgm
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PostPosted: 16:19 - 27 Jul 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parted magic. It's a Linux live distro. Really any Linux live usb/dvd will will but parted has some great tools included by default.

You can either access the filesystem directly or use a tool called

chntpw

to strip the password from the windows user account. Works with windows 10, but not sure if 11 is supported.

This assumes no encryption like bitlocker, etc. though.
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Ayrton
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PostPosted: 16:46 - 27 Jul 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done it by replacing the sticky keys prompt (pressing shift loads of times) with the command line so you can access it from the login screen and then just using the net user command to change the password. That was on a old windows server, but I think it should still work on modern windows.

https://www.howtogeek.com/96630/how-to-reset-your-forgotten-windows-password-the-easy-way/
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Easy-X
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Joined: 08 Mar 2019
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PostPosted: 19:18 - 27 Jul 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ayrton wrote:
I've done it by replacing the sticky keys prompt (pressing shift loads of times) with the command line so you can access it from the login screen and then just using the net user command to change the password. That was on a old windows server, but I think it should still work on modern windows.

https://www.howtogeek.com/96630/how-to-reset-your-forgotten-windows-password-the-easy-way/


I've used a variation on this technique a load of times so it's definitely worth the effort if you need the machine to boot up.

If it's just the files you need get an empty USB hard drive caddy from eBay, Amazon etc. At least then you only have to take apart one PC and not a second to transplant the drive in to.
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A100man
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PostPosted: 19:25 - 27 Jul 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chaps

Thanks.

It would be nice if it could boot as it would serve as a replacemsnt for my aged machine.. not essential though. I'll try out some of teh suggestion and if it need be
invest in one of those adapters. It could well be an SSD if that makes a difference..

Cheers
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bugeye_bob
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PostPosted: 00:23 - 29 Jul 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I being simple but cant you just throw the HDD in as a slave in another PC to recover the data, after that just throw another copy of the OS once data is recovered so you can use it.
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A100man
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PostPosted: 13:54 - 01 Aug 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

So just to tie this up..

Seems you can boot from a Win10 install DVD, then hit shift-F10 when teh first menu appears to enter a command prompt that allows you to rename utilsmanager to cmd.exe. You can then reboot (without teh DVD) and slect a command prompt before login by clicing on teh utils manager button...

With some suitable commands you can then create a user account that's not p/w protected.

In this case it allowed me to get what I needed form the PC even though I still can't log-in under the old user's profile.

Thanks for the pointers all.
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