Clearing administrator’s password on Windows XP in order to boot

25 pts.
Tags:
BIOS
BIOS password
BIOS settings
Windows administration
Windows XP
Widow needs to access dead husband's PC (Windows XP / Dell Inspiron) but he has it set up to require primary/admin password prior to booting. F2 has no effect (i.e. enter setup). Can this be bypassed?

Software/Hardware used:
Dell Inspiron running Windows XP we think

Answer Wiki

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Sure can – you’ll have to force the BIOS to default itself to wipe out the boot-lock password. Most motherboards have a recovery process, usually a jumper, that allows you to wipe any configured settings and reload the BIOS defaults.

This will not affect the data on the hard-drive, but will clear out the password and allow the PC to boot to windows properly

Discuss This Question: 9  Replies

 
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  • Dragonegg
    This sounds plausible but I'm not sure how to go about it. Can you give any further instructions?
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  • Gabe9527
    This is what I have found from a quick search. http://www.technibble.com/how-to-bypass-or-remove-a-bios-password/ It states there is a backdoor password for DELL BIOS passwords of Dell. This is so DELL engineers can still get in to fix issues. This may be of help
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  • Gabe9527
    Dell Inspiron BIOS Password Recovery Each Dell Inspiron has a master password which will clear the BIOS password. You can get this number by calling Dell Technical Support at (800)624-9896. Dell Technical Support will request the Service Tag and Express Service Code from the bottom of your Inspiron. If you were not the original owner of the Inspiron, Dell will transfer registration of the used Inspiron from the original owner with only the Service Tag and Express Service Code from the tag on the laptop. To transfer the registration of a used Dell Inspiron, fill out the Transfer of Ownership form on Dell's web site.
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  • Gabe9527
    Now if it is just data you are after and it is just a CMOS password then removing the disk drive and loading into a CADDY. You would be able to get to the data from another machine. Warning - if this is a superviser password it can be applied to the disk and the motherboard if this is removed and placed into another motherboard it can assugn this password to the new motherboard.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    When install XP, it automatically creates an account "Administrator" and sets its password to blank. This account is created during Windows installation, and is not accessible under normal circumstances. Many computers, especially those that come from Dell or similar companies, leave the Administrator account as password less. To get to this account, boot the computer into safe mode. Can do this by holding down the F8 key during startup, and selecting Safe Mode from the Windows boot menu. Once the computer boots into Safe Mode, you'll have access to the Administrator account. If u have BIOS pass, go as Gabe9527 suggested. Sixball's answer is required more knowledge of hardware.
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  • Sixball
    @ Rechil - true true. Break out them CompTIA A+ certs... :)
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  • Dragonegg
    I called Dell but I was told that since the notebook shows the Dell Inspiron screen prior to going to the password authorization screen that it had nothing to do with the BIOS. They suggest having them back up the data and then reinstalling the operating system ( which is Windows Millennium Edition by the way). What do you think?
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  • Gabe9527
    ( which is Windows Millennium Edition by the way). What do you think? Windows ME.... now it is not that secure and it is highly likely that you can go with a harddisk caddy to get your data to another machine. Now if this is all you require then that shoudl be it.... Now if you are after using the laptop there are other options... and because it is ME you can go old school on it. You can use Lophtcrack to break the password for you.... I have added the link below that should help with this. http://techlogy.wetpaint.com/page/Lophtcrack+LC5+%3A+Reset+Windows+XP,+NT+administrator+password
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  • Gabe9527
    http://www.prlog.org/10127537-freeware-to-reset-windows-xpvista-administrator-password.html This is a freeware that says it can do the reset for you. Good luck
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