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Lost password to my XP laptop. How do I get back in?

By needhelpinnz
Jun 27, 2010
  1. So to be clear, this is a family member's old laptop that just got pushed to the side after a new one was purchased. Well, they wanted to give it to their granddaughters who are just starting high school so they could have something to use. They can't remember the password for the laptop and asked if I could help. They had two requests though:
    1. Try to figure out a way around the Windows XP login to salvage the files, or
    2. To avoid having any sensitive information that might be on it find its way to the wrong hands, just get rid of everything so it can be given fresh to the granddaughters

    I've tried booting it up in safe mode to see if I could get around the password issues, and went aimlessly looking around the setup at the start without any luck, so I'm pretty much out of ideas at this point.

    The biggest worry I have is that if I wipe it and have to reinstall XP so they can use it, I'll lose the serial for it. I know there are programs out there that will pull it but you need to get past the login I'm assuming.

    Let me know what extra info you might need and I'll provide as much info as possible. Thanks!!

    Make: HP Laptop
    Model: Compaq nc8230
    Other info: It has some extra business login stuff I've never seen before at the start, but otherwise looks like a typical aged laptop

    Thanks again
     
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,398   +169

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