Are passwords recoverable from unbootable HD?

By Squiggly1 ยท 6 replies
Apr 21, 2009
  1. When you visit a webpage that requests a password, Internet Explorer (and other browsers like Firefox) asks you if you want it to remember the password. It gets stored in the "password manager". Well what happens when a customer's computer won't boot, but you were able to recover their "documents and settings" data? Is it possible to import these passwords back into Internet Explorer or FireFox so that things work just like they used to? Or is it at least possible to just view these passwords so that they can be re-entered one by one in a new installation of Windows XP?

    I was able to re-migrated passwords into FireFox on another computer no problem, but I don't know if passwords can be recovered with Internet Explorer.

    From what i understand, IE passwords are stored in the ntuser.dat file. Actually I found several "ntuser" files on my computer, some were small .txt files. I tried to back them up but was denied access. It said some of the files were "being used by another person or program". Apparently WHENEVER you are logged on to your computer, this .dat file(s) is "in use". OK. So I tried copying them offline with ERD Commander. No luck. Then I tried using an Ubuntu LIVE CD. It worked. Migrating into my new computer failed, because the ntuser file I wanted overwrite was "in use". So I tried Ubuntu again and it worked. I rebooted, but the passwords were not working. So the forced copy technique failed. Any suggestions on how to migrate Internet Explorer passwords?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  3. Squiggly1

    Squiggly1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

    Can this be done on a computer that won't boot to the desktop though?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    No I don't believe so

    Obviously all Windows Passwords yes
    But not IE stored webpage passwords
  5. Squiggly1

    Squiggly1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 44

  6. KathyJ

    KathyJ TS Rookie Posts: 59

    I use RoboForm Pro. They have a free version and a purchased version. The free version will only save about 10 passwords whereas the purchased version will store many more and it will backup your data. All you have to do with either version when you're ready to log in to a site is go to Roboform in your taskbar, click on logins and then find the web site you're wanting, click on it and it automatically logs you in. Very simple to use. I tried to post their link but it seems I am too new because it won't allow me to do that. But, if you do a search with Google, etc. for Roboform, you will find it easy. HTH
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I think you may have missed the point a little
    If he just wanted to save passwords inside Windows, this thread would have finished on the first reply.

    We are talking about a machine that Windows does not start, so therefore, no "taskbar" available :D
    The thread title may have given that away a little ;)

    But thanks for your reply anyway ;)


    That's strange, the link I provided above in Post#2, has the same internal link as well, but different website to yours:
    I wonder who stole from who :rolleyes: (very minor differences)
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