Need help getting into XP Pro

By oceanbound ยท 10 replies
Feb 12, 2009
  1. I have bought a used Dell Optiplex GX520 and cannot get into windows because it is password protected. I have tried reinstalling windows but I'm locked out. The computer will not recognize my cd as a bootable drive. Can anyone help me?
  2. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Posted in error! Deleted!
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Probably not. Usually, they are not passwordable
    Perhaps it is merely your hard drive that is lost.
    Remove your CMOS battery for a few hours, then reinstall it.
    Then try the install with a new hard drive and your Dell recovery disk.
    If that doesn't work, buy a new or used Dell motherboard on eBay... the Optiplex boards are less expensive than the Dimensions and fit a wider variety of Dell desktop computers.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Three posssible sources of confusion :-

    (a) are you actually aware of how to get into the bios to change the boot order? Unless the CD/DVD is placed at the top of the boot order in the bios then it will not boot from an install CD.
    (b) are you aware that Dells often come with a reinstall XP procedure to install from a hidden reinstall partition ? There will be a special key-combination to press at boot time to activate this feature.
    (c) Are you really locked out of Windows ? Start in F8 (safe mode) and there will be the option to enter a user. At that point, a special user (administrator) is available, whose password is often or usually blank. Try that. if you get into windows then, you can manipulate all other users, including deleting them and adding a new one for yourself.
    (d) I believe there are bootable packages available on the web to discover the user password for any user presented - but I never told you anything about that did I?
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    no timely response to first submit - please delete
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Unless you have actually experienced the password issue on a Dell, you cannot understand the difficulties.
  7. oceanbound

    oceanbound TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks gbhall, The bios recognizes the cd but if I set it as the boot drive it says "device not available" As to the boot partition, I get a message that says "no loader". Starting in safe mode I still need the password on the log-on screen. Any other ideas?
  8. oceanbound

    oceanbound TS Rookie Topic Starter

    raybay, I am really starting to understand the difficulties. LOL
  9. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    When do you get the "device not available" message? In the setup screen or after you have saved it and try to boot with the CD?

    GX520 has an issue when a USB device boot is selected in the BIOS, I am not sure if you can change values and save, if you can, disable anything that has to do with USB boot.

    There are different level passwords, if the BIOS, the system or the hard drive are password protected, the only tool that will "fix" this issue is a special program by Dell to generate a Master Password using the Service Tag which will change after that, there are other methods around as well as flebay which could cost lot of money but less than the $200.00 Dell would charge after proof of ownership or transfer of it.

    I don't think you have any of the passwords above or at least not the system and the hard drive, since you can load windows.

    There might be other issues or a simple BIOS password other than mentioned above that prevents values from changing.

    Check here and here if you are locked out of the BIOS Setup.

    There are also programs all over the Net that reset Windows password
  10. oceanbound

    oceanbound TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I get the "boot device unavailable" message when I try to boot from the CD. The Bios choice is "USB or onboard CD-ROM" as one choice so I can't disable the USB device . Any other ideas? Thanks.
  11. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    I do recall an issue with the USB as boot device when selected, that is not the way they should've done it in the BIOS and may be the reason you are having difficulties here,

    Can you update the BIOS from Dell?
    Can you disconnect the front panel USB and try again?
    Can you try another CD-ROM drive?
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