Hot Topics

Lost Administrator Password

  IanS1 13:14 08 May 2015

Hi guys, can anyone help me with this - I have forgotten my administrator password on a second laptop that I rarely use. Just to explain that a little -

  • I have brand new rarely used laptop that I bought a year ago when I thought my old laptop was about to fail. In fact the old one recovered and I'm still using it. And I also did not like windows 8.1 on the new laptop. So that newer laptop was only set up and used by me for a week or so, and then I put it aside unused for the past 12 months.

But now when I switched it on and entered what I thought I had set as the opening administrator password it does not accept any of the possible 2 or 3 passwords that I thought I had set. So it's not possible to get past that opening switch-on screen.

Any idea how I can find the password?

I suppose I could try re-installing the whole of windows 8.1, or even windows 7 (which I prefer), but that laptop came new with 8.1 pre-installed and without any windows 8.1 disks, so I don't have any set of windows disks from which to try re-installing any operation system.

Any suggestions or good ideas?



  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:41 08 May 2015

Factory reset the laptop as you have nothing worth saving on it.

  IanS1 21:18 11 May 2015

OK, thanks for that suggestion. What I finally did was to choose a full "System Recovery". Though before that I tried the less destructive option of getting into the BIOS to change the so-called "Administrator Password" (which confusingly also seems to be called the "User Password").

Once in the BIOS I found that no Administrator Password had been set; though that must be a machine error because I certainly did have such a password set 6 moths ago when I last used that laptop, so it looks like that password was automatically erased after 6 months of non-use. Anyway, after setting a new Admin. password, and trying to reboot the laptop, it still came up with same no access message whatever Admin password was set.

In total the whole mess of trying everything I could possibly think of inc. downloading "ntpasswd" and trying that (which just ended up in further failure and even more confusion), lasted about 2 hours before I decided on System Recovery which eventually offered an option to reset both your email address and a new Admin. password ... and that finally worked ... although anyone trying this should note that it removes your Wi-Fi password, so you need to know that Wi-Fi password and re-enter it otherwise your internet connection won't work.

In summary - this is a complete and almost impenetrable mess for anyone like me who just uses a home PC for quite basic tasks, who does not know much about how to fix issues like this, and who is concerned that trying to fix things in the BIOS or with a System Recovery etc. may screw things up even more.

It also seemed to me (I may be wrong) to be all due to Microsoft trying to impose on everyone a "Microsoft Account" whether they like it or not; that is - this whole thing seemed to be due to Microsoft automatically setting me up at some stage in the past with a Microsoft User Account Name (which turned out to be an old defunct and now dead email address) and an Account Password without telling me! ... so that whenever I tried to do anything, I was asked for a password and an account name that I knew nothing at all about. Added to which it seems that the original Administrator Password that I was prompted to set when the laptop was new and when I powered it up for the very first time, appears to have been automatically deleted by Microsoft after a certain period of non-use (6 months or so).

No doubt some of the above is not correct from me, but that's what seems to have happened as best as I could make out whilst trying scores of different passwords and email addresses etc. to see if I could get past that opening refusing screen that requites a working Administrator Password.

If you search Google for this same problem of lost Administrator Password in Windows 8.1 you can find loads of suggested solutions such as ntpasswd or similar password fixes that you can buy and install from a bootable CD or flash drive etc. But that seems to me a crazy and a really annoying thing for Microsoft to be trying to force upon users, whereby any silly novice mistakes of the kind that I was almost certainly making, means that your are completely locked out of your own home laptop!

Anyway ... end of typical "my computer wont work" rant lol!

Moral of story if you get this problem is either (1)know what you are doing in the first place, or failing that (2) System Recovery will at least get things working again, even if it does mean you lose lots (or all?) of you personal files etc.

  lotvic 23:08 11 May 2015

My gosh, you did get yourself in a pickle with it :) Thanks for sharing.

  IanS1 00:03 16 May 2015

Ha (smiles) ... yes, it was a right old "pickle" (in my novice hands at least). Still, it does work now!

  robin_x 15:28 16 May 2015

BIOS passwords are not the same as Windows passwords.

If you forget a BIOS password you may be in doo-doo and they don't stop your laptop being nicked or protect the data on the harddrive.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Will 5G kill you?

Becoming an In-House Illustrator: advice from those who've made it

iPhone SE 2 release date, price & specs rumours

Les meilleurs VPN pour Amazon Fire TV Stick (2020)