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My roommate recently lost the battle with cancer and I need to sell some of his belongings.
One of those items is about a 6-month old Dell 531 with Vista Home loaded on it.

I have a buyer for the computer, but I can't seem to crack the initial Windows Password for logging into the computer. Therefore, the computer is currently worthless to the buyer.

Is there a way around this process or a way to discover what the password is? I really don't want to have to reinstall Vist, but may have to if I can't login with his password.
Thanks in advance for any help.

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drodge said: Reset the password to whatever you like.

I had high hopes, but it didn't work for me.
I created a bootable CD, as directed.
I set the BIOS to boot from CD, and it wouldn't.
Nuts! I guess I'm stuck with ophcrack! It's a 533MB download, which is taking 4+ hours to download. Then, I've got to burn the ISO file to CD. Crap!

if it belonged to someone else, you should reformat it before selling it. just my opinion. respect the dead, the buyer dont need anything of his on there, reformat!

jme621 said: if it belonged to someone else, you should reformat it before selling it. just my opinion. respect the dead, the buyer dont need anything of his on there, reformat!

I would agree with that, except the family has requested that I find whatever I can of a personal nature (not too personal!) from the harddrive to share with the rest of the family. For example, he was in the middle of composing some music & he was also an artist, that drew comic book charaters and such . . .

Just a suggestion, but how about taking the drive out and putting it into an external enclosure to try and access any personal data of the NTFS volume. If you don't have an external enclosure available, you can add it as a secondary drive in your PC. I've been using this method for years to transfer data from old to new drive. Good luck!

Another suggestion, and I'm not sure if it will work as I don't know much about NTFS encryption and the like, but why not try booting from a pre-installed environment such as Bart's PE or Ultimate Boot CD for Windows? Then you can browse the hard drive and see what's there to save.

Regardless of your method of saving personal data, I would second jme621's suggestion of reformatting and reinstalling before you sell/give the machine to anyone.

Sk8terboy said: drodge said: Reset the password to whatever you like.

I had high hopes, but it didn't work for me.
I created a bootable CD, as directed.
I set the BIOS to boot from CD, and it wouldn't.

I've used this program many, many times. It works very well. If you couldn't get the CD to boot it is likely that you either burned it incorrectly or something is wrong with the drive. Did you try booting the CD in another machine to make sure it works?

i had the same issue and used this service. they have free and paid services depending on how quickly you need it.

Sk8terboy said: My roommate recently lost the battle with cancer and I need to sell some of his belongings.
One of those items is about a 6-month old Dell 531 with Vista Home loaded on it.

I have a buyer for the computer, but I can't seem to crack the initial Windows Password for logging into the computer. Therefore, the computer is currently worthless to the buyer.

Is there a way around this process or a way to discover what the password is? I really don't want to have to reinstall Vist, but may have to if I can't login with his password.
Thanks in advance for any help.


Ophcrack to get the password. Or use ERDCommander to see everything on the hard drive. Not sure if ERD works with vista, don't see why it wouldn't given that it's NTFS.

Sk8terboy said: jme621 said: if it belonged to someone else, you should reformat it before selling it. just my opinion. respect the dead, the buyer dont need anything of his on there, reformat!

I would agree with that, except the family has requested that I find whatever I can of a personal nature (not too personal!) from the harddrive to share with the rest of the family. For example, he was in the middle of composing some music & he was also an artist, that drew comic book charaters and such . . .


The only thing is there may some very personal info on the computer, that he would not want anyone to ever see, even you. I say let sleeping dogs lie. You do not know what can of worms you might open? I also say respect the dead and walk away from this request. If his family wants to pursue this further, let them do it without you.

I disagree. If one of my family members died and I knew there were pictures, documents, etc... on his computer, I would want them.

If there was a safe in the house I'd hire someone to open it for me. If there is a safety deposit box I'd want to get into that too.

Are you all saying that there is a difference? Or are you saying you would not want access to his personal belongings at all? Don't go through the closets, don't look at photos on the walls, etc..?

minidrag said: I disagree. If one of my family members died and I knew there were pictures, documents, etc... on his computer, I would want them.

If there was a safe in the house I'd hire someone to open it for me. If there is a safety deposit box I'd want to get into that too.

Are you all saying that there is a difference? Or are you saying you would not want access to his personal belongings at all? Don't go through the closets, don't look at photos on the walls, etc..?


Good point made.



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