By amadd ·
I just got a free computer. I want to reformat the harddrive and start from scratch. However, there are 8 profiles w/ passwords that I don't know and can't access. How can I clean the computer without being able to log onto it?

Windows XP, Dell

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More info please...

by Toivo Talikka In reply to Admin

How do you know that there are 8 profiles in the computer if you cannot log into it?

If the PC came with the Windows XP installation CD and the Certificate of Authenticity with the Product Key, you will just need to re-install the operating system. After you boot from the CD (you need to go to BIOS by pressing I think the Del key a couple of times after you power on the PC), you will get the chance to delete the existing partition from the hard drive which means that you start from scratch.

If your PC came with the Dell recovery CD(s) and you boot from it, it wipes the hard drive clean before re-installing the operating system with the drivers and the applications provided by Dell.

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Dell computer

by Mr.Wiz In reply to More info please...

Press F2 to enter BIOS, press F12 to bring up the boot menu. Put your XP CD in the drive, select Cd Drive and follow the on-screen instructions. I'd recommend removing the partition and recreating it. At the very least, reformat the drive.

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I use a boot floppy

by w2ktechman In reply to Admin

to wipe the drive before re-installing. Even deleting the partition and formatting sometimes leaves crap behind (most notable with NT4 and boot.ini).
There are plenty of drive wiping tools out there to do this.

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