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Forgot admin password

By Frustrated85 ·
I forgot my admin password and my comp wont boot from disc. It starts up and i can hit either F2 for Setup or F12 for boot menu and neither work. It goes to a black screen and askes me to type in system admin password. Can someone help. Is there anyway to reset my comp back to nothing without having to buy a $40 piece of softwear? Thanks

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From what you say

by Michael Jay In reply to Forgot admin password

it sounds like a BIOS password, otherwise you could get into setup or the boot menu.

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by Kaiga In reply to From what you say

If this is a laptop, you may have to buy the software.
Note: If this is a work PC, or a PC that is not yours, or has some sort of RAID array controlled by the motherboard, or has multiple hard drives that boot only in a certain order, you may have to go back into the BIOS and reconfigure it. So make sure you know what some of the settings are before you go and do this:
If this is a desktop PC, and you're talking about your BIOS or boot-up password, you'll need to open the system up and use the reset jumpers on the motherboard to reset your BIOS to it's default settings. Resetting your BIOS will also reset the password. Look near the CMOS battery on your motherboard, there should be a jumper block near it that is sitting on a grid of 3 prongs but is only jumping two of them. Making sure your PC is unplugged, take the jumper off the 2 prongs it's currently sitting on, and move it over to the opposite side of the 3 prongs. Some motherboards have this sort of thing marked as "CMOS Reset" (NOTE: If this is a Dell PC, most of the time they'll have a "CMOS Password Reset" and a "CMOS Reset" set of prongs, if in your case you have a Dell, use the Password Reset.)
It should look something like this:

[__] is the jumper

move it over like this:


leave it in that position for about (to be safe) 30 seconds. By then it will dissipate the charge from the CMOS battery. Then set it back the the original position and turn the PC back on. You'll notice maybe the boot order will change, you may have to go back and put some of your BIOS settings back the way they were, i.e. boot orders, turn on SMART monitoring, etc.

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Thank you

by Strayer In reply to Desktop?

I picked up a Dell Pent III off the curb. It booted and has passworded xp.
I will be using as a back up at the non profit where I tech.
I knew there was a way to reset, but didn't know the method. Thanks and I know I made up verbs, a bit tired.
I would not use any program to "crack" the password.

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Not advised

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Thank you

You have no idea what's on this system. It may contain malware or illegal content. I highly recommend you erase the hard drive (at a minimum, format it) and install an operating system from scratch.

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Password Assistance

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Forgot admin password

TR members do not assist password recovery. Do not respond to this thread
The members of TechRepublic - A Resource for IT Professionals, will not assist anyone in the recovery of lost passwords. You may have a legitimate reason to recover a password. However, we cannot verify your motives and will therefore not assist anyone in what may be an attempt at gaining unauthorized access to a computer system. Due to the open nature of this forum, any assistance given to help circumvent security measures, even for legitimate purposes, would be available for unscrupulous individuals to use for illegitimate purposes. This is a risk that we the members of TechRepublic will not take. Please do not ask questions of this nature on TechRepublic.

If you have a legitimate need to circumvent a password scheme, please contact the vendor for the software / hardware and request their assistance. E.g. Windows XP password recovery issues should be taken up with Microsoft's technical support, Phoenix BIOS password recovery issues should be taken up with Phoenix Technologies, etc.. To those viewing this post: Please DO NOT respond any further to this thread.

This template has been released under the GNU public license and you are encouraged to use it as a standard reply for questions of similar nature, provided that you make any modifications available to other users.

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