Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1.    04 Feb 2017 #1
    Join Date : Feb 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10

    Can I reinstall windows without losing files if forgot admin password?


    Hi, I have W10 (originally W7). Bought this laptop new from DELL several years ago. Not under warranty now. Don't have a second computer. Tight financially also. I have gone through a very stressful week after I accidentally signed up with a madeup email for microsoft to try out a feature of the computer, then I realized that email and password had now become my login info and obviously I don't know them. I've tried email recovery from LIVE but it won't allow me because I have very limited info (I never used the account, so I have no previous passwords to share, never filled out personal details etc). It's been awful, awful. My family pics, important files, music, videos, documents, everything is on there. I've tried some password recovery software too but no help.

    Now I don't remember exactly but I think once when I reinstalled windows, it actually asked me if I wanted to save my files and so I suddenly thought as a last resort, if I can just reinstall windows.

    Now I'm using a guest and so the question is, can I reinstall windows from this account? I have W7 reinstallation CD. And secondly, will it save my files?

    I really appreciate any help you can offer me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    04 Feb 2017 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish expat in Germany
    Posts : 12,949
    Windows 10 Pro

    Using any other PC or other account on the PC in question, open a browser and go to Sign in to your Microsoft account, enter your email address and click Next. On next page select Forgotten my password:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	55 
Size:	80.5 KB 
ID:	119801

    Select I've forgotten my password and click Next:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	55 
Size:	111.3 KB 
ID:	119802

    Enter CAPTCHA code and click Next:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	55 
Size:	148.8 KB 
ID:	119803

    When you set up Microsoft account you were asked both a phone number and alternative email address. Select one of those:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	55 
Size:	125.4 KB 
ID:	119804

    For security reasons you need to enter the email address or last four digits of the phone number. Do it and click Send code:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	4 
Size:	182.0 KB 
ID:	119807

    Enter the code you received and click Next:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	55 
Size:	104.3 KB 
ID:	119805

    Repeat the security code procedure. If you selected code to be sent to email, you need to get it to phone, too, and vice versa. To protect you it is required to use two verification methods, in your case now use both the phone number and alternative email address you gave when creating Microsoft email account.

    Now you can set a new password:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	55 
Size:	112.6 KB 
ID:	119806

    When done you can sign in to Windows with new password and change your Windows user account back to a local account (tutorial).

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    04 Feb 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,342
    Windows 10 Pro

    If @Kari's method of resetting the password does not work, @Jacknboks, you have several options. They all required that you have a Windows 10 USB flash drive or DVD that you can boot from, though, so you will have to find a way to make one or have someone make one for you. If you are going to use a USB flash drive, I recommend that you make a plain Windows 10 installation USB flash drive:

    USB Flash Drive - Create to Install Windows 10

    Then read my quote in the middle of the OP here and convert that flash drive to boot into Kyhi's recovery tools:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk

    If you have to do DVD's, then I would suggest you make a DVD of each above, one standard Windows 10 and one of Kyhi's recovery tools. You will want to boot the computer from Kyhi's recovery tools.

    Once you get into Kyhi's recovery tools, there are a couple of options. I would start by recommending that you use file explorer to get into your useraccount under the Users folder and copy the files you need to a USB flash drive or USB external hard drive. That would be the absolute safest thing to do first.

    Another alternative would be to shrink the existing C: drive partition using AEOMI Partition Assistant, create a new partition at the end of the drive, and copy your files to the new partition.

    There is an NT password resetting program on Kyhi's recovery tools - you might be able to use that to get back into your computer.

    You can also use the last option here to enable the built-in administrator account on your computer:
    Administrator account - Enable or Disable in Windows 10

    Then you could log into the built in administrator account and use that to create a new local account for yourself. Make sure to change the local account type to administrator. Then copy your files from the old user account to the new one you make.

    You can even shrink the existing partition on the disc, make a new partition, install Windows 10 clean to the new partition and use that to get to your files on your old Windows 10.

    You do have a lot of options. Before people with less experience with computers and Windows 10 start messing with their user accounts, I always recommend that they create a second, local user account with a password that they absolutely will not forget, make that account an administrator and never touch it, except in such emergencies.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    04 Feb 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,391
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    You can also use the last option here to enable the built-in administrator account on your computer:
    Administrator account - Enable or Disable in Windows 10

    Then you could log into the built in administrator account and use that to create a new local account for yourself. Make sure to change the local account type to administrator. Then copy your files from the old user account to the new one you make.
    I believe that option only works if you can already login with an administrator-level login.

    Quote Originally Posted by From the Tutorial View Post
    information   Information
    This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the hidden built-in elevated Administrator account in Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    04 Feb 2017 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,342
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    I believe that option only works if you can already login with an administrator-level login.
    And when you do the first step of that procedure:
    Boot from your Windows 10 installation USB or recovery drive, and open a command prompt at boot (Shift+F10).

    you are logged in as administrator.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    04 Feb 2017 #6
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,391
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    And when you do the first step of that procedure:
    Boot from your Windows 10 installation USB or recovery drive, and open a command prompt at boot (Shift+F10).

    you are logged in as administrator.
    Ah I see - although you aren't logging in to one of the admin-level accounts on the computer itself, it's enough access to get to the files which hold the registry and change them to enable access.

    I've learned something there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    04 Feb 2017 #7
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,480
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    Ah I see - although you aren't logging in to one of the admin-level accounts on the computer itself, it's enough access to get to the files which hold the registry and change them to enable access.

    I've learned something there.

    Yes, if you boot from a recovery USB or install media you will be asked to choose one of the admin accounts on the computer and give its password. You are then running at the admin level. The Catch-22 with this is when you either don't know a password or if there is no admin account to use.

    Believe it or not, there is nothing to prevent a user changing their one and only admin account to a standard user. Sadly, some inexperienced users have done just this in the belief that it is safer to browse as a standard user. What they should have done of course is make a second account. With no admin account the UAC prevents you using the Media Creation Tool or making a Recovery Drive, the UAC prompt just has a 'No' option, there's no 'Yes' offered because there's no admin account to be found on the PC.

    Those who have realised their mistake and ended up here have been pointed to Option Four of Brink's Tutorial and in particular the tip in item 1.
    TipIf you don't have a Windows 10 installation USB or recovery drive, then you can use OPTION SIX here ...
    This take you to Option Six of...
    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/...a.html#option6
    ...which explains how to force a PC into the recovery environment. From there you can get the admin command prompt without needing to provide an account or password.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  8.    04 Feb 2017 #8
    Join Date : Feb 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the replies. I'm going through them one by one and trying the suggestions.
    @Kari: Thank you but that method does not work. As I mentioned, I made up a random email but perhaps it's better if I use an example to clarify. The email looks similar to this: blahblah@adsfasdf.com. So it's not @live.com. When I go to live.com, the email mentioned is treated as my username. So I enter it and then asks for password. When I say I've forgotten it, it said it will send a confirmation code but then I say I don't have access to that email (which again, is just random one I named, but never created, I don't think the domain even exists). SO then it says it will send it to another email, I provide my gmail account, and receive the confirmation code. The real problem however is that in order to recover it, it asks me to provide more info about the random account and naturally I have none. So I get the "information you provided was not sufficient for us to validate your account ownership." That's why I was considering reinstalling, if I can find a way so my files won't be deleted, and also if there is a way I can reinstall from my guest account.
    Last edited by Jacknboks; 04 Feb 2017 at 20:53.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    04 Feb 2017 #9
    Join Date : Feb 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    @NavyLCDR, thank you for that detailed response. I probably have to use DVD-R because I do have flash drive but its size is one gig only.

    Anyhow, I'm looking at the second link, the bootable rescue disk. I'm new to all of this so I find that link quite overwhelming. There are like two dozen download links and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do, download everything? I mean of the first few, probably I would get Win14393PESE_x64 ISO v170116 because I have 64bit and I won't download the old versions which follow the top two links. But then there is one for image health and like a dozen for utilities. I burn everything then to that second DVD?
    Last edited by Jacknboks; 04 Feb 2017 at 22:49.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    05 Feb 2017 #10
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,342
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacknboks View Post
    There are like two dozen download links and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do, download everything? I mean of the first few, probably I would get Win14393PESE_x64 ISO v170116 because I have 64bit and I won't download the old versions which follow the top two links. But then there is one for image health and like a dozen for utilities. I burn everything then to that second DVD?
    You only need Win14393PESE_x64 ISO v170116
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


Similar Threads
Thread Forum
Solved Forgot Windows login password, only have a local account
I can't log in to my computer because I forgot my password. I didn't set up a Microsoft account, so I only have the local account. I'm really stuck! If anyone has a solution for me, I would appreciate it so much! Thank you so much!
User Accounts and Family Safety
Forgot local password and can't access Windows
My wife used a local password to log into Win 10, and got a Microsoft account, specifying another password. The next time she booted up, neither her old nor new password was accepted. We don't have a Win 10 CD to fix things, because we downloaded...
User Accounts and Family Safety
Password Auto Complete Forgot Password
Does anyone know how to retrieve a password from autocomplete. I am being asked to change a password but I have to put the old password in first and I don't know what it is. It is in auto complete but I don't know how to get the actual password...
Browsers and Email
Admin password unknown and missing files after upload
Ok, I know these questions have been asked, but I have tried everything I can understand. Need to be spoken like a noob - step by step please. Win10 put on my system everything initially fine, then discovered files missing - tried to install a...
User Accounts and Family Safety
Trouble signing into Windows 10 - Forgot password
I am having trouble signing into Windows 10. A few days ago I noticed the system was running slow so I did a reset of Windows 10. When everything was ready to setup again, I set up my user account with my usual password, however, when asked if I...
User Accounts and Family Safety
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 20:29.
Find Us
Twitter Facebook Google+ Ten Forums iOS App Ten Forums Android App



Windows 10 Forums