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Was this a BIOS password? (did you have to type a password to boot the laptop into Windows?) If so the password will be a firmware based password that is built into the hard drive, you will need to send to a data recovery company to recover (www.digitalrecovery.co.nz are cheap and good) but if sending to New Zealand is problematic just google local data recovery.
Yes, download hirens boot cd (.iso) from any site, write it on cd, then restart PC, boot from CD/DVD, in there there is mini windows and mini linux, explore your files by mini windows or mini linux. You can see all your files and copy them other place, then remove olds.
The Three Types of Passwords are: Bios Password - which is a password the comes up before the machine will even start booting. If you set this password, you should know it. The only way to remove a Bios Password if the take the laptop apart and remove the CMOS battery that is on the motherboard and let it sit for an hour or so until the computer completely loses memory of everything including the date, time, passwords.
Hard Drive Password - The hard drive password is set by the owner of the laptop to prevent thieves from getting to sensitive data if the laptop is stolen. 99% of the time if someone don't know the Hard Drive Password, then the laptop is stolen. If you're smart enough to set the hard drive password, then you should be smart enough to remember it. The real owner can sometimes set the password remotely once the laptop is stolen. The only way to remove the hard drive password is type in the correct password.
Windows Password - This password is associated with a user id that shows up once windows has completely booted up. If you forgot this password, it can be reset depending on the operating system.
Windows 7 requires a Password Reset Disc that everyone should take the time to create if they want to use a password on their user account. Without the disc that was created on that computer you won't be able to get in.
Windows XP and Vista - Turn off the computer, then turn it back on and immediately start hitting the F8 key repeatedly until you see SAFE MODE. Select Safe Mode and let the computer boot. When it comes to the login screen it will show the Administrator account and the user account for which you forgot the password. Click on the Administrator account and just click ok or enter for the password (hopefully you didn't create an Administrator's password and forgot it too). When you see the windows desktop in safe mode it will look differently. The icons will be bigger and the screen darker, but that is normal in safe mode. Click Start/Control Panel/User Accounts and select the user account for which you forgot the password, then select REMOVE PASSWORD, click OK and reboot your machine. This time let the computer boot up as it normally would.
Problem: I forgot my password.
Solution: If you forgot your power-on password, you must take your computer to an IBM reseller or marketing representative to have the password canceled. If you forgot your hard disk password, IBM will not reset your password or recover data from the hard disk. You must take your computer to an IBM reseller or an IBM marketing representative to have the hard disk drive
replaced. Proof of purchase is required, and a fee will be charged for parts and service. If you forgot your supervisor password, IBM will not reset your password. You must take your computer to an IBM reseller or IBM marketing representative to have the system board replaced. Proof of purchase is required, and a fee will be charged for parts and service.
If the password you forgot is the user password, reinstalling the operating system will help you. If the password you forgot is the bios password(one which should be entered before boot up), you could reset it by removing and resetting the button cell present in the mother board.