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try Ubuntu bootable disc or usb to boot from that. Ubuntu is a free operating system. you can use Ubuntu without actually installing it. you can run Ubuntu from a bootable disc or usb ...... such are called live CD or live usb. running Ubuntu you can access the hard discpartition and hence your data and take backup os that in external media or another partition.
yoy can download Ubuntu freely. also you can order ubantu disc free of cost, even no delivery charges by post. just register and order Ubuntu from www.ubuntu.com
You didn't mention what operating system you are running. I am going to guess you are running a current version of windows.
What you can try is press Control+ALT+Delete two times, and you should get a logon box. WIth any luck you can clear the user name and type in administrator and leave the password blank and try logging in. If you remember setting a administrator password enter it.
If you are able to login you can go to the control panel - users (User accounts in Vista).
If you locate the users section of control panel you can select your account and change password. Or you can create a new account to login with for now.
Windows Vista will not install on old computers. If this is your case try installing Windows XP, If this does not work you might want to try Linux (Ubuntu). which will run on almost any old computer with full capabilities. It is free and you can download it from http://www.ubuntu.com/
You have a process that is not shutting down,Try this,Hit control,Alt,Delete and open the task manager,On the process tab,you can see what is running,End task on everything BUT Explorer.exe,logon.exe,and The svchost.exe(you will have a bunch of these)After you have end task on everything else,Try and shut down.