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A friend has managed to set up their new Windows 7 Home Premium Dell Inspiron and forgot the password they have used. I have tried the following password reset software to no avail:

  • UBCD
  • OHPCrack
  • Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
  • Trinity
  • Kon Boot

I have also tried to do a system restore but this asks for the password. The user does not have any data they need to save. Is there anyway I can get access to the restore partition using Linux to create a recovery disk or do I have to purchase a recovery disk from Dell?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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When you say you've used all those password recovery software to no avail, what does that mean exactly? I've used Offline NT Password & Registry Editor many, many times on various different Windows versions without problem. – emgee Mar 29 '11 at 2:34

The way recovery partitions usually work is that when you boot, before you get to the Windows Loading screen, you press a particular key combo like Ctrl-F11 or sometimes F12. You will be presented with a option to go into recovery mode. When you do, they load a small OS and then a program like Acronis and the Acronis restores the original C:\ partition from the backup copy. I don't believe you can use it as a ISO type of file since it usually is a proprietary compressed backup image of the original factory setup.

Check the Dell website, I believe it is Ctrl-F11, but am not sure.

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I've used Linux Live CDs to recover data from Windows partitions several times...however, it sounds like it would be tricky to create a recovery disk for Windows using Linux.

What I would suggest is using a Live CD to copy and paste the recovery partition to external media, preferably an external hard drive. (typically, you can get around Windows passwords and all, just by accessing the drives via Linux, unless the drives are encrypted.) Then use another Windows PC to create a recovery disk from the data you extracted to the external hard drive.

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Thanks for the response. Do you know if it's possible to create a recovery disk from the data on the external hard drive? Is there any iso within the recovery partition? – user35571 Apr 29 '10 at 16:50
I actually don't know much about recovery partitions, have never even created a recovery disk in my life! :-) Based on what I do know, you could probably make a disk from the data on the external HDD, don't know if there would be an .iso on the recovery partition though. – studiohack Apr 29 '10 at 16:59

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