I upgraded to Windows XP SP3, which immediately "broke" the laptop - it never booted with SP3 on it. I put in the Windows XP install disk I had originally used to set up the laptop, and it ran for a while, then said there's no hard disk present, so it can't continue. BIOS still sees the hard disk. I put the hard disk in an external USB case, and I can read/write to it with the other laptop. I then put the hard disk back in it's laptop, restarted with the Windows CD, and tried to get into the Recovery Console, but I forgot the password and can't "log on" to the drive. I'd also like to know if I can fix the broken files (which ones?) from the other laptop (via USB), and if I can "log on" to an external disk with the Recovery Console. (Also, the data won't fit on my other laptop, and I don't have all the install CDs for software on the disk.)

Any help appreciated.

  • Can you boot into safe mode? SP3 install automatically puts in a system restore point so you may be able to do a system restore if you can get into safe mode. Apr 20 '10 at 16:44
  • No, I can't get to safe mode.
    – Carl
    Apr 20 '10 at 21:18

Use this bootdisk to reset the password.

  • The documentation says is the file system is (1) NTFS, then it must have (2) been shut down cleanly or it won't work be able to write to the registry (it will say it's read-only), and to (3) boot to safe mode to shut down cleanly. (1) it is, (2) it wasn't, and (3) I can't get there.
    – Carl
    Apr 20 '10 at 21:34
  • Thanks. I was able to remove the Recovery Console password.
    – Carl
    Apr 20 '10 at 23:33

For "recovery" of lost passwords I recomend ophCrack. Rainbow tables are working perfecty!

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