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Old 12-01-2009, 07:38 AM
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Default Acer Aspire X1700 - BIOS and User Password Problem

Hi guys, I have a problem..

Over a mates last night, and asked me to have a look at the computer .. (I previously set this computer up for them less 6 months ago..

Heres the story..

The Dad of the family said that someone changed his password on him . He is the admin of the computer ( the only one ) and can't get into his account.
I had my bootable password reset CD with me (the same one thats on UBCD4WIN boot menu; but as an individual bootcd). So I chucked that in, but BIOS had a password on it. These people aren't computer literate at all, so I don't think that they would of set a BIOS password ( I definately didn't) . Rang up ACER and they said they don't ship the computers with default BIOS password, and there is no master either (big help you are, cheers mate).

No other user is part of the administrator account, so I couldn't just delete it and start a new one. Can't run CMOS_Password because I can't get into Admin account. Can't boot off CD's or USB's..

How should I pursue my quest to get into this thing ?

I've probably missing a few things out that I tried; like the net user command, and the net user admin active command as well, both failed.

Can boot into Safe Mode; thought admin might come up @ the Welcome Screen but that account isn't enabled by default in Vista.
Open to all suggestions. Last resort = send back to ACER and get reset to default.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:02 AM
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Can you clear the Bios password by removing the cmos battery and then proceed with your boot cd?
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:09 AM
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Well, if you can't modify the BIOS to change the boot device order then why don't you just remove the boot devices themselves?

Unplug the hard drive and run your boot disk- and maybe can you try running PC CMOS Cleaner and tell me if it works for you? I was kind of hoping to get to use it soon, but now would be so much better!
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCat11 View Post
Can you clear the Bios password by removing the cmos battery and then proceed with your boot cd?
Didn't have my tools on me. But I have found in later model bigbox name PCs that removing the batterys success rate isn't what it was back in the days. Your thoughts on this one?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephLeo View Post
Well, if you can't modify the BIOS to change the boot device order then why don't you just remove the boot devices themselves?

Unplug the hard drive and run your boot disk- and maybe can you try running PC CMOS Cleaner and tell me if it works for you? I was kind of hoping to get to use it soon, but now would be so much better!
Now theres a man with a plan ! I never thought about takin' out the boot devices (eg hdd) so that it would go to the next one in line (hopefully its the CD/DVD drive; don't think it has a floppy).

Thanks for the link. I'll try that out for you ..

Actually..

No I can't. It is pretty much a brand new computer. And if I open the case then the warranty will be void. It has a 3 year warranty on it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methical View Post
Didn't have my tools on me. But I have found in later model bigbox name PCs that removing the batterys success rate isn't what it was back in the days. Your thoughts on this one?


Now theres a man with a plan ! I never thought about takin' out the boot devices (eg hdd) so that it would go to the next one in line (hopefully its the CD/DVD drive; don't think it has a floppy).

Thanks for the link. I'll try that out for you ..

Actually..

No I can't. It is pretty much a brand new computer. And if I open the case then the warranty will be void. It has a 3 year warranty on it.
If they're concerned about the warranty then why is the computer in your hands in the first place

Meh, well I'm all out of ideas. You can't open the computer- you can't log into the admin account- you cant get into the BIOS and you can't run a boot disk. then you're probably SOoL. It would appear the only way to recover ACER BIOS passwords without voiding the warranty is to Send it back to them for $100.

However, if it's only a sticker then you can try a hot air gun and scraper combo and take your time removing it...although that's cheating the system
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:10 AM
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Fair call lol. Why is it ?

I just thought it was a software related problem. I wouldn't do anything hardware-specific. I would recommend that they use their extended warranty that they bought. When they told me that the admin account password had changed ( i think it was one of the kids, all denying it though ) I thought it would be as simple as firing in my boot disk and voila.

But BIOS password, admin password ..

Its a tough one lol Thats why I asked on here, cos I've run outta ideas on it lol

Thanks for your suggestions though, Joe and Nick.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:33 AM
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You might try some research on "privilege escalation". You might find something helpful, although I do believe most of the old tricks have been fixed in Vista.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:06 PM
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Slave the drive in another computer and run this tool to reset the admin password:

http://www.kood.org/windows-password-renew/

alternatively you could run the registry keys I posted a while ago that enables admin accounts of Windows Vista from a slaved environment
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:19 PM
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Nice little tool there (added to the toolbox). Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:35 PM
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I found it whilst mucking about with HawkPE
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