Mother locked herself out of her computer...

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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
87,778
10,760
126
That would allow access to the files on the PC...what about the browser-based passwords, those would be in the user profile/registry of her username on the PC, and not in the secondary admin username.

Not sure, but I believe NirSoft has a browser-password retrieval software.
But you can reset password of the locked account with the second admin account.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
23,032
5,094
136
But you can reset password of the locked account with the second admin account.

This is something I ALWAYS do on any PC I use... IMMEDIATELY after I make my primary admin account I make an identical backup.

Without taking this step something as simple as a corrupted user-profile can completely screw you over.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
87,778
10,760
126
This is something I ALWAYS do on any PC I use... IMMEDIATELY after I make my primary admin account I make an identical backup.

Without taking this step something as simple as a corrupted user-profile can completely screw you over.
yeah I always add a backup admin account right after setting up a new machine.
 
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MtnMan

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2004
7,301
5,516
136
Well if she uses google chrome, and she synced her data, you can just use another PC with google chrome and sign in.
I'm gonna bet that knowing a password is still going to be required.

Today a password manager is pretty much a necessity.
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,630
1,806
126
I started looking into making this and it appears to be designed for recovering a local account. How much harder is it for a tool to acquire a Windows account password?
The Windows account= the Microsoft account, and that is cloud based---there's not hacking that. You could contact Microsoft support for help getting that reset.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
23,032
5,094
136
The Windows account= the Microsoft account, and that is cloud based---there's not hacking that. You could contact Microsoft support for help getting that reset.
Not strictly accurate... it IS still possible to set up Win 10 login (not 100% sure about 11) without linking it to your online Microsoft account... none of mine are.

It really does seem that MS doesn't want folks to know it though! o_O


You are however correct that "hacking" an online MS account PW would be a mighty tall order if its not stored locally.
 
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Sonikku

Lifer
Jun 23, 2005
15,739
4,512
136
The Windows account= the Microsoft account, and that is cloud based---there's not hacking that. You could contact Microsoft support for help getting that reset.
The issue is solved, though I did try that. I called Microsoft and they said that all their support is now online only for my "convenience". I poured through all the help topics and finally found a way to talk to an agent through chat and the queue was at 179 people ahead of me. It went down by about a person a minute. No idea if they actually would have been able to help if I stuck it out, though I did also try to recover the Windows account by submitted a form with as much of her personal info as I could and was rejected everytime. When I finally got access back I updated everything and found she had hardly anything in her windows account other than her name and age and that wasn't enough for Microsoft. We really dodged a bullet.
 

BUTCH1

Lifer
Jul 15, 2000
20,433
1,765
126
I'm confused, how could you reset her email if you could not even make it past the main windows login screen?.
 

Sonikku

Lifer
Jun 23, 2005
15,739
4,512
136
I'm confused, how could you reset her email if you could not even make it past the main windows login screen?.
Had to bring over my laptop. Recovered the email account by dealing with Juno Tech support. Once the email was recovered, I could reset the password on Windows. The issue was that she didn't know her emails password and simply counted on Chrome remembering everything for her. But once she got locked out of her computer, she couldn't access Chrome and by extension couldn't log into her email on another computer as she didn't know the password. But as the only way to reset her Microsoft login's password was by sending a ten minute code to an email she could no longer access, it created a chicken and the egg kind of problem.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
23,032
5,094
136
The issue is solved, though I did try that. I called Microsoft and they said that all their support is now online only for my "convenience". I poured through all the help topics and finally found a way to talk to an agent through chat and the queue was at 179 people ahead of me. It went down by about a person a minute. No idea if they actually would have been able to help if I stuck it out, though I did also try to recover the Windows account by submitted a form with as much of her personal info as I could and was rejected everytime. When I finally got access back I updated everything and found she had hardly anything in her windows account other than her name and age and that wasn't enough for Microsoft. We really dodged a bullet.

Even worse bullet you/mom appear to have dodged is the potential for weak/poor email account security leading to her account being compromised and stolen which can then easily be the first step in a successful identity-theft. (MANY websites/financial companies use email to do stuff like reset passwords... a VERY bad idea!)


True enough. But you can use that secondary admin account to change the password on her account (hopefully to something more memorable).

I would go with the PIN code option since she's potentially having memory issues.

*(change this under settings/accounts/sign-in options in Win 10)
 
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PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,670
486
126
Will it retain the autosaved passwords from her browsers? It is absolutely essential to get back into her email as her email is an ancient Juno service and resetting or recovering it is impossible.
I recently copied an entire firefox profile folder to another machine, it started fine and all the passwords continued to work. No idea if it's that seamless with other browsers though.
 
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ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,425
126
Hiren's boot CD as mentioned should work.

I would also try to educate her on not relying on auto saved passwords, that is not suppose to be a password manager and there is no easy way to back that up. If trying to deal with a real password manager is too complicated for her I'd even just say to write them down in a small notepad and keep it somewhere safe. It's not ideal, but it beats getting locked out of a bunch of accounts because a browser update cleared the password cache or something.
I would never recommend using the autogenerated passwords created by a password manager, though. Eventually, you'll have to use that password on something that doesn't have the password manager installed on it, and then you're screwed. Come up with your own unique password system, like using the first few letters of the service you're using and integrate that into the password.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
62,648
9,773
126
twitter.com
I would never recommend using the autogenerated passwords created by a password manager, though. Eventually, you'll have to use that password on something that doesn't have the password manager installed on it, and then you're screwed. Come up with your own unique password system, like using the first few letters of the service you're using and integrate that into the password.
I ended up writing my own as I wanted something web based that is also local. That way it works on any PC as long as I have network access. In case of OP that's not exactly an option though. :p For passwords that may need to be manually entered on another PC or phone etc yeah probably want to do something easier to type. It's surprising the amount of sites that also don't like special characters in passwords. I've even seen some that just outright break if you even try. Pretty terrible coding.
 
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ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,425
126
I ended up writing my own as I wanted something web based that is also local. That way it works on any PC as long as I have network access. In case of OP that's not exactly an option though. :p For passwords that may need to be manually entered on another PC or phone etc yeah probably want to do something easier to type. It's surprising the amount of sites that also don't like special characters in passwords. I've even seen some that just outright break if you even try. Pretty terrible coding.
Yeah, it's things like Netflix that always get me. Say I forget my password, and my password manager wants to reset it to something like this:

y}$e{!T?.9"G&Y!px

Can you imagine what a pain in the ass that would be to enter on a Smart TV or Smartphone keyboard? Hell no.
 
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nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
53,765
6,262
126
What really irritates me are when places have a password length limit, and it's something puny like 12-15 characters :confused_old:
Also when they have seemingly arbitrary exclusions for special characters, like you can have a _ but not a ! kind of things.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
23,817
1,996
126
Yeah, it's things like Netflix that always get me. Say I forget my password, and my password manager wants to reset it to something like this:

y}$e{!T?.9"G&Y!px

Can you imagine what a pain in the ass that would be to enter on a Smart TV or Smartphone keyboard? Hell no.
The worst that I've ever had was when applying for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. You need to create an account and it automatically assigns you a computer generated password. My autogenerated password was quite long with mostly a random selection of 1, l, L, and |. That is number one, lowercase letter L, uppercase letter L, and the vertical bar. I had to try several fonts until I could even read it with my own eyes.

To pair my Polycom phone with my computer, I do have to type my work passwords in whenever they change. My work passwords are like the one you typed. But the Polycom phone is the old "press a button three times" method like the old flip-phones used to be. And you have to press another button to switch from letters to numbers to symbols to capital letters. Takes 5 minutes every month.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,670
486
126
What really irritates me are when places have a password length limit, and it's something puny like 12-15 characters :confused_old:
Also when they have seemingly arbitrary exclusions for special characters, like you can have a _ but not a ! kind of things.
The worst I ever had was paypal seemingly used to have a limit of 20 characters. But when I changed my password it either stopped accepting input once I reached 20 characters or just truncated the entry before sending it off and happily changing the password to something shorter than I'd actually typed. Of course password entry is masked so I never noticed. I can't even remember how I figured it out so that I knew to enter my cut down password to get in. I think I read one of their password policies docs and realized there was no way what I entered should have been accepted.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
53,765
6,262
126
The worst I ever had was paypal seemingly used to have a limit of 20 characters. But when I changed my password it either stopped accepting input once I reached 20 characters or just truncated the entry before sending it off and happily changing the password to something shorter than I'd actually typed. Of course password entry is masked so I never noticed. I can't even remember how I figured it out so that I knew to enter my cut down password to get in. I think I read one of their password policies docs and realized there was no way what I entered should have been accepted.
Same damn thing happened with one of my routers and the admin password, thought I was losing my mind for a while :confused_old:
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
23,032
5,094
136
Yeah, it's things like Netflix that always get me. Say I forget my password, and my password manager wants to reset it to something like this:

y}$e{!T?.9"G&Y!px

Can you imagine what a pain in the ass that would be to enter on a Smart TV or Smartphone keyboard? Hell no.

Depends on how well you can work your smartphone! ;)

Certainly more annoying then QWERTY or PASSWORD123 but only a little bit and a lot harder to guess .... on most smart TV's entering any password is a pain.

I do prefer to go with 30-40 character random nonsense phrases (for example) myself to mitigate having to login on a new/borrowed device and getting locked out.
 
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