One of my friends forgot her password to her windows 8 laptop and I've been unable to crack it using software. Is it possible to get at the data on the HDD so its not lost when I do a full reset?
just reset it using linux
Have you tried booting from USB and getting around password entry with Konboot thats my favorite method.
How hard is it to reset using linux? I'm not really software savvy and don't want to lose any of her stuff, some of it is photos that mean a lot to her.
net user username newpassword
But I wont go into detail on that here. Just learn how to use google please. Resetting windows passwords is SCARY easy
Any Live USB Linux should do. It will see the Windows partitions and be able to read the contents. Well except you had hybrid shut down enabled then you have to get rid of the hiberfile.sys which is a bit more complicated but can be done.
I just went through this last week, if it's a local account then any of the methods listed above will work to gain access, but if it is a MS account tied to a Hotmail/Outlook mail account then bypassing the password will not be possible without access to that email account, if all your looking for is to retrieve data like .doc and pictures then the Linux live CD/USB is probably the easiest method to use to get at any saved files.
Here a link to the replies I got...
I'm trying the Linux method and messing around with Kon Boot for fun but, I'm running into two issues.
When I get into linux and try accessing the drive that windows is on, it says I am unable to access location.
When I try Kon boot, It says unauthorized changes detected and goes back to my normal boot drive
pull the drive out and put it in your desktop and then try. make sure you dont have net connection just in case it is a live account so you can force a change of password. if that fails try booting into windows on a desktop with the drive connected and getting at the data that way. do all of this with out net connection.
btw windows secure boot is a bitch
extremelly simple I just googled it and got it first link
I figured out how to get in using Kon boot, just have to disable the secure boot in the bios. I still can't get the linux method to work.