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Can I Install Win7 on a locked computer?


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#1 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:00 AM

Last night I went to boot up my laptop and my password failed.  I did not have a password reset disk.  WIndows 7 is in a hard drive partition.  If I buy a fresh copy of Windows 7, can I reformat and install it on this locked computer?  I am really not fond of having the installation on a partition and would much prefer to have my own disk.  There is nothing on this computer that I need to save.

 

Can I get into setup and set the computer to boot from disk?  I have no idea of the changes the hijacker made on my computer.

 

What else would I need to get the OS working properly on my laptop?  Drivers for the laptop screen?  Anything else?

 

Thanks



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#2 NickAu

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:10 AM

 

  If I buy a fresh copy of Windows 7, can I reformat and install it on this locked computer?

You may not need to buy again IF you have a genuine copy of window's you can get the key from the sticker on the bottom of the laptop or the box that the genuine Windows7 came in. Then you can Download a legit Free Trial of Windows 7 from Digital River And install it using your genuine key any way you like.

 

Ps.

 

I think having Windows on the C Drive and Documents and stuff on D Drive is a better idea and makes it easier to recover data from.


Edited by NickAu1, 11 March 2014 - 07:16 AM.

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#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:42 AM

 

 

  If I buy a fresh copy of Windows 7, can I reformat and install it on this locked computer?

You may not need to buy again IF you have a genuine copy of window's you can get the key from the sticker on the bottom of the laptop or the box that the genuine Windows7 came in. Then you can Download a legit Free Trial of Windows 7 from Digital River And install it using your genuine key any way you like.

 

Ps.

 

I think having Windows on the C Drive and Documents and stuff on D Drive is a better idea and makes it easier to recover data from.

 

 

Downloading from Digital River and using  your OEM key is a good idea. The only thing to note is you will have to activate the computer over the phone because the iso's from Digital River do not have the SLP certificate.

 

Is this password a BIOS/hard disk password just after post or is it a Windows user password. If the hard disk is locked with a password, you will not be able to install anything on it.

 

Edit: there are companies that claim to be able to remove the hard disk password but I have no experience with them.

 

http://www.top-password.com/blog/never-forgot-the-hard-drive-password-you-set/

 

What is the make and model of the laptop.


Edited by JohnC_21, 11 March 2014 - 07:46 AM.


#4 NickAu

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:44 AM

 It would take about 2 seconds to Delete the partition in Gparted. And depending on size about 5 minutes to Format the Un allocated space as NTFS

 

 

There is nothing on this computer that I need to save.


Edited by NickAu1, 11 March 2014 - 07:52 AM.

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#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:50 AM

I just went through a thread with someome who tried to install WIndows on a password locked hard drive and it would always fail. He had to take it back to the original computer, unlock it, and then install Windows. But, maybe I am wrong.

 

http://blogs.computerworld.com/the_down_side_of_hard_drive_passwords

 

It's also consistent with what Steve Gibson said in the December 4, 2008 episode of his Security Now podcast. A locked hard disk will self-identify itself, but not do anything else without the password.

 


Edited by JohnC_21, 11 March 2014 - 07:54 AM.


#6 NickAu

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:53 AM

Mount the drive in a live linux Distro run gparted delete the partition/s This process should clear the password from the HDD firmware Reset to default No Password Got to love Linux, reformat it as NTFS Should work.Lets see it ask for password when GParted DELETES it. Unless its a bios lock then No promises.

http://youtu.be/UuL1NkXI7FQ

 

 

 Try Installing Linux directly to it and let Linux handle it During install.

 

 

There is nothing on this computer that I need to save.


Edited by NickAu1, 11 March 2014 - 08:48 AM.

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#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:06 AM

http://www.pwcrack.com/harddisk.shtml

 

Some laptops provide a utility to lock a hard disk with a password. These passwords are not the same as BIOS passwords. Moving a locked hard disk to another machine will not unlock it, since the hard disk password is stored in the hard disk firmware and moves with the hard disk. Also, adding a new (unlocked) hard disk to a locked machine may cause the new hard disk to become locked. Also, note that hard disk lock passwords cannot be removed by reformatting the disk, fdisk or any other software procedure (since the disk will not allow and reads or writes to the disk, it cannot be reformatted.) Usually, the BIOS password and hard disk lock passwords are set the same by a user and we can recover the BIOS password directly from the laptop security chip (after it is removed from the system board.) However, it is possible that the BIOS password and hard disk lock passwords may be set different. In this case the BIOS password will not unlock the hard disk. You can test to determine if your hard disk is locked by attempting to access it in another laptop.

 



#8 NickAu

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:10 AM

If not new Hard Drives are Cheap you are saving all that money not buying Windows7 under 100 bucks for a new hdd on ebay.

 

 But first try my method what have you got to lose

 

Try this.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Brand-New-Seagate-2-5-SSHD-ST1000LM014-Gen3-SSD-Hybrid-1TB-Hard-Drive-/200917920336?pt=AU_HardDrives&hash=item2ec7a42a50


Edited by NickAu1, 11 March 2014 - 08:15 AM.

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#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:13 AM

If not new Hard Drives are Cheap you are saving all that money not buying Windows7 under 100 bucks for a new hdd on ebay.

 

 But first try my method what have you got to lose

I totally agree with you. :thumbup2:



#10 OldPhil

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:34 AM

Does this computer have have the factory restore partition?  Just a few months back I inherted my grand sons mini Acer laptop along with a forgotten password.  I tried as many tricks as I could find to unlock it, I decided to try F10 the factory restore.  I am typing this post on it now from Costa Rica.  If you have the factory restore us it it may also work for you.  I have a friend that said he cauht a virus and did the restore it cleaned it up back to normal.

 

Phil


Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#11 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 03:00 AM

I have the Windows disks I made after buying this computer (new) and the sticker on the bottom of the laptop with the registered Windows number on it.  Other than that, I don't know squat, i.e. if it is a BIOS password or not.  A few months ago I added a start up password on the system even though nobody else really has access to this computer.  It stays in my home.  But I thought it might somehow make my computer safer from anybody trying to access it from the internet.  I suppose if someone used some sort of keylogger on me, they could easily detect my password and change it.  I did not know to make a password recovery disk. 

 

I had this computer in the shop last summer due to a faulty HD.  Even though the HD was covered by warranty, I had a hefty repair bill from the computer shop where I originally took it.  I suppose I could take the computer back in but I really don't have that cash to spare.   My reasoning about installing my own copy of Windows is that I'd like to be able to reinstall Windows if need be from a disk rather than the partition on the HD.  That just doesn't seem like a good thing to me.  Can't those files on the partition be hacked as well?  Is anything safe on a computer from someone who really knows what they are doing (or has access to programs that will do the work for them)?  I really like the idea of having a copy of the OS in a source that can't be tampered with. 

 

If I take the computer into the shop, it will cost me about the same as buying a fresh copy of Windows.

 

I will try to access the computer at startup with F8 and F10 and see if it gets me anywhere and will report the results here, but I can't get to it today.

 

Thanks for the feedback.



#12 technonymous

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 04:39 AM

Be it a laptop or desktop the best way to secure a system is to buy a system that it's motherboard and bios is capable of using a trusted platform module and along side enabling full disk encryption. Also, enable GPS tracker incase it's stolen, Disable cdrom, usb's from being bootable to only the encrypted hd, Lock the bios down with the normal bios password and the master bios password as well as the boot password. You can also go a step further to make the system not boot unless a specified usb stick is plugged in that has a unique Unicode ID, a retinal/thumbprint scanner. This sort of security is like DOD quality and the OS would also be buttoned up with security policies and VPN communication software.


Edited by technonymous, 12 March 2014 - 04:40 AM.


#13 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:36 PM

Someone suggested a new HD as they are relatively cheap.  I do have a genuine copy of Win7 installed on my computer but the computer did not come with a disk.  It is installed on a partition on the locked computer.  If I were to do that, I would have to buy not only the HD but a copy of Windows.  I don't want to invest that much in the computer.

 

Another possibility that I only recently considered is that the possibly the computer malfunctioned.  This computer (ASUS) had a defective HD and I had to send it in for replacement.  Could some HD or other hardware issues cause this problem?  I've been very careful about the sites I visit and I don't click on links from people I don't know and am careful with the few that I do know.

 

Thanks.



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:14 PM

You would not have to buy a new Windows disk. You could download the same retail disk of Windows 7 as the one on the laptop, probably Home Premium and use the key on the bottom of the laptop to install. You would have to activate it by phone and not online. The retail DVD does not have the certificate like an OEM disk.

 

http://www.w7forums.com/threads/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads.12325/

 

Can I use Windows OEM key with non-OEM disk



#15 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:02 AM

A friend tried running a program to reset the password.  I used a mini-XP program to go in and try to retrieve a file I need and my computer started acting very strange.  I had minimal control of the mouse pointer.  As I moved it, it locked onto objects, opened folders, moved items, and was difficult to control as it was not moving entirely in the direction I was moving.  I had this very same problem with this computer last year.  I sent it back to ASUS (warranty) and when I got it back it seemed okay.  But now I'm having the same problem.  I am thinking of replacing the HD myself but since the exact same problems occurred I am wondering if the processor or some other component could be the cause?  Last time this happened I did manage to get into Device Manager and it did not indicate any problems with any of the systems' hardware.

 

I'm not sure what to do at this point.  It has a decent processor (Intel i7) and I bought it mostly to edit photos.

 

Could my processor be bad?






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