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locked out of computer - windows 8.1 update


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#1 suzzetheq

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:50 AM

Dear all,

 

I recently installed the windows 8.1 update to windows 8 on my ASUS laptop (UX32-A). On installation it asked for lots of personal details (not usual with a windows update), which I saw no reason to give and of course really stupidly entered a lot of rubbish. Only to find of course that my usual login name had disappeared on restart to be replaced with the rubbish I had entered for a microsoft account that I did not want (why should I need a MS account to log into my laptop??). Anyway, suffice to say, due to my stupidity I cant log into my laptop (cant get passed the login screen) as I know not the password or any of the other details I entered. I really hope there is a solution without having to reset and lose my files....

 

Any help would be much appreciated!

 

Suzze



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#2 HairCut

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:21 AM

Discussion here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/494548/remove-login-password-forgot-password/page-2

 

I get the impression that by setting up Windows 8.1 with a Microsoft account your user files become encrypted.

 

If they are, that's an insurmountable problem and without the password they are lost.

*It's possible to recover your Microsoft account if you set up a valid email for password recovery (when you set up your Microsoft account)

Nevertheless, I'd be inclined to boot to a Linux live CD such as Ubuntu to check if the files are readable.


Edited by HairCut, 23 June 2014 - 08:25 AM.


#3 HairCut

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:29 AM

Note: I don't need to log in to Windows 8.1 as I chose local account without a password. Maybe they have changed the procedure since, I don't know.



#4 HairCut

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 04:15 AM

Since I had a computer to update to WIndows 8.1 today I needed to remind myself how to avoid signing up to a Microsoft account in the process

 

Here's how:

 

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/882eaf9f-2456-4c7a-9a2e-e11de70d9123/skip-sign-in-to-your-microsoft-account-windows-81-setup?forum=w8itprogeneral

 

"

You should be able to click "Create an account", then at the bottom of the following screen there is a link that says "use existing account", which uses the local account yous set up when you installed Windows 8.

I went through the same thing and was frustrated.  I was about to give in and create an account when I discovered this.  Why can't this be on the previous screen. 

Why you no use common sense Microsoft?

"


Edited by HairCut, 27 June 2014 - 04:16 AM.


#5 suzzetheq

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 07:22 AM

Thanks for your fast response!

 

I didnt get that option - to pick "use an existing account". Do you think this will work?

 

http://reboot.pro/topic/17872-reset-a-windows-8-password-without-using-any-third-party-software/


Edited by suzzetheq, 27 June 2014 - 07:52 AM.


#6 suzzetheq

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 10:55 AM

didnt work. Only for windows and not microsoft account



#7 HairCut

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 05:14 AM

Sorry to hear that. What are your options now? Did you try to access you files via a live disk? ( they might be encrypted though as mentioned above).

 

I didn't get the chance to read and respond to your above link but it occurs to me that if the files are encrypted with the unknown password then they will not be accessible with a changed password by the method described, even if you gained access to your account.



#8 suzzetheq

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 06:56 AM

Hi there, sorry you are talking to the computer illiterate here. Why would the files be encrypted? Does having a Microsoft account automatically mean your files get encrypted? Is it possible to get the computer to boot up using my normal windows user account (which is still there as I could see it when trying out the option for recovery above) rather than the Microsoft account?

 

Thanks again for all you assistance!



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 08:07 AM

Windows 8.1 encrypts files by default.

 

 

However, there’s a problem — if you forget your password and are unable to log in, you’d also be unable to recover your files. This is likely why encryption is only enabled when a user logs in with a Microsoft account (or connects to a domain). Microsoft holds a recovery key, so you can gain access to your files by going through a recovery process. As long as you’re able to authenticate using your Microsoft account credentials — for example, by receiving an SMS message on the cell phone number connected to your Microsoft account — you’ll be able to recover your encrypted data.

 

With Windows 8.1, it’s more important than ever to configure your Microsoft account’s security settings and recovery methods so you’ll be able to recover your files if you ever get locked out of your Microsoft account.

 

By putting all that garbage info into the Windows Live Account then forgetting it now makes it impossible to retrieve your encryption key. What may save you is if the normal account which is still on the computer was not encrypted. You said you chose local account with no password. Did you setup a password during the 8.1 update on the Live Account? If you did the files are encrypted. Was there more than one account on the computer when you updated or only the single account?

 

Here are the options.

 

It may be safer to use your link and instead of giving your account a new password, you could activate the hidden Administrator Account using this command.

net user administrator /active:yes

Reboot and you should be able to access this account to change any local account password

 

You could download a small linux distro like Puppy linux. Burn the iso file and then recover your files. You would need to disable SecureBoot and FastBoot in BIOS. You should also make sure your CD/DVD is the first boot device in the Boot section of the BIOS.

 

You can burn the iso file by double clicking it in Windows 7 or by using Imgburn if using an XP computer. Boot the Puppy Disk and copy your files over to an external drive. Here is a guide on transferring files using Puppy. Do not do a disk check as outlined on page 2. You should see your hard drive in the lower left desktop of Puppy. Click once on it and a green dot will be placed on the icon. A File Manager Window will open. Attach a USB flash or external drive. A USB icon will appear on the desktop. Click once and another File Manager Window will open. Then you can drag and drop between windows. You can select multiple files and folders by holding the Ctrl key and left clicking the mouse. Use the copy option and not the Move option.

 

Another option would be to remove the hard drive and attach it to another computer. If you have never done this before, I would try the Puppy option. After using Puppy, then you can try the method in your link.

 

Edit: If you give Microsoft the garbage name of the Live Account, and the date it was set up that may also help.


Edited by JohnC_21, 28 June 2014 - 08:15 AM.


#10 HairCut

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 11:28 AM

From the article by JohnC_21:

 

"If you upgrade your Windows 8 device to Windows 8.1, you’ll need to enable device encryption, as it’s off by default when upgrading"

 

I've never seen that option on the two Windows 8 computers I've upgraded to 8.1

 

I'm inclined to believe that the OP's files are not encrypted at the moment.



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 07:31 AM

HairCut made a good point on that article. See this thread. Haircut could not enable the Hidden Administrator Account using the net user command. If the net user command does not work for you, try the utility I linked to in the thread which HairCut tested. It worked for him and it may work for you. It would let you access your computer and change passwords on the local accounts. Do not Reset any passwords as that could render the files unreadable if the account or drive was indeed encrypted. Better to play it safe and only enable the Hidden Administrator Account. Good Luck



#12 HairCut

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:08 PM

Sorry JohnC_21 but I was unclear in my comment. net user administrator /active:yes was enough to enable the Administrator account but the login icon to the Administrator account only became visible when I clicked on the back icon that appeared next to my regular account name. It is possible I was looking straight at this back icon but missing it while I wondered where the Administrator account was. :blush:



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:44 PM

Okay, I understand now. Thanks for the clarification. I am still trying to get my head wrapped around Windows 8.


Edited by JohnC_21, 29 June 2014 - 01:45 PM.


#14 suzzetheq

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:32 AM

Hi Haircut, john C,

 

thanks for all your assistance. I managed to activate the hidden admin account but still get the Microsoft login (maybe I missed something). I have downloaded Puppy from here http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm#lucidpuppy. Can you give me an idea of what happens when I boot from the disk before I go ahead with this? Thanks again!



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:44 AM

The link I provided in post #9 for the Puppy guide was wrong. Here it is. Do not do the disk check as shown in page 2. You will need to disable Secure Boot in the BIOS in order for Puppy to boot.  Hopefully the files are not encrypted.






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