Please read my brief Intro to Myself before reading this question, that is, if you're interested. Feel encouraged to ask questions.
I just bought a computer from a sale that I'm trying to get running. It came without a hard drive, so I purchased a used hard drive. The used hard drive has XP on it, but XP will not load past the logon screen because I do not know the password. The computer has an XP license number attached, so if I can get XP to run, then it will be legal. I do not have XP startup/installation disks, but I do have a working XP on another similar computer (in case that helps.) I've googled about how to crack an XP password; there were so many hits that it seems it must be possible. I tried about three different supposedly bootable applications (If it is important, then ask me which ones.). i get the error message "Missing operating system" when I try booting them from a USB having changed the boot order in BIOS. I guess what I need is to be pointed toward a cracking program that actually works, unless my problem is that I'm incorrectly preparing a bootable USB. Or, perhaps, you may suggest that I pose a different question, such as how to ghost a working image of XP over this nonworking one from the hard drive on the other computer, as I have also never done that before.
Note that I would almost prefer to crack the password with a program that will encrypt all the old user's files,since my aim does not include reading his stuff; rather, I just want the computer to work.
BTW, thanks for the sixty-some people who took a look at this, but I finally solved the problem with the help of Google and a friend's suggestion that I search YouTube a bit. I was not correctly creating a bootable USB. I was able to remove the password for the administrator account and log on to the hard drive/computer. It still had Internet Explorer 8.0 on it; YouTube wouldn't load. Downloaded Chrome and played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow!"
Edited by FolkVisitor, 22 January 2016 - 04:12 AM.