My sister (a notorious breaker-of-computers) came downstairs this morning and said her computer wouldn't log in. Knowing her to forget things all the time, I asked her if she knew the password, and she says yes. She pointed to her password hint under the prompt, and it is abundantly clear what her password is. I tried out all the variations it could possibly be, caps, not caps, full year, last 2 digits... EVERYTHING. She didn't forget her password, it just didn't work.
I've tried resetting the password with trinity rescue kit, and it said it was successful- 3 times- and each time I tried to log in it wouldn't let me in. I can't get to a command line, it just has me stuck at the login screen not able to do anything. I booted in safe mode with command prompt, and it brought up the login screen like I didn't click anything at all. I'm getting super frustrated. She expects me to fix this. I don't want to have to reinstall windows, I really really don't. At this point I've tried almost everything I can think of, and I haven't gotten anywhere. I'm worried that if I keep messing around with it, it just won't boot at all and she'll lose her pictures and files... and it will of course be my fault.
My question is: Could this be a virus? Is there one out there now that has been known for this behavior? I know she knows her password, since I've even logged in as her on a couple of occasions to help her fix things, and I used that password to log in successfully. Is there anything I can do short of reinstalling her operating system? Am I in over my head? Should I pay a professional to get it working? (preferably not, since that's expensive, but I'll do what I have to to make it work)
What do I do? Is there any way to pull her files off without logging in? I tried using an ubuntu live cd, but it wouldn't let me mount any of the internal drives, let alone an external one to move it to. If you think it's a good idea, I'll try downloading another live cd to see if that one works...
I hate being known as the techie. People automatically think I can fix things even though I'm no better at it than they are. Then they get mad if you can't fix it because they think you didn't try hard enough or something. Gah.
Thank you all for at least reading this far.