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Windows 7: Restore/recover data from hidden, locked account

10 Jan 2013   #1
Melancholy data

windows 7 professional 64 bit
Restore/recover data from hidden, locked account

I'm new, so take it easy on me if I have posted in the wrong area.

I built my pc and installed Windows 7 Professional 64 bit.
The CD says "Intended for distribution with a new PC". I don't know if it is the same as the retail version. It cost $99.00 with the purchase of the desktop pc components and comes in clear plastic DVD case with no documentation.

I transferred my data home movies, family pictures.... to the pc. But I outsmarted myself. I password protected my windows login. The next day, I couldn't remember the password. Eventually, I was locked out of the account.

I used a windows password reset software to gain access to the computer, but still did not have access to the original account.

I re-installed windows. Or maybe the software allowed me to create a new admin account. I don't remember. I have drives C (windows), E (external backup harddrive), F (ssd), G (cd/dvd drive).
I don't know where drive D: is mapped to and it is not visible. I tried using the forum information to "unhide" that drive - to no avail.

I know that my original account is still on the harddrive. On occasion, when my computer boots, it boots to the locked out account login screen. Also, occasionally, I will have access to programs installed on my original account but they are not visible on my harddrive.

I bet the data/programs are on a separate partition on the harddrive, but I have not been able to find the partitions.

How do I get access to the data on the locked out account?

I really need your help. Both of my parents died of cancer and all of my home movies & pictures of them are located in the locked out account.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2013   #2

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Hello Melancholy and welcome. mate one way to access all your data on the drive/s is to make a bootable Ubuntu DVD then set the BIOS to boot from the optical put the disk in the optical and go to Save Settings and Exit (in the BIOS)> hit Enter .

It will boot the Ubuntu OS - don't click install just the try Ubuntu. when it is fully loaded you will see this screen in my pic and the screen when you open up the drive/s.

You can then copy whatever you want - docs , pics programs to a stick or disk - stick is better. I have in the past run a apps off of sticks but finding the password is nigh impossible. Once you have all the data you want then you could reinstall the OS if you intend doing that post back .

You will need to get someone to make you a Ubuntu disk but any problems post back again.

the site is Desktop contribute page | Ubuntu > save it to Downloads and then open it from there it should give you a set up guide GUI.


Attached Thumbnails
Restore/recover data from hidden, locked account-u1.png   Restore/recover data from hidden, locked account-u2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2013   #3
Melancholy data

windows 7 professional 64 bit

Thanks so much. After over 150 views and no responses, I was beginning to wonder if it was possible.
I'll give it a shot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jan 2013   #4

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Ok sorry late reply you must be i a different time zone. That D: drive you mentioned I think you will find it is the optical drive as it is more often than not given that letter.

Now id we go to another install there are things you need to do with the drive you are installing on as there are probably left over stuff that needs to be cleared.

The version of Windows you have is what is known as an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and it cannot be used on any other motherboard than the one you originally installed it on. In certain circumstances Microsoft will allow you to install it on another board if say the original goes bad or is severely damaged.:)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2013   #5
Melancholy data

windows 7 professional 64 bit


Thank you for your reply.

Wow, I did not know that. I was going to upgrade my motherboard and use the same disk. Thanks for letting me know.

My drives are mapped as:
C: Main HDD
E: External Backup HDD
F: Optical
Not sure why my computer mapped those drives as they are.

In preparation of reformatting my C: drive, I moved everything onto my external HDD (formerly E: drive). It started to malfunction. I plugged in the external HDD into the computer and it recognized the external HDD as D: drive....and gave me this message "you must format this drive to use it". It already had 1TB of data on it so I did not reformat.

Now, to add to my frustrations, my External HDD died. No mechanical noises, no spinning, just a soft steady beep. So I have lost ALL of my personal files now. EVERYTHING.

I think I will just sell off everything and go back to pen and paper. Buying a HDD, a backup HDD and a backup of the backup HDD just isn't in the budget anymore. Nor is the $600 minimum to retrieve the data off the dead harddrive.

*ultimate in frustration*
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2013   #6

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Hiyya Melancholy those letters are just random really (C: is by default the main OS drive) and they can be changed with Partition Wizard (PW) but it seems an awful lot of trouble to go to as long as you record which is which.

Now I know you have a SSD it is the only drive to install the OS (7) to on your machine for speed alone. There is one important tutorial you should follow to make that drive ready for an install. I use this for all drives but you will get the optimum out of the SSD if you follow it. (The Partition Wizard is a very handy tool to keep for use later on).
The tutorial you need is SSD Alignment
But you need some way of running that tutorial as it needs an OS to align the SSD. That can be done on another machine if you have access to one or if the OS is already on the large drive then you are ok to go with the tutorial on the SSD from it.

You would then need to disconnect the large original C: drive and install the OS to the SSD and afterwards reconnect and wipe the first install from the large drive using PW
PW is here (free)

Once you are up and running and all the updates and stuff are fixed another must do tutorial (in my mind) is

Optimize Windows 7[2]=Performance Maintenance it will speed up the machine if you don't mind losing some of the "bling" - transparency etc

Sounds very complicated but isn't really:)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Restore/recover data from hidden, locked account

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