There are various methods you can try to access data on an old computer when you have forgotten the password. If the operating system is Windows 10, it may be possible to reset the password if you remembered to create a password recovery DVD or USB app when you set up the computer.
If you did not, another option is to remove the hard drive from the computer. If the hard drive is not password protected, you can connect a SATA-to-USB cable to it and plug the USB into a different computer.
Once you boot up the computer, it will recognize the hard drive as a removable storage device. You should be able to navigate the drive and browse to find the data you want to recover, like pictures, videos, etc. Then, you simply copy those files to the hard drive on the computer you are using.
If you are tech-savvy, another option is to log into the administrator’s account on the old computer. For home users, most never change the default administrator’s password, which was left blank. You may need to boot the computer into safe mode to switch user accounts depending on the Windows version on the old computer.
Once you are at the login screen, change the user account to admin and hit enter. If the admin password was not changed, you will log in. From there, you just browse to your user account to access your data so that you can back it up.
There are also various apps available to create a bootable USB or DVD that can be used to reset the login password. Using these does require some knowledge and skill. If you are not comfortable with this option, you will want to avoid attempting it as you could accidentally mess up the BIOS settings or, worse, reformat the hard drive and lose your data.
If you are not tech-savvy or are not sure how to remove the hard drive from the computer to try a data transfer to a different computer, your best option is to get assistance from a data recovery service.
A data recovery service has access to a wide range of tools and apps to help recover your data. They will use various methods and options to access the hard drive and backup the data you want to retain.
Once they are done, they can also reformat the hard drive to erase your data from it permanently. This way, you can safely recycle the old computer and not worry about someone getting access to your data.
For further assistance in recovering data from an old computer, as well as old phones, and other password-protected storage devices that you do not remember the password for, please feel free to contact Taking It Mobile at 888.877.5002 (1-888-Call-Tim) today!
We can also attempt to recover data from gaming systems, tablets, and other storage devices that no longer work.