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Wife forgot password, need help bypassing Dell BS

Last response: in Windows 7
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April 29, 2013 8:10:47 AM

THE POINT

I need to reinstall win7 home premium from scratch w/ the OEM install disk. I have the key. Despite the fact that I'm sure Dell has some simple, 5 minutes or less way to initiate this, they won't tell me without me buying a 2 year software warrantee. There is no obvious way for me to boot from disk without running into a window requiring my wife's admin password (F-12 isn't doing anything). Any advice getting past this without buying a new hard drive would be appreciated.
[Edited out anti-Dell rant, though I still doubt I'll buy another Dell laptop]

The Story

My wife forgot the password on a BRAND FRIGGIN NEW laptop I bought her for mother's day last year (2012). She didn't open it for like a week and a half (and refused to let me open it which is why I have no admin account). She then opened it at like 11pm when she couldn't sleep. She got to bed around 1am... and has no idea what she set the password to. I have the windows installation disk (win7 home premium), the completely legit cd key, etc., but unlike previous editions of windows I don't see an obvious way to reformat and reinstall it to the hard drive from scratch. It keeps asking for her admin password. The rest is covered above.

No, this is not an old post. When my wife first told me what happened, I went online, got the phone number to dell support, and gave it to her. She refused to call them for whatever her crazy reason, and I refused to waste my time on her computer when she couldn't be bothered. I am only doing so now as a condition from her for me to build my own gaming rig:p .
April 29, 2013 8:16:01 AM

Before someone quotes the TOS at me, I am not asking for help bypassing the password per se. As the computer was new, I do not need anything on it. I just need to reinstall windows w/ the OEM disk, and I have the cd key, OEM software, etc. If it's an issue and someone wanted me to prove the laptop was mine, just tell me how and I'll provide it.
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a b D Laptop
a c 209 $ Windows 7
April 29, 2013 8:16:36 AM

are you sure it is booting from the oem install disk?
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April 29, 2013 8:17:45 AM

rgd1101 said:
are you sure it is booting from the oem install disk?


I am sure that it is not, and I can't seem to make it.
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April 29, 2013 8:18:37 AM

why do wives act like that...
women can be nuts
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a b D Laptop
a c 209 $ Windows 7
April 29, 2013 8:19:54 AM

change the boot seq in bios.
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April 29, 2013 8:19:55 AM

First off, Dell doesn't lock down computers so you can't work on them. I have worked on thousands of Dells and never seen this. Maybe she accidently put a BIOS password on it, I've seen people do it. Anyway, when it comes on, hit F12 a few times, then when the boot menu pops up, put your OEM install disc in the drive, wait a few seconds and choose the DVD drive to boot off of. It should say "press an key to boot" or something like that. Choose windows setup and make sure you choose Install and not repair, because if there is a windows password you need to enter it to get into the repair option. Even with a windows password, you can wipe the drive from the disc.
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a c 200 D Laptop
a c 255 $ Windows 7
April 29, 2013 8:20:14 AM

Reinstalling the OS does not require the Windows admin password. You just boot from the Windows DVD (or USB drive) and install over the previous install. Everything will be wiped from the system in the process.
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April 29, 2013 8:20:44 AM

@mobrocket idfk. She insisted that it was magically my responsibility b/c it was electronic, and I bought it for her. For a point of reference, for father's day we went out to eat. It cost about $50 and she forgot her wallet so I paid. The laptop was $1300ish.
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April 29, 2013 8:22:58 AM

COLGeek said:
Reinstalling the OS does not require the Windows admin password. You just boot from the Windows DVD (or USB drive) and install over the previous install. Everything will be wiped from the system in the process.


I have tried. When I boot up it isn't going to the dvd drive and I have no idea why. My question can really be summed up as, "How do I make this stupid Dell boot from the DVD drive." It is going straight into windows 7 login screen.
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April 29, 2013 8:23:41 AM

Is there a quick message that flashes up when you switch on e,g, hit 'x' to enter setup or boot device. May be set to boot from hard drive first and may need to tell it to boot from CD either from the BIOS or a selection screen at boot.
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April 29, 2013 8:26:35 AM

There is one that says to hit f-12. It doesn't work.
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
April 29, 2013 8:27:06 AM

ok. really simple.

your dell is probably set up to fast boot through the POST, so you're not getting any bios messages.. at best you're probably getting some dell logo durring the post.

when you see the dell logo (or better yet from the moment you turn the laptop on) start hitting F2. F2 is and has been the default "Bios" access key during POST for dell pcs/laptops since forever. Since I don't know the modle of laptop i can't be 100% it is F2, but as long as i've worked with Dell, f2 has been the button so it probably is with your system.

Once you're into the bios you're gonna have to set it to boot from the CD/DVD ROM drive first... that's the only way you're gonna be able to skip past this password issue. Put the win7 dvd into the drive, save the settings, reset the computer... that should do it.

there is an outside chance F12 (the dell boot menu) is disabled on your system... which is why, unlike a previous poster i'm suggesting going through the bios. Dell has in the past, and can, lock the boot menu out, or not even include it in their bios post options.

I've never seen a dell you can't get into the bios for though... it's not like Compaq used to be.
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April 29, 2013 8:27:34 AM

Specifically it says F-12 for Boot Options, but no matter when or how many times I hit f-12, it boots into windows pw screen.
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
April 29, 2013 8:30:48 AM

vaerax said:
Specifically it says F-12 for Boot Options, but no matter when or how many times I hit f-12, it boots into windows pw screen.


that's because dell locked your boot menu. hit F2 durring startup. you'll be able to get into the bios, and change the boot settings that way.
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April 29, 2013 8:32:59 AM

Following F-2 down the rabbit hole worked pretty quickly. Thanks. I'll edit my anti-Dell rant to remove reference to them intentionally doing this, but the fact remains that the dude could've told me in 10 seconds how to do what ingtar33 said, and instead tried to make me buy a 2 year software warrantee. Thanks so much for your help! If anyone's interested, my next post will be regarding building the aforementioned gaming rig. My intent is to spend roughly $2500 or less. I will make a separate thread for this to keep the forum organized though. Thanks again.
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April 29, 2013 8:36:49 AM

rgd1101 said:
change the boot seq in bios.


In retrospect, your solution was essentially the exact same as the one I chose as best solution, and posted first. So kudos and thanks to you too:) 
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
April 29, 2013 8:38:47 AM

:D  no problem.

I'm my church's tech guy; and the church has a pile of old dell workstations that were donated years ago i work on all the time to keep the church offices in the computer age.

lots of folks around here i'm sure have similar areas of expertise... so if you need help with the new build be sure to swing by here before giving up.
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