I am working on a Dell Inspiron 9100 Laptop, Win XP Pro. It was joined to a domain for a couple years. It has gone to a new home (same owner tho) and we wanted to disjoin the domain and join a workgroup. On the reboot, the machine won't accept any login or passwords that used to work ! =(
I tried to 'test' the local login before I originally dis-joined the domain but the domain admin had disabled local logins. I think that is where I went wrong and I know it's my fault and now I just want to get to the 'My Documents' folder so I moved the laptop drive over to a desktop (using an adapter) and I can 'see' the drive in BIOS and it is detected in Windows but the drive has no drive letter! When I right click on the drive I see all my options are 'greyed out' other then 'delete partition'.
I have run Spinrite -no errors found. I can't run CHKDSK since it has no drive letter. I am thinking this problem has something to do with the fact that this 'new' drive is a bootable drive too and Windows can not reassign a drive letter to a System Partition, or maybe it's because of the fact that it used to belong to a domain/active directory? I tired to do a re-install Win XP Pro into a 2nd folder http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316941 but it crapped out and told me that it can only do that if a delete the partition. I tried some Linux Distros for password recovery but they too can't 'see' the drive. I hear some Linux distros have trouble with NTFS?
The weird thing is I could put it back in the laptop and it will boot up and ask me to CTRL+ALT+DEL to login and it fills in the login name (which looks ok) but it rejetcts any previous password that worked. =(
I really want the stuff off My Documents then I can proceed with re-formatting.
Heaven help you if you run into this problem like I did. Not a single thing would touch that drive's data and yet all I had to do was tell Norton Go Back at boot up to disable itself, to get access to this drive. I almost gave up and it was the Wiki (see above) that finally led me into the cause.
While I was searching I came up with a great article on Hard Drive Locks--check it out: