Is admin password needed when replacing hardrive?

I am trying to repair a friends Dell XPS M1210.
It came new with XP Pro on it, then the owner put Vista upgrade on it. His son dropped the laptop and since it would not boot up. I was able to load XP Pro with the original disk, but while loading some drivers I got the mesaage that it;s missing the system32\Drivers\pci.sys. First I ran diagnostiic test and got error 2000-0146, which I guess confirms the hard drive is damaged. I was going to go ahead and run repair with the XP disk but it seems nobody remembers the admin password. So my question is, is there an easy way around the password, or will be asked for the password at any point if I replace the hard drive?
Thanks for any help.

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More about admin password needed replacing hardrive
  1. If you're talking about the admin password for Windows XP, then you don't need to worry about it if you're replacing the hard disk, as you'll have reinstall a fresh copy.
  2. You can use the Trinity Rescue Disk (TRK) to remove the admin password, basically setting it blank. If you're just going to use a new hard drive though, then you don't need it. Likewise you could also just format the hard drive, but of course that would erase all the data you had on it. You could us TRK to boot the laptop up as a file server and store the files on another computer on a network. You could also use a drive enclosure to turn the hard drive into an external hard drive and just drag and drop the files to a folder on another computer.
  3. Thanks for the help.
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