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Old 07-25-2017, 06:15 PM   #1
happydog500
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Best Program to access the OS image and Restore on Windows Vista HD.


My friend and I where driving to my house, we saw a couch with a "Free" sign. They had a few other things that where left over from a yard sale.
Didn't get the couch, but saw in the garbage can, a printer. I pulled it out and below it was, a desktop computer, monitor, and keyboard.

I got them and brought them home. Here's the deal.

The computer has Windows Vista on it. I took it out and put it in my Linux computer to see if there was anything of value.

I'm going to put Linux on it, but want to make a restore disk so if I ever want to sell it, I can always put Windows back on it.

It has a restore image hidden, but I don't have the password when booting from windows.

I've tried several things from the Internet, all don't work.

One site suggested starting it up in safe mode, but when I do that and go to restore, it asks for the password.

I downloaded a Windows restore disc (not an OS), thats supposed to start up the process, but that didn't work.

Is there a Linux disc that I can put it and have it restore windows from the image? What about starting the restore from a Linux disc?

To make it clear, I want to get into the computer, restore it to factory new, make a restore disc, wipe the drive and install Linux. This way, I don't lose my copy of Windows, regardless of how crappy Vista is.

What is the best way to do this?

Thank you,
Chris.
 
Old 07-25-2017, 06:24 PM   #2
hydrurga
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I would image the partitions to an external hard drive if I were you with something like GParted Live or Macrium Reflect booted from a CD/DVD/USB.

As for the Windows password, Offline NT Password (http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/) should allow you to reset that.
 
Old 07-25-2017, 06:42 PM   #3
happydog500
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Thank you for the recommendation, but Offline NT Password didn't work.

Chris.
 
Old 07-25-2017, 06:48 PM   #4
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happydog500 View Post
Thank you for the recommendation, but Offline NT Password didn't work.

Chris.
Strange. It has worked for me in the past. You can also change the password by booting up from an install disk - have a look around on the web for tutorials. See here for example: https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-rese...ssword-2626339
 
Old 07-25-2017, 07:59 PM   #5
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Buy the recovery media from the OEM. Some are like $9.

Otherwise you can use almost any DVD of windows vista, 8 or 10 to get to recovery area and see if it will work.

Most of the recovery areas are viewable in linux or they are in some compressed image like Norton might have used. Once in a while they are in zip format.

I've had luck with Gentoo live dvd. It has a password remover.

It may be possible to change boot flag to boot to recovery or change boot loader to point to it.
 
Old 07-25-2017, 09:23 PM   #6
AwesomeMachine
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This might work:
Quote:
Here it is in a nutshell: Restart your PC and press F8 repeatedly before Windows loads to open Vista's Advanced Boot Options screen. Use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode and press Enter. On the low-res Windows Welcome screen, choose the Administrator account, which by default has no password.
Stolen from: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/restore-...ount-in-vista/

Then, change the users password to nothing, or blank. Shut the machine down. Boot with a live Linux DVD, and make your disk image.

Last edited by AwesomeMachine; 07-25-2017 at 09:25 PM.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 12:15 AM   #7
happydog500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeMachine View Post
This might work: Stolen from: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/restore-...ount-in-vista/

Then, change the users password to nothing, or blank. Shut the machine down. Boot with a live Linux DVD, and make your disk image.

Already tried this yesterday. Starting in safe mode doesn't allow you to bypass the password.

Can't get OEM Recovery disc.

Can't use my Windows 7 Disc, it's a system builder license. Other reasons also.

Linux doesn't show the recovery image, it just lists that it exists.

Thank you,
Chris.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 02:35 AM   #8
IsaacKuo
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Do you have a spare usb thumbdrive, or hard drive/cables that you can connect to this computer? If so, then I'd do a minimal linux install (I know specifically that Debian will work) onto this second drive, installing grub on the second drive. This leaves the first drive intact.

Then at that point, Debian should hopefully autodetect two bootable partitions on the first drive, giving you the boot option in Grub to boot either the main Vista OS (which is password protected) or the recovery partition. This recovery partition should not be password protected, and it will let you restore the system to original factory condition.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 07:59 PM   #9
happydog500
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I do have an extra HD. It has Ubuntu MATE on it. I could wipe it out and install Debian. I can see a possible situation. Doesn't seem like Windows is set up to boot off that hidden recovery drive (it's accessed through the original boot up Windows). If I bypass starting Windows, and go to the recovery image, how would I get windows to reinstall the other original Windows?

Thanks, I'll try to see if this works. Would be nice just to have a Windows recovery disc.

Thank you,
Chris.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 08:00 PM   #10
happydog500
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Just realized after I booted up the recovery partition, I could make a disc from that Windows.

I'll try it.

Chris.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 08:52 PM   #11
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If you haven't already done so, you could just install the Ubuntu MATE drive and do "update-grub" after booting into that drive. No need to install Debian; Ubuntu MATE will do just fine so long as it has Grub installed (if you don't know whether it uses Grub to boot, it does). This would autodetect both Windows partitions and create grub menu entries for them.

Sounds like you already figured out a solution, though...
 
Old 07-26-2017, 09:01 PM   #12
happydog500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
If you haven't already done so, you could just install the Ubuntu MATE drive and do "update-grub" after booting into that drive. No need to install Debian; Ubuntu MATE will do just fine so long as it has Grub installed (if you don't know whether it uses Grub to boot, it does). This would autodetect both Windows partitions and create grub menu entries for them.

Sounds like you already figured out a solution, though...
I did just what you said and came back to see your post. It didn't give me an option to any other thing except "Windows Vista." Boots into the log in screen with passwords I don't have.

Thank you,
Chris.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 11:02 PM   #13
happydog500
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I was going to put in the drive with Ubuntu on it and just use that one. Worry about Windows later.

Think I figured it out. Since I wanted to have a Linux install, installed on this computer (as opposed to installing it on one computer, then putting the HD in another), I put in a Linux disc. I got the message, "no boot device".

I was thinking maybe the DVD-RW Drive didn't work.

I checked in the BIOS and it recognizes its there, but when I'm in Linux, I put in a music disc, it doesn't pop up in "Devices" or start playing.

This would explain why none of the other fixes I tried worked. I used CD's.

This could also explain whey they threw the computer away. I saw things dated 2010, it's a core 2 duo, so they had it for at least 7 years.

I could see if, to them, "the computer" broke, they'd just throw it away.

I think it's cool that Linux works on other computes even if it was installed on another. Windows you have to have the MB drivers and Audio video.

I can't believe I just threw away so much computer stuff. I think I *had* two DVD Drives. Sat for years, never needed them.

I used a new, nice metal USB drive on other Linux installs, when I formated the drive to get it back, it wrecked it. I have one I just bought, but not really excited to use it, since it wrecked my other one.

Formated in FAT32, the metal one isn't recognized in Linux, or Windows, only Mac (posted about it but no fix).

Thank you,

Chris.
 
Old 07-27-2017, 01:00 AM   #14
AwesomeMachine
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OK, when you enter safe mode there should be an option to log in as administrator. You may be asked for a password, but it defaults to blank (no password). So, you just hit OK and log in.

But you don't need to log in to image the drive. It's just that the system is worthless if no one can log into it. In that case, why save the Windows image? It's useless. You can use "dd" to image the Windows drive and later to restore it if desired: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ommand-362506/

Also, if you look up the manual for the make and model of PC, there is sometimes a way to reset the system to factory defaults; a way that is not obvious, like holding down a certain key while you power on the unit.

Last edited by AwesomeMachine; 07-27-2017 at 01:07 AM.
 
Old 07-27-2017, 06:31 AM   #15
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sounds like a BIOS password may be setup.
Try pulling the battery on the MoBo and attempt power up w\out it.
then reseat it and power on. Go into BIOS w\out password.

First Rule of Security.
 
  


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