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unknown password/no cd drive/no floppy - need to get into windows


FPCH New Member
Sep 17, 2006

I just bought a laptop from a boot sale, Dell Latitude C400 runnin WinXP Pro, it has no CD drive, no floppy drive, it asks me for a username & password which I dont know & I can't get in touch with the guy I bought it from.

Now I either need to, somehow, get past the password request, or, re-install windows...

And without a CD / Floppy drive I don't know how to do the latter, nor do I know if it's possible to get past the password request.

ANY help would be very much apreciated.

I have a USB floppy drive handy, another laptop (working fully with CD drive), a desktop PC and Win XP on CD..

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease I'm desperate!

Thanks in advance



FPCH Member
Jan 21, 2006
Telford, UK
If it comes to the Welcome Screen, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete twice in succession to bring up the "classic" logon dialog. Then type Administrator for the username and leave the password blank. On some machines, this works.

Otherwise, check if the laptop features a restore key (actually on the keyboard). You can usually press it during startup to bring up Dell's own restore software. Look in the BIOS to see if it is available there. To get into the BIOS, you usually need to tap either F1, F2 or Del (it should say on-screen very briefly).

While you're in the BIOS, see if there's an option to boot from USB. In that case, you could boot from the USB floppy disk you have. Also, does the laptop have an Ethernet (networking) port? Post back here.