How can I access a used computer I bought if I don’t know the passwords for the users?

by on June 2, 2011

Q: can someone please help me before i tear all my hair out ! I bought a used computer & i cant get access to it because it has an admin & 3 other users on it. The logon is blocked & no matter what i try it keeps telling me ” access denied “. I tried to contact the person i bought it from but i havent heard anything, i have tried the control panel too but it wont let me do anything. Its windows xp. Hope you can help.

2 Responses to “How can I access a used computer I bought if I don’t know the passwords for the users?”

    The easiest way would be to download a copy of the password reset disc and follow the steps and then you will have reset the password and can log in.

    The link to the download is here:

    If you do not have access to another computer to burn this disc I might suggest trying to log into your computer in safe mode and see if the administrator password was set on the device.

    Picked as best answer

    Your first step when buying a used computer should always be to wipe the harddrive and reinstall Windows or do a factory restore if the computer is from a major manufacturer (Dell, HP, Gateway, etc).

    This takes care of any password issues as well as gets rid of any viruses/spyware/junk software on the computer from the prior owner.

    If the computer didn’t come with any disks and is from a major manufacturer, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the manual for the computer. Many PCs from major manufacturers are able to do a factory restore without separate install disks. The manual for the PC will tell you if this is possible and how to do it.

    If it is a computer that requires install disks, contact the manufacturer and you should be able to purchase some for a small fee.