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HP Notebook PCs - A Password is Required Causing the Computer to not Startup or Boot in Windows
This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 7 and Vista.
Why should I use a password?
Using a password can protect your information from unauthorized users, but using the incorrect password, or forgetting your password, can prevent you from accessing your work.
Every user should use a password for the standard Windows login. Use a power-on password for additional protection if you use your notebook PC in public places in case it is lost or stolen. Power-on passwords make it impossible to turn on your computer without it. Therefore, if someone steals your computer, they will not be able to turn it on unless they know the password - which further protects your computer.
What if I forget my password?
If you forget your password, check to be sure that you are entering the password correctly. Please remember that passwords are case-sensitive, so, if the caps lock or num lk keys are turned on while you are typing your password, your password will not work - unless your password only contains capital letters and numbers. Turn off the caps lock and num lk keys, enter your password, and then turn the caps lock and/or num lk keys back on - if you want them on.
If turning the caps lock and num lk keys off to enter your password does not work, follow the steps below to view your password hint.
You should now be able to remember your password. If you still do not remember your password, insert your password reset disk, and then click Reset password . Follow the on-screen instructions in the Password Reset Wizard.
You can now either logon as the administrator (assuming that you have set up an administrator account and you use an individual user account), or you can reformat the hard drive and return the notebook to its original configuration.
NOTE: You should create a Password Reset disc if you tend to forget passwords; you should create a new Password Reset disc if you change your password.
If you forget the power-on password, you have a more difficult problem. Since the power-on password was designed to provide complete security, you will need to contact an HP-authorized service center for assistance. All data on the hard drive will be removed during the service.
WARNING: If you forget the power-on password, the computer must be reset at an HP-certified repair center. Please contact HP to schedule a repair. The Drive Lock password cannot be reset. If you lose or forget the Drive Lock password, the hard drive must be replaced. Please contact HP to order a new hard drive. These services are not covered by the warranty.
Why should I create a user account that is separate from the administrator account?
The administrator account controls many aspects of your computer, such as permitting access to the computer, setting permissions for other accounts on the computer, and resetting passwords for those other accounts. Using a secondary account with fewer permissions gives you a safety net. If you forget your user account password, you can always log onto the administrator account and reset the password and settings for your user account from there.
This document explains the levels of password security, how to set up user passwords and power-on passwords, how to use drive-lock passwords, how to change passwords from the administrator account, and how to create and use a password reset disc.
Understanding levels of password security
To promote security, you can set your computer to require users to enter a password before they can access files. There are multiple levels of password security built into your HP computer.
During logon, you must enter a password for each security level that you enabled on the computer. Passwords are great for preventing access to your computer, but they can be a major problem if you forget them. It is a good idea to write down all of your passwords and keep them in a secure place away from the computer. For proper security, it does no good to create a password and then write it on a piece of paper attached to the top of the computer.
Types of user accounts and security
There are three types of user accounts:
For security purposes, you should create and use two user accounts: a standard user account for normal, everyday use, and a different account with administrator privileges that is only used for installing and configuring applications. If a virus attacks the computer and tries to control the standard user account, it can do little damage because the standard user account cannot change any OS settings. However, if you use an administrator account all the time, the same virus could do more damage because the administrator account can make changes to the OS settings.
If you forget or lose one of these passwords, use one of the following methods to access the computer.
Use the power-on password
The power-on password prevents anyone from starting the computer until they enter the proper password. With the power-on password enabled, the screen remains black and you are prompted to enter a password as soon as you turn on the computer.
The power-on password is set (enabled or disabled) in the System BIOS option window. By default, the power-on password is turned off.
To set the power-on password, do the following steps:
You will be prompted immediately to enter the password.
WARNING: If you forget the power-on password, a repair at an HP-certified repair center is required to reset the computer. Please contact HP to schedule a repair. This service is not covered by the warranty.
Use the Drive Lock password
The Drive Lock password protects the data on your hard drive through encryption. The data on the hard drive is inaccessible if you do not enter the Drive Lock password.
To set the Drive Lock password, do the following steps:
WARNING: The Drive Lock password cannot be reset. If the password is lost or forgotten, the hard drive must be replaced. Please contact HP to order a new hard drive. This service is not covered by the warranty.
Use the Windows Logon
The Windows Logon password prevents unauthorized access to the operating system and programs. If you are the only person with physical access to the computer, you can leave the password blank. When you turn on the computer, it starts up in Windows and then prompts you to enter a password before you can access any files or applications in a user account.
If more than one person uses the computer, you may want to set up an individual user account for each person. Users are encouraged, but not required, to set up a password for each account. Individual accounts allow the users to organize their desktops and install programs that cannot be used by other people.
If you forget a password and find yourself locked out of one account, you can login as another user with administrator privileges and reset the password.
Change your user password
As a user, you can set or change a password on your account by following the steps below. If you are already logged on as a user, you will be prompted for your password during this task.
Your new password is valid the next time you logon to the computer.
Change a user password from the administrator's account
The administrator's account, or a user's account with administrator privileges, can reset a forgotten password, or delete an unwanted user's account, by following the steps below.
NOTE: When the administrator changes a user's passwords, the user must logon using the new password to access the emails that were received under the old password.
The password on the user account has now been changed. Log out of the administrator's account, and the user can now logon using the new password.
Using a password reset disk
If you tend to forget information, like passwords, you can create and use a password reset disk to logon to Windows. This disk can be either a CD disc or a USB storage device. Devices called flash drives, memory sticks, or thumb drives are examples of valid USB external storage devices.
Create a password reset disk
To create a password reset disk to protect your user account, follow the steps below. The password must be stored on a USB flash drive, or other removable media.
Label and store the flash drive or removable media in a convenient, but secure, location.
Logon using a password reset disk
If you forget the password for the user account, use the Password Reset Disk to reset the password by following the steps below.
When the Wizard closes, enter the user's new password to logon to Vista.
Restore your PC to original condition
In the event that you have lost all of your administrator account passwords, and you do not have a password reset disk available to change or restore the password, you will have to re-image your computer.
If you have a factory-installed image on your computer, you may do so by turning the computer off, turning it back on, and pressing the f11 key before the Windows Vista logo screen appears. Then follow the directions on screen.
If you have installed Windows Vista yourself, you may have to reinstall the operating system manually.