Possible to recover Windows account?

fatryan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,275
It pains me to have to write this, but I'm pseudo-locked out of my Windows account on my laptop. As everyone knows, MS crams their obnoxious MS account login down your throat every chance they get in Windows 10. When I upgraded my laptop to Windows 10 a couple months back, I presumably signed up for an account to shut Windows up. I also signed up on my desktop using a different account, but that doesn't have any bearing on my laptop's MS account. On both devices, I configured a PIN because Windows kept forcing me to login after reboot even with it set to "never". I can login to my laptop just fine using the PIN, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what the password is set to. I typically use 1 of about 8-10 different passwords, and it is none of them. I also checked my 1Password account, and I only have the credentials for my desktop MS account and my MS account for my computer at work, neither of which work on the laptop of course. I'm at a loss for what the password could be, and when I go into my profile in Windows, it doesn't even show any MS accounts...so I'm pretty confused by that.

Naturally I tried the password recovery, but I had the genius idea of telling MS that my phone number is 555-555-5555. The fact that MS accepted that number without question is unbelievable. Little did I know, MS uses this phone number and ONLY this phone number for account recovery. There is no other option besides getting a text or call to your account number for verification. If you work your way through the BS prompts, you eventually can find your way to a secondary recovery method in which you provide a second email address, and MS will manually review your account and decide whether or not to grant access to the recovery process. They state you will hear back from MS within 24 hours, however other screen say it can take 30 days. I submitted my initial request on this at least a week ago, and I never heard back. I just submitted another this morning, but I'm not holding out hope for a response. This process for account recovery has to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Who can be without their computer for 30 days!? I get it that it's [probably] my fault, assuming I did in fact set and forget a password. But to accept the fakest of fake phone numbers as the sole recovery method for an account is beyond irresponsible on MS's part.

So my question now is what are my options? Obviously a fresh rebuild is always an option (I think?), but I'd very much like to avoid that. Is there even a way to contact MS? I feel like everywhere I look they try to force you into their useless help tutorials instead of providing actual real assistance.
 

Col_Temp

n00b
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
31
One of the dangers of using fake phone numbers. Surprised they won't authenticate you via email as a n alternative. You had to give them an email when you set that account up right.
Can you work within Windows since you can get in and set up a new Mircosoft account and a new user? Then migrate the settings and detqails from that profile to the new one? Probably will lose much of the cloud based info but that might be able to be worked around.

Just a thought. Maybe someone else has a further idea. Could be with the Coronavirus stuff MS is running further behind as they are likely short stafffed.
 

fatryan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,275
One of the dangers of using fake phone numbers. Surprised they won't authenticate you via email as a n alternative. You had to give them an email when you set that account up right.
Can you work within Windows since you can get in and set up a new Mircosoft account and a new user? Then migrate the settings and detqails from that profile to the new one? Probably will lose much of the cloud based info but that might be able to be worked around.

Just a thought. Maybe someone else has a further idea. Could be with the Coronavirus stuff MS is running further behind as they are likely short stafffed.
I just can't believe they took a 555 phone number. I don't think that's ever worked at any other time in my life on a major piece of software or mainstream website. Like what if you simply had a typo, they don't even verify!

I suppose i could try making a new profile, but i kind of doubt I'll be able to make an admin account without supplying the password. I just wish Microsoft would stop trying to force everyone to use they're BS. If it wasn't for the end of suppot, I never would have left windows 7. I actually really liked 7. Windows 10 is a joke.
 

ryan_975

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
14,735
Set up a new account on the laptop transfer everything from the old one. Then nuke it (the old account).
 

motqalden

[H]ard|DCOTM Feb 2018, June 2019
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
1,453
^ yeah this is what i usually do when i want to re-install windows. Gives you plenty of time to copy the stuff you need over to the new install. I will usually shrink the main partition create a new one and install the new OS on that and then when i am done copying what i need i nuke the old paritition and expand the new one to full size.
 

jeremyshaw

[H]F Junkie
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Aug 26, 2009
Messages
12,350
Set up a new account on the laptop transfer everything from the old one. Then nuke it (the old account).
Does this work anymore? AFAIK, Windows should encrypt the each user's folder uniquely, if OP had anything in Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc. Though that should be an opt-in setting, I have no clue how that works w.r.t. MSFT accounts.

That being said, aren't there still ways to crack or brute force common Windows PW, extract the PW hash and pray for a reverse hash lookup, or did that stop after Win7? I know MSFT did start taking device security more seriously around then.
 

ryan_975

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
14,735
Does this work anymore? AFAIK, Windows should encrypt the each user's folder uniquely, if OP had anything in Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc. Though that should be an opt-in setting, I have no clue how that works w.r.t. MSFT accounts.

That being said, aren't there still ways to crack or brute force common Windows PW, extract the PW hash and pray for a reverse hash lookup, or did that stop after Win7? I know MSFT did start taking device security more seriously around then.
It still works as long as you don’t encrypt the folders.
 

socK

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
3,893
I just can't believe they took a 555 phone number. I don't think that's ever worked at any other time in my life on a major piece of software or mainstream website. Like what if you simply had a typo, they don't even verify!

I suppose i could try making a new profile, but i kind of doubt I'll be able to make an admin account without supplying the password. I just wish Microsoft would stop trying to force everyone to use they're BS. If it wasn't for the end of suppot, I never would have left windows 7. I actually really liked 7. Windows 10 is a joke.
If you can't get into an administrator account, you can mount the drive in a live Linux distro and copy your files as you see fit... as long as the drive isn't encrypted.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
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Nov 1, 2012
Messages
8,332
Heh, as I said many times before, for a consumer encrypting his drive means locking himself out of his data 99,9% of time and benefiting something the rest of the time.
 
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