Locked out of windows CE

December 27, 2010 at 13:32:43
Specs: Windows CE
My step dad recently bought a netbook with windows CE operating system, he forgot his password and we can't figure out how to get into the computer to change it.... any advice?

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January 28, 2011 at 15:58:01
Most computers of the era which had Windows CE preinstalled and that followed the subnotebook form factor were referred to as being handheld PCs, or by technical shorthand, H/PCs. The first generation of these machines had a reset button built in. Examine the computer's chassis to see if this button exists, either by the keyboard, on the side, or on the bottom. If the reset button is not built into your model, then there is still hope.

Again, assuming you have a true H/PC with Windows CE 1-3, and not a newer model which is a netbook, Windows CE was usually, like Windows Mobile was, flashed to ROM. On the Internet, see if you can find the manufacturer, and find the user guide from there. HP and Compaq should still, for instance, carry the user guides or troubleshooting information, although most of these devices are no longer supported. If you have a printed manual, this works as well. Try to find the key combination to reset the PC.

Going back in time even further, if you have one of the original Windows CE 1.0 generation H/PCs, you can pull out both the main battery, and what was labeled as the "backup battery", which should be a CR2032 coin battery, and temporarily remove those. You can reinsert the batteries and power the PC on again, after which it should reset itself.

If the reset is successful, you should be able to go through Windows Setup, and get things operational once again. However, any data that was on the PC before the reset will be lost after resetting the computer.

I hope all of this information helps. I understand that not all of it will be applicable to your model. Try to work on whatever applies to your computer.

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