Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Unlocking a computer after scammer has locked it?

  1. #1


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1

    Unlocking a computer after scammer has locked it?


    My friend's brother has fallen victim to a scam and the computer is now locked with a password that he doesn't know. The scammers have said they'll unlock it if he buys them $3000 worth of iTunes gift cards but he's not foolish enough to do that.

    I was wondering if there is anything I can do to get into the computer again? It's a Gateway laptop and he still has the original Windows 8 disk for it. He says there's nothing of any value on the computer itself so if we were to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows, everything would be good.

    It occurred to me that if I could get into the BIOS and change the settings so that the laptop booted from the DVD drive and the Windows 8 disk was in the drive, perhaps it would reinstall Windows. I googled and found that F1 is supposed to make it boot to the BIOS if you press it when the Gateway logo comes up but I can't get it to go into the BIOS; it just keeps going until it gets to the password dialog.

    I'd really like to help these people. They're two long-retired seniors; the husband is disabled and can only walk a few steps without his powered chair and his wife is just out of the hospital after major surgery. They can't afford to replace the computer right now.

    Does anyone know any techniques I could use to get control of this computer again so that I can reinstall Windows on this laptop?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 568
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    Try this
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Its not clear whats going on is the password lock on the bios or windows? If its on windows what does it say on the screen a photo would be ideal
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by samuria View Post
    Its not clear whats going on is the password lock on the bios or windows? If its on windows what does it say on the screen a photo would be ideal
    Good point. I was over at their place this afternoon but didn't think to write down the text from that screen. I may get over there again tomorrow; if I do, I will either write down the text or take a picture with my phone and post it here.

    --

    I'm over there now. My cell phone is not co-operating so I can't take a picture but here is the wording on the dialog:

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Startup Password

    This computer is configured to require a password to start up. Please enter the Startup Password below:

    Password: __________________

    [OK] [Restart]
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This dialog comes up immediately after the Gateway logo appears. Esc, F10, and CTRL-ALT-DEL do not change this behaviour if I try them while the Gateway logo is visible.

    Am I correct in assuming that this is a BIOS password?
    Last edited by RhinoCan; 02 Aug 2016 at 15:35. Reason: Add information
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Does it come up before you login or after did you try cntl alt del see if that does anything its possible its just a startup prog
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by samuria View Post
    Does it come up before you login or after did you try cntl alt del see if that does anything its possible its just a startup prog
    When you power the machine up, it comes up several seconds after the Gateway logo appears and before anything else comes up. I didn't try CNTL-ALT-DEL so I don't know what would happen in that case. Again, I can report back on that the next time I go over.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    So you dont see Windows starting in which case it can be a bios password if so before you go google how to remove the the cmos battery and reset bios before you go for that model it may clear it
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by samuria View Post
    So you dont see Windows starting in which case it can be a bios password if so before you go google how to remove the the cmos battery and reset bios before you go for that model it may clear it
    Great suggestion! Thanks very much!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by samuria View Post
    So you dont see Windows starting in which case it can be a bios password if so before you go google how to remove the the cmos battery and reset bios before you go for that model it may clear it
    l

    The laptop in question is a Gateway NE56R16h. I found a video at YouTube that shows dissassembling a Gateway NE56R10u - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKVljMrPmCE - and watched it but I'm darned if I could pick out the CMOS battery in that video. I have no idea at all where it is or even what a CMOS battery on a laptop looks like. (I *have* seen them on desktops and even replaced one a few years back.) Even so, I'm only guessing the laptop in the video is very similar to the one I'm fixing and that the CMOS battery is in the same place. The video lacked any narration or subtitles so he never explained what any given component was as he removed it.

    In any case, I got lost very early on in the video. I could probably get it apart by imitating what I saw in the video but I think my chances of reassembling it correctly are very small.

    I tried googling for service manuals for this laptop but only found sites that offered similar model numbers but not the actual model number I'm fixing. I'm not going to spend these people's money on a manual that is for only a "similar" model unless I can be sure it tells me what I actually need to know and explains it clearly enough that I have some chance of doing the work successfully.

    I think I'm going to recommend that they take it to a local computer shop that is far more familiar with laptop internals than I am.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
    Try this
    Thanks, Nigel, but that didn't work. Neither Esc nor F10 during the Gateway logo produced any kind of menu.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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