I have been given an old Toshiba laptop (it used to be my mum's that she used at work) but she has forgotten the password to log in. Is there anything that can be done about this or is it just screwed for ever? Can you reset it to factory settings or anything like that? Any help appreciated.
Do you have an install disc to reinstall Windows? One may have come with the laptop but here lately companies have not been including them.
If not, you may be able to log into the Administrator account and make a new profile for yourself, then use the Admin profile to delete hers and place a folder with all her stuff in it somewhere.
EDIT: Here's how to get to the Administrator account. I think, I didn't read it I just Googled it and found it.
If it's an old laptop your best bet is to start over anyway. It's probably got a ton of stuff you don't want/need and it'll run best after a fresh install. There may be a recovery partition that you can use to reset it to factory defaults. Google for instructions on how to do this for the specific model, something like, "reset HP XYZ to factory." You probably need to hold down a couple of keys on startup to get to that part.
Now, if your mom has any important files on it you can download a linux live cd (you don't have to install the operating system to use it) and copy them that way. If you still want to just reset the password you can also do that with the live cd. Instructions are here.
edit: Also, Windows 8 consumer preview is free to download and will probably work at least through the end of the year. That's another option, especially if you don't have a disc or recovery partition. If that computer has Vista on it Win 8 should run fine, and probably even better.