Starting screen

Use my laptop mostly for travel. Had some work to do after about two months of it not being used. Failure!!! When I put in my beginning password I got the wrong password thing. Tried several times to many, now it wants a challenge phrase, which I don’t remember setting up. I can’t get past the opening password request screen except for F2ing at startup, and don’t see any way there to change or fix the password. Microsoft support seems to stop at Windows 10, so no help there. Really want to get this beast going again as I’m going to be traveling soon and not having it to carry will be the pits.

What generation Framework? Since you mention Windows 10 I’m guessing it might be an Intel gen 11.

Which passwords are you talking about? A password at a Windows login screen?

Try to look into creating a clean install from a new boot drive. If you need to recover data you can try to get it through a live boot enviorment!
Your challenge phrase might be shared with your Microsoft account, so if you remember that one give it a try!

Sorry, being functionally illiterate when it comes for anything other than the basic turn it on and being pretty much a clutz, doing a fresh install is at the bare edge of my abilities. Went to microsoft and couldn’t find anything about challenge phrases. Doing an install means downloading w11 again. I’m assuming that is so. Is that on Framework with the extra downloads or something I can get off microsoft. Didn’t see anything about dong that either. they seem to like to be hard to find anything other than buying things. Can a person download the program on a different computer straight to the flash drive. I have 64 gig flash drives and mini cards available. The laptop is a System: Intel® Core™ i7-1280P if that means anything.

To MJ1
The thing I’m saying is when I turn the puter on, the first screen that comes up is a what is your password. I put what was my password and get told it is not correct. The unit was purchased in like October 22 it is a Intel® Core™ i7-1280P

If reinstalling windows feels daunting, I’d suggest maybe watching a youtube video or two on how to download and install Windows. So you can get a feel for how things are supposed to go.

Yes. You can create a usb flash drive for installing or reinstalling Windows on another computer.
You had windows 10 or 11?
Download Windows 10

Download Windows 11

Is there any important data stored on the laptop?

Just use a password reset disc. If you chose a microsoft account when you set up your computer and not a local account, the password is your email password.

1 Like

Google gives some results for a challenge phrase issue where it says “enter the A1B2C3”
is that what you’re seeing?


oh boy, here we go.Yes to just about everything…
I used framework site, went and downloaded w11 to a flash drive. after no luck going through microsoft looking for anything resembling a password or challenge phrase. did find a bitword? code, that did nothing. downloaded w11, started the computer f12 etc. first try it said I had to restart the computer , which took me to the challenge phrase screen again. W hen I tried the other option I got taken to a windows setup screen that is asking what drive / partition I want to install windows to. all of them say I can’t because the partition must be formatted as NTFS and my partition is EFI system partition (ESP)

To be sure, the “challenge phrase” just asks for you to write the letters that it shows above.

For example, on the image shown here Starting screen - #8 by MJ1, you would enter “A1B2C3” as challenge phrase… Did this not work for you?

Just about wore my fingertips off typing A1etc. I got mostly that is not correct, did have one session asking for a different response in which I tried everything from both passwords I use to random other things. Nothing worked. I’ve tried it at different times and days giving all the electrons time to settle down. My electronic aura is definitely not working for me.

I don’t mean offense, but your searching skills seem to be hurting you. You don’t want to only search microsoft’s site for a windows question, that would depend on microsoft’s own search function to be good & for them to have an official and easy to find answer.

When searching google for windows “challenge phrase” I saw many results. Instructions on how to deal with it.

Now if it specifically says “enter the A1B2C3” that’s different. It seems to be a particular bug, I saw procedures that were supposed to fix that. You need to search for windows “challenge phrase” "A1B2C3”. Search link

I don’t use windows myself, so my familiarity isn’t the best. I was wrong to jump to talking about reinstalling windows. If you have data or information stored on the computer that you don’t want to lose, then reinstalling windows probably should be a last resort. If you have no data you care about, then it could be the easiest option for you.

Actually no. The “A1B2C3” issue seems to be a bug. Entering “A1B2C3” won’t work. Though this is just from me glancing over solutions for that issue.

And that is one of the continuations of my problem. Can’t remember where it kicked in, but I have been kicked to the what is your challenge phrase every time I tried to redo windows 11 which was downloaded from the framework web site. Did both the do and don’t have the registration numbers. Starting to think my computer doesn’t like me. It’s even hitting my tower. I’m having to hit the task manager every few minutes because my keyboard and mouse appear to be freezing up if I don’t used them often enough!!

Are you getting “enter the A1B2C3” or just regular a challenge phrase screen with no mention of “A1B2C3”?

I’m about at the end of my rope. One final question to the people that know. After trying just about everything I have a final question. If I replace the memory card, will that give me a clean slate to put Windows on and actually use the computer. I’m getting really sick of winding up at the what is your challenge phrase when I can’t remember ever putting one in. Or does windows hide on the main board or some other secret place? Going into the C: drive on my tower shows a lot of Windows files, so am wondering if replacing that drive on the laptop will “force” me to start over completely.

Replacing the SSD is frankly unnecessary. If you don’t have any data on the drive that you care about, you can just wipe it clean. Same effect as buying a new drive. Though, the process of doing that may not be the easiest for everyone, so I suppose buying a new drive could be just easier for some. It’s like a nuclear option.

Reason I’m asking about replacing the SSD is I can’t get past the challenge phrase question, even after I tried replacing Windows. It started out like it is going to work, and then drops into the challenge phrase screen.

I understand. Attempting to reinstall might not wipe the drive. Windows may have seen that there was a previous windows installation and tried to preserve parts. To be sure I was starting from a clean slate, I would boot to a USB drive and reformat the SSD that contained windows. It’s the same result as buying a new SSD. But buying a new SSD might simply be an easier option for you.

I have windows on a flash drive downloaded from framework. How do you make the computer see the flash drive? Can I find directions on microsoft? I suppose it’s as simple as hitting one of the f keys but a cursory look didn’t find anything.