My mother got a new Windows 8 laptop for Christmas. Woohoo! She already has a Windows Phone, so she has a Microsoft account.
When she first signed into her computer, she didn't know to use her Microsoft account, so she used a different email address. We had her go back and link her account to a Microsoft Account, but she couldn't remember the MA password (her phone doesn't require her to remember it). So, while she has access to her MA account via her phone (email, skydrive, messanger, etc.), she cannot log into it via the web or her new computer. To further complicate matters, all of this switching around has caused her to forget the password she selected when she first signed into the (local account on the) laptop.
So, now she's totally locked out of her computer. We've tried to reset her MA password, but unfortunately, the only security option we have is to send it to an email address that isn't fully shown, and must be incorrect, because we never receive the reset email. Ugh.
Yes, yes, we should have remembered the password. Yes, we should have added more security options (like the phone number of her Windows Phone). That's not the question--the question is: how the heck do we get access to her laptop again?
A side question is: How do we get access to her MA again? We've tried three or four times to give all the info they ask for (last email addresses sent to, last email subject lines, etc.) with no luck (despite the fact that she can send/receive email from her Windows Phone). We don't have a credit card or other billing info associated with her account and she hasn't created folders for her email (and apparently, can't do that from her phone).
This is getting really frustrating--there should be some way to talk to a human or something that can reason better than Microsoft's automated account unlocker tool.
It's interesting that my mom would have access to her account (skydrive, email, messaging) via her phone but, since she can't recall her password, not to her laptop or the live.com website. It's also interesting that although she has a phone which is obviously linked to her account, she cannot receive a text (or messenger note or even email) with a security number/passphrase or password reset link via her phone.
If anyone with the ability is listening, my mom could really use a secure password reset link emailed to her live.com account so that she can reset her password via her phone!!!
Failing that, I think she's just going to return the Windows 8 laptop. They didn't give her an OS reinstall disk, which is the only other thing I can think of to recover her system...
PS: It would also be nice if Microsoft would publish an email address on their account recovery page or email such that when the process fails, there is another avenue available to people other than simply trying again (which is, as some people say, the definition of insanity).
Thanks for any help you can provide.