After replacing the motherboard on a Dell Alienware Aurora R8, I received the message “Something happened and your PIN isn’t available. Choose another sign-in option and set up your PIN again by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options“.
There were no other sign-in options available on the sign-in page. Clicking the only “Change PIN” button, would send it into a loop and come right back to the same message.
Booting into safe mode would not help, and generated the message that it wanted to open an app, but never did.
After following other advice on the internet to delete the c:\windows\serviceprofiles\localservice\appdata\local\microsoft\ngc folder, the message stayed the same, but the single option changed from “Change PIN” to “Sign in,” but “Sign in” caused the same results as before, a loop that went right back to the login page.
After some other fruitless changes, the message changed to “Your pin is no longer available due to a change the security settings on this device. You can set up your pin again by going to settings/accounts/siding options.” However, the same problem remained.
Resetting the user password with Trinity Resource Kit was not an option, since the account was linked to a Microsoft account, and did not register as a local account.
The solution was to use a paid software from top-software.com called Password Recovery Bundle. After creating and booting from a bootable USB stick with Password Recovery Bundle, I was able to select the user account, and convert the account from a Microsoft-linked account to a local user account and then blank the password. Upon reboot, the computer booted directly into the user profile. Some re-linking of passwords to Microsoft were necessary, but at least the user profile was functional, without losing apps and settings, which would have happened with a Windows 10 Reset.
The $29 version of the software should work, it just requires you to make a CD instead of a flash drive. I grabbed the $79 version just so I could make a USB drive, since I’ll probably need to do this again at some point.
The website to get Password Recovery Bundle is here
If you’d like to use my affiliate link to get the software so I get a small commission, you can use these links: