A friend had two laptops from his son (who died). He didn't know the passwords and wants to retrieve the photos on the laptops.
Download the free Ophcrack live CD and burn it with ISO Recorder. ISO Recorder can be found by right-clicking the file iso file to burn:
Boot the Ophcrack CD and let it run. It can quickly use rainbow tables, those this won't break every possible password. Brute force is needed to break every possible password. If it doesn't find a password, make sure all of the tables are installed.