My iPad (2.5yo) has a device passcode that I seem to have forgotten, and only way around seems to be to "erase" the device (by pressing Home and top power button together to hard-reset), but that always simply restarts the device and does nothing else, i.e. it doesn't go into the so-called "Recovery mode" but instead boot into regular iOS where I can login to use various iOS apps. I was following procedure mentioned here: https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT204306#recovery
The device passcode is needed to "pair" the device with iTunes (on my Windows PC), as it is not paired yet, and nor is the device sync'd with iTunes.
Please note that I've already tried all passwords I could recollect and am at the 8th attempt, where device gets disabled for 15minutes, and for next wrong attempt, I think it'd get disabled for 1 hour.
Also, I am able to login to the iPad using touch-id, and launch applications etc. Only the "device passcode" is what I think I have a problem with.