BIOS Password

Laptops in general have much better hardware security than PCs. Some of them even come with fingerprint reader build in.

Most laptops come with a very strong BIOS password capability that locks up the hardware and makes the laptop completely unusable. This is the password that has to be entered before the operating system loads, usually on a black screen a few seconds after the laptop is started.

Of course BIOS password can be set on a PC too, but there it is stored together with the other BIOS settings – date, time, hard disk size, etc. It is very easy to reset the BIOS settings (and the password) on a PC – usually there is a jumper near the BIOS battery on the motherboard that needs to be moved from connecting pins 1+2 to pins 2+3 for a few seconds and than moved back to pins 1+2. Next time the PC is started it will alert you “… BIOS settings invalid… Defaults loaded… Press F1 to continue…” or something similar, and…. the password is gone!

However most laptops store the BIOS password in a special chip, sometimes even hidden under the CPU, that is not affected when the rest of the BIOS settings are reset. This makes the removal of a BIOS password on a laptop almost impossible. The only option in most cases is to replace the chip which is quite expensive and risky procedure and, of course, not supported by the manufacturers.

Some manufacturers (like Dell) can generate a “master password” for a particular laptop (from their service tag) if sufficient proof of ownership is provided. Others (like IBM) would advise replacing the laptop’s motherboard (very expensive). On some old laptops (4 – 5 years or older) the BIOS password can still be reset relatively easy, usually by shorting two solder points on the motherboard or by plugging a special plug in the printer port, etc.

In almost all cases on newer laptops it is either a big hassle, expensive or even impossible to reset the BIOS password, making it a very good way of protecting your laptop from unauthorized use.

However what makes your computer exactly yours are your own files, documents, emails, pictures, etc. They are all stored on the hard drive. So, even if your laptop has a BIOS password that locks it up and makes it completely unusable to anyone that doesn’t know it, your hard drive can still be removed from the laptop and connected to another computer, and your files retrieved quite easily.

86 thoughts on “BIOS Password”

  1. I have a Gateway Windows 7 and the bios password needs to be reset. No one can help me, even Best Buys Geek Squad. I have located the C Mos battery, but to no avail. WHAT DO I DO? This laptop is 2 years old!

  2. i have a problem with my new laptop, samsung chronos series 7 (its new i can use only 3 times : (

    the exactly model is np700z5c-s01ub

    the first time when i buy this notebook, i put a pass of bios, but after two week i decide quit the pass.

    i go to the setup across f2 then put the original pass, and then the next two step put in blank

    after that i reboot, and ask me again password, but now not reconize the old pass and the new pass.

    can i disable this cmos pass option ? work in new model of samsung with 18 charters ?

    when i put the wrong pass 3 times return me a code of 18 charters

    and the same will change after reboot the pc,(is different every time reboot)

    thanks in advance.

  3. Forgiveness I am using a translator. The post below “Guys” refers to “price, value” In Brazil the word “Cara” can be used referring to a value or a person.
    Cara=Man ou um valor (Esta joia é muito cara)=(This jewelry is very expensive)
    Caras=Men ou um valor (Estas roupas são muito caras)=( These clothes are too expensive)

  4. The Dell master password feature is fantastic, and one I think other companies should take on board if they want to offer their customers adequate piece of mind.

  5. if the laptop can’t charge battery & is writing plug-in not charging or writing plug-in charging but the percentage of the battery is increase. what i do please help out.
    thank you

  6. I was wondering iff someone could tell me how long can i operate my laptop on just the battery,i am going to my cabin with no hydro,and does the battery automatically recharge every time i plug it in,Thankyou Toni

  7. i have tried to contact them but they said i bought out of Europe so they cannot help me for that.
    so if you can please help me.

  8. i come the usa i stay in Austin Tx. i sure do appreciate ur help i gave myself a headace. im fixing to try the code now ill let u no if it work thank u so much. MVD

  9. try the original code that you got first, search on google
    for a photograph of a qwerty keyboard dell look at
    the letters and figures in place, then you look at which keys
    You must have qwerty and type in your azerty!
    I have often done so

  10. I chool jut started and thi couldnt have happened at worser moment. I have a Windows Vita Home Premium OEMAct It also says it an Acer 5315 series. So email me do whatever I just need that freakin pasword. Empire8ke… and hotmail.com i on facebook and xbox live: keith rpg7 just help me out anyone

  11. pls my windows installer is acting crazy. i cant install programs nor uninstall some. each time i try a pop comes up saying its either i’m running windows on safe mode or my is faulty. pls i’m stuck wt my pragrams. i need ur immediate assistance. tanx for listening. hear form u soon.

    Smart

  12. My DELL Laptop sometimes locks up – but I just thought it was Windows Vista, I have a blue screen appear??

  13. To make it even more secure, you can encrypt the data-disk (or partition). If you are using linux, go here http://tldp.org/HOWTO/html_single/Disk-Encryption-HOWTO/

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