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How to Bypass or Remove BIOS Passwords

Updated on April 15, 2013

Introduction

Your computer scares you off by displaying an error message “System Disabled” with a number code like [07437]. Don’t worry; this is just a scare tactic used by manufactures to do nothing other than scare you off. But in fact it indicates that you have entered wrong BIOS password sufficiently enough to trigger the error. Chances this happened are that you have forgotten the BIOS password you set or have been playing around with the BIOS settings and accidentally set up the BIOS password. It is also probable that you are handling a stolen computer. Well, there are some tricks you can use to get around the blockade and gain full access to the BIOS. The mechanics of BIOS password locks present in current generation computers are briefly outlined in this article together with their possible crack methods.

Error message shown after entering the wrong BIOS password three times
Error message shown after entering the wrong BIOS password three times | Source

Setting a BIOS (Basic Input Output System) password enhances the security of your computer. It can, however, be a real pain the ass if you forget that password. This password will be required every time you try to access the BIOS setting screen to modify the BIOS settings. If you go a little step further and set that as a Power On password, you are in for a nightmare.

However, manufacturers have put in place trivial mechanisms that could possibly bypass such BIOS passwords, rendering the protection void. A set of master password generators and hands-on instructions are given to disable BIOS passwords. There are also hardware hacks that you can use to disable or clear the BIOS passwords. Outlined below are just a few.

Disclaimer

The methods of bypassing or resetting POWER ON and/or BIOS passwords outlined in this article are intended for computer technicians who are familiar with computer hardware and software. Information provided in this article is not intended for novices or those whose intentions are otherwise.

The Key

When a computer is locked with password, a checksum of that password is stored on a chip on the mainboard of the computer called FlashROM. This little powerful cheap also contains the BIOS code and other settings, e.g. memory timings, clock and date and time. This chip is powered by a battery, known as the CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) battery. Remove power from this chip and this chip loses its memory!

How to remove the BIOS password in Desktop computers (Hardware Override)

Clearing the BIOS password in desktop computers is quite easy. A hardware override is always the easiest and most reliable method available for resetting BIOS passwords in desktop computers.

First open up the case of your system unit. Look carefully on the motherboard board and locate the CMOS battery. Note that each motherboard manufacturer has its own architecture. This means that the battery’s location on the motherboard will not be the same. The CMOS battery is recognizable because of its size and shape. It is particularly round and is the same size on all motherboards. On most motherboards, it is located near a print that says CMOS or something similar on the motherboard.

Once you have located the CMOS battery, eject it from its socket and leave it for up to an hour. Reseat the battery into its socket and try boot up the computer. Now press Del or F2 or any similar key that will bring up the BIOS Settings page to see if the BIOS password has been cleared. If it is cleared, stop here. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

If the above method failed, do not lose hope yet. If you have successfully located the CMOS battery, you should be able identify a three-pin connector somewhere close to the CMOS battery. This three-pin connector should have a jumper connecting pin 1 and pin 2. Remove this jumper and sort pin 2 and pin 3 by connecting them using the jumper. Leave it for a few minutes and then remove the sort and reconnect pin 1 and pin 2. Now reboot the computer and check if the password has been cleared.

It is vital to note that in DELL computers and some other similar computers, creating a sort without supplying power will not clear the password. Therefore if the above methods don’t clear the passwords you should sort the pins, then power on the computer, switch off computer and then remove the sort and reconnect pins 1 and 2 and reboot normally. This will clear the BIOS password.

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Utilizing Backdoor Passwords

Many BIOS manufacturers have provided backdoor passwords that can be used to access the BIOS setup in the event you have lost your password. These passwords are case sensitive, so you may wish to try a variety of combinations.

Listed below are some of the common backdoor passwords provided by manufacturers.

Award BIOS backdoor passwords:

ALFAROME; BIOSTAR

KDD

ZAAADA

ALLy

CONCAT

Lkwpeter

ZBAAACA

aLLy

CONDO

LKWPETER

ZJAAADC

aLLY

Condo

PINT

01322222

ALLY

d8on

pint

589589

aPAf

djonet

SER

589721

_award

HLT

SKY_FOX

595595

AWARD_SW

J64

SYXZ

598598

AWARD?SW

J256

syxz

AWARD SW

J262

shift + syxz

AWARD PW

j332

TTPTHA

AWKWARD

j322

awkward

AMI BIOS Backdoor Passwords:

AMI; BIOS; PASSWORD; HEWITT RAND; AMI?SW; AMI_SW; LKWPETER; CONDO

Phoenix BIOS Backdoor Passwords:

phoenix; PHOENIX; CMOS; BIOS

Misc. Common Passwords

ALFAROME; BIOSTAR; biostar; biosstar; CMOS; cmos; LKWPETER; lkwpeter; setup; SETUP; Syxz; Wodj

Other BIOS Passwords by Manufacturer

Manufacturer Password

VOBIS & IBM merlin

Dell Dell

Biostar Biostar;

Compaq Compaq;

Enox xo11nE;

Epox central;

Freetech Posterie;

IWill iwill;

Jetway spooml;

Packard Bell bell9;

QDI QDI;

Siemens SKY_FOX;

TMC BIGO;

Toshiba Toshiba

Toshiba BIOS

Most Toshiba laptops and some desktop systems will bypass the BIOS password if the left shift key is held down during boot

IBM Aptiva BIOS

Press both mouse buttons repeatedly during the boot

Your last Resort

Where everything else fails, email me: emarosi@ovi.com


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