A Guide to Resetting BIOS Passwords

One of the most common problems faced by users is changing or resetting BIOS passwords. Understand the ways to reset BIOS passwords and gain better control of your system.

If you want to use your computer more effectively, knowing how to reset BIOS passwords will be important. This is especially true if yours is the type that requires you to enter that information prior to launching the system. Other setups will also demand it if you try to reconfigure something.

There are several methods available but they are generally divided into three categories. The first is by using software, the other by hardware and the backdoor.

The Backdoor Method

This is probably the easiest way although not all manufacturers avail of it. Basically the idea is to have a password that will work at all times. In other words, if the user forgets what the phrase he or she entered is, the technician will enter this code and get into the system. This makes it easy to reset BIOS passwords. Again not all companies use this option. You can ask their technical support staff if they utilize it.

The Software Method

When you start your computer, the password is embedded in the memory. This is not your ordinary RAM, but CMOS. The information is kept in one of the memory blocks there. There are some applications that can detect the data. Some of the more popular ones are !BIOS and CmosPwd. Keep in mind that due to the different setups, they can recover only those on certain computers.

The Hardware Method

The final way to get the information is by tinkering with the hardware. Bear in mind though, that this is the most difficult way to reset BIOS passwords. If you have no experience, you might damage a peripheral. Hence you need to be careful.

What you need to do is remove the CMOS battery. That is where the information is kept. By taking out the battery the data there will be lost, allowing you to reconfigure everything.

The CMOS is usually set somewhere on the motherboard. In some cases you can just unscrew it. If it is fused, look for the jumper. Get your motherboard user guide. There is information identifying the jumper for the CMOS. When you see it, pull it, and all data will be erased. This allows you to reset BIOS passwords again.

If you do not have the user guide, go over the labels. Some boards mark their jumpers to indicate functions. Usually it is the one nearest to the CMOS battery itself.

If you don’t want to change the CMOS, you can disable the Real Time Clock. Most of these use a battery. By taking them out, all information at the lower levels are lost, making it easier to reconfigure the system. If you have the manual for the Real Time Clock, you can also obtain information about recovering lost information and data.

Needless to say the computer must be turned off before attempting any of these procedures. Most computer users will probably want to leave this matter to technicians and experts.

That may be the wise thing to do but knowing how to reset BIOS passwords can be handy. After all you will never know when you will be faced with such a situation.

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