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I have recently bought a used PC from a car boot sale that I was planning to convert to Linux - tried to boot from CD but the boot order ...
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  1. #1
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    Password protected BIOS


    I have recently bought a used PC from a car boot sale that I was planning to convert to Linux - tried to boot from CD but the boot order is set HD first - the BIOS has been password protected any ideas how to overcome this. The PC currently has no OS?

  2. #2
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    There should be a jumper somewhere to reset the CMOS, that should do it. Unfortunately, if you don't have a motherboard manual you could be in trouble...

    You could try installing a base OS on the hard drive from another computer, and then boot that way.
    Michael Salivar

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  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast puntmuts's Avatar
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    A lot of vendors have motherboard manuals in downloadable PDF format on their sites.
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    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    If you are not sure which jumper to pull, just pull the cmos battery, boot the machine. Shut it down, put the battery back. Bios is reset to defaults.

    btw, cmos battery looks like a coin on the mobo.
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    Linux Engineer Giro's Avatar
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    Be carefull if you are taking the battery out cause touching both sides will discharge it.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giro
    Be carefull if you are taking the battery out cause touching both sides will discharge it.
    So that's why my clock has been playing up recently (had to reset FSB by doing this...), thanks for that :P.

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    Thanks guys I never thought that clearing the CMOS would do this - I thought it was for security - so whats the point of password protection unless its just to protect the ignorant?

  9. #8
    Linux User benjamin20's Avatar
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    only realy valuble in an office or such enviorment
    nVidia G-Force 6600GT (bfg) pci-e: amd 64 2000+ (939): 1024 corsair ram: 2X 80gb seagate harddisk SATA: plextor cd/dvd-read/write cdrom SATA

  10. #9
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    A lot of more recent BIOS chips don't wipe after the battery is pulled. Don't ask me how it works, but I have had Optiplex GX-100s with the battery out for 3 hours and it still remembers the password. Damn bastid. But there are websites for getting tools to crack bios passwords. Some even work in linux. However given the sensitve nature of BIOS I wouldn't dare recommend any software. (Ducking away from any potential heat....lol)

  11. #10
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtomrodney
    A lot of more recent BIOS chips don't wipe after the battery is pulled. Don't ask me how it works, but I have had Optiplex GX-100s with the battery out for 3 hours and it still remembers the password. Damn bastid.
    Did you reboot the machine during that time? If not, that would explain why. Rebooting is a necessary step.

    And as for the usefulness of a BIOS password. After using computers for the last 10 years i have never understood the usefulness of that password. When it can be so easily bypassed.
    How to know if you are a geek.
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