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I have a pair of HP DC7700 's that I'm about to deploy to a computer lab here. Because it's a public lab situation I'd like to prevent users from entering the BIOS. This works fine on one of the machines, but the other won't accept a password. It allows me to enter the password and save and exit the BIOS, but on reboot does not enforce the password I just created.

I've tried restoring factory defaults first, but that didn't help.

Any ideas?

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Check the motherboard manual for a jumper regarding bios configuration or password requirements.

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Is the clock not keeping the right time?

If this is the case perhaps the battery is bad.

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The clock time is fine. – Joel Coehoorn Jul 27 '10 at 18:55
Did you try unplugging the computer and then checking? I've seen computers with bad batteries which show correct time until they lose power for some time. – AndrejaKo Jul 27 '10 at 19:05
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In the end I have other identical PCs, and so we swapped this one for another that would allow us to set a password. This one will go in a private office with no real need for locking the bios. No real solution was found :(

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Check for the jumper settings for BIOS in motherboard guide and otherwise the battery is bad.

One other option is that Intel allows automatic unassisted upgrade of BIOS available from their drivers page. Your motherboard vendors website might have such options. Do check it out also

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