Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My BIOS is password-protected, so that I can't access the BIOS settings (I don't have problems with booting into Windows XP). The BIOS is made by American Megatrends (AMI). I've been trying some utilities to reset the BIOS from Windows, but I don't think that's possible (I don't want to mess up my computer and I find Command Prompt to be quite difficult to use). I've attempted to reset the CMOS through a hardware method, but I can't find a switch/plug/button to do so. The only place I haven't checked is under the RAM, because they're held quite firmly and I don't want to brake anything, since I'm not used to working with hardware componenets. So, is there any way for me to reset the BIOS? Thank you very much.

share|improve this question
    
I'm not submitting this as an answer, because it probably wont help... but apparently, there is sometimes a marking on the underside of the laptop that looks like this: >o<. If you use a cocktail stick, and poke the hole (where the o is the hole), then it MIGHT do the trick... –  Joseph Redfern Jun 19 '11 at 10:36
    
What brand of laptop is it? –  Sean Jun 19 '11 at 14:31

4 Answers 4

On SOME computers (usually higher-end models) BIOS passwords are stored on chips designed to even meet Department of Defense standards (still not always perfect as this post will show, but hard enough to keep out most ordinary users), and are stored in secure chips. Although you may find a complicated hack on the Internet, requiring some electronic equipement and skill to execute (I will post an example below to show how much skill is involved, but it is not specific to your computer, and a link to free software for reading the chip), for the most part, this is beyond most people's capabilities...and that is a big "IF".

This issue is not solved by removing a battery or removing jumpers on the board.

For the most part, the solution ends up being replacing the motherboard, OR replacing the chip. I found a company on eBay that sells these chips (not too expensive at all), and they specialize in writing replacement chips, and could POSSIBLY send you a new chip, and instructions on how to replace it.

http://myworld.ebay.com/bios_fix_depot&ssPageName=STRK:MEFSX:SELLERID

http://solve-pc.blogspot.com/2008/11/ibm-thinkpad-r40-supervisor-password.html

http://hdst1.heliohost.org/dl/ (free software to read the chip)

share|improve this answer
    
Since when are BIOS passwords designed to meet the DOD standards? Also, I don't see how changing the BIOS chip would help since settings are stored in the CMOS... unless you corrupt the settings :/ ) –  William Hilsum Jun 19 '11 at 11:20
    
@Wil On certain laptops, with security chips, the password is NOT stored in CMOS. I am looking for a better link from DOD, but read RayH's comment here: techimo.com/forum/technical-support/165399-bios-password.html Otherwise, why would there be that second link I posted? Think about it. –  KCotreau Jun 19 '11 at 11:37
    
@Wil P.S. also do you realize how many people have have this problem...go do a quick search. If it were stored in CMOS, it would be as simple as pulling the battery. –  KCotreau Jun 19 '11 at 11:39
    
Because that is about reading the password rather than resetting it... and from what I can see, we are just talking about a plain BIOS settings password, not a whole TPM type security/SATA password lock etc. –  William Hilsum Jun 19 '11 at 11:44
    
@Wil I did edit my answer to reflect that not all computers have this feature, but it seems pretty likely that this is what he is running into, not something that will be solved by pulling the CMOS battery. Just because he phrased it as "is there any way for me to reset the BIOS", that does not mean that is the problem...most common issue here is these security chips locking people out, which he also said: "My BIOS is password-protected, so that I can't access the BIOS settings". My bet is still on the latter. –  KCotreau Jun 19 '11 at 11:53

CmosPwd claims to support AMI BIOSes, perhaps you should give that a try. Or, of course, call the manufacturer.

share|improve this answer

The Ultimate Boot CD has some BIOS password cracking tools, although they are very unlikely to work - Laptop BIOSes don't all store the password in the same way, and they differ a lot more than their desktop counterparts.

If you do try the utilities on the UBCD, be very careful to follow the instructions, as some of them only apply to desktop BIOSes, and will permanently nuke your laptop BIOS.

Unfortunately there's not really many ways to get around a BIOS password - Especially one on a laptop =(

You should also ask Asus Tech Support, in case they have a tool for this kind of scenario.

share|improve this answer

The easiest thing you can do is to unplug the power and (normal) battery from the laptop.

Next, unplug the CMOS battery (usually located in a user replaceable area, but not always).

Wait a good few hours.

When you boot up, the majority of the time, all BIOS values should be reset.

This works on the majority of motherboards/laptops out there.

share|improve this answer
    
I don't know where the CMOS battery is. I've found this video on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=US306Sxt090 I was looking for some sort of button or switch to do just that. I've found a button, which I've kept pressed for maybe a minute, but nothing changed. I've also found a plug, which I've also left disconnected for about a minute or so, but nothing happened. Then again, you mention "a good few hours". If you have the slightest belief that either the button or switch are related to my problem please tell me. I don't have the time to try this if it won't succeed. –  Alexandru Jun 19 '11 at 18:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.