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Possible Duplicate:
Bios password protection

For example, an username / password prompt that would not even boot Windows (or whatever OS) until the correct credentials are entered.

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migrated from Sep 30 '12 at 22:26

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Sathya Oct 1 '12 at 6:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Yes, there are high-security systems that run before the OS (but after the BIOS) to require passwords before the OS starts up. Banks and other big companies use these systems, typically coupled with RSA SecurID tokens. – xxbbcc Sep 30 '12 at 22:26
If any of these answers helped, feel free to upvote them or mark them as the answer. – user88311 Jun 26 '13 at 17:01

There is difference between "not being able to boot" and "not being able to read the data" of the system. To stop people from booting the system, you can add BIOS-level password for hard drive access (you can't boot from it BUT it's not an encryption and it's hackable by interfering the CMOS battery) with BIOS password. To deprive people of possibility to read data that are on your system, it's best to use full-disk encryption like Truecrypt or Bitlocker (or many other), but other possibilities exists on different platforms.

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Yes you can set passwords passwords on the system BIOS that prevents the whole system from booting or from letting a person access the BIOS as well. Certain types of encryption software allow a similar thing where as you need to access proper credentials before you can even view the OS/BIOS logon screen.

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Use disk encryption (e.g. BitLocker or TrueCrypt). That will prompt for a password/PIN before the OS is booted, and will also protect OS and data when the computer is turned off.

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