I need to change the boot order on an old Acer Aspire 4410/4810T laptop that I have, but as soon as I hit F2 on startup it asks me for a BIOS password. I have no clue as to what the password is.

I have read a number of web pages that offer weird and wonderful ideas1 for resetting the password, but the three main options seem to be:

  1. Boot with a USB stick, which is loaded with some recovery software
  2. Locate to jumper pads on the motherboard (usually under the RAM)
  3. Disconnect the CMOS battery for 10-20 minutes

This tips are covered in this video, How to Clear/Remove Acer Bios Password, and appear to be backed up by numerous other sites.

As I have said, option one won't work for me - as I can not change the boot order, due to the required password (chicken and egg).

I have located the RTC battery (I am not sure if that is the same as the CMOS battery), using this complete disassembly guide, Aspire 4810 Series Disassembly Instruction, which was linked to from How to disassemble Acer Aspire 4810T 4810TZ 4410. The complete disassembly guide does not show the CMOS battery, but does show the Real Time Clock (RTC) battery. I disconnected this, for an hour, but still I was asked for the BIOS password, when hitting F2.

So, I am still looking for the BIOS/Password reset jumpers. I have seen photos of many acer laptop motherboards showing the jumpers and their location, just not for the 4810T.

1 This site, How to Reset an Acer BIOS Password, makes mention of the Acer proprietary software Acer eSettings Management, that has a pre-requisite of Acer Empowering Technology. I read a comment on this site, Windows 7: Acer eSettings Management is not on my acer laptop, which says that eSettings Management is now called the Launch Manager, from the Acer downloads page - a dubious claim. I have installed the Launch Manager, regardless, but I was not able to find the software after the reboot.

This page, ACER eSettings Management Software? was useful, but says that eSettings Management only works on Vista. Plus, this page, Acer Empowering Technology question, implies that it is bloat ware.

  • i've seen your edit. Did you try this version: softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/… ? – Overmind Feb 6 '17 at 9:01
  • @Overmind - I am rather wary of SW from third parties, as it tends to be loaded with Malware... – Greenonline Feb 6 '17 at 9:08
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    Same here, but it's not 3rd party, its just the acer program hosted on a general software site. Some of these sites I don't trust, but this one faired pretty well so far compared to many others. – Overmind Feb 6 '17 at 9:42

If you can still load the operating system, you can reset the password with Acer eSettings Management (Acer eSettings Management --> Click BIOS Passwords near the footer of the screen --> Use Create Password or Remove Password option).

As for hardware reset, the reset jumper should be marked CLRP1. If you cannot find that one, just remove the battery, wait up to 1h and re-attach it. In the service manual page 57, they show where the battery is located and how to remove it.

  • The Acer software wasn't installed when I installed Windows 7 recently, not sure why (I was using an OEM random Win 7 disk). I can't find where to downloaded it from, subsequent to the Windows install. There is an old Win XP install on the PC still, but that doesn't have the eSetting Management either. That battery is the same one as I disconnected. I left it for over an hour. Maybe I should leave it longer? I will look for the CLRP1 jumper. Many Thanks, btw... – Greenonline Feb 6 '17 at 9:07
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    If you do not want to wait long, short-circuit the contacts after removing the battery and capacitors should discharge immediately. There is no risk in this procedure, since there is very low power involved. – Overmind Feb 6 '17 at 9:41
  • Thanks to the link you provided, I have found the correct procedure and a photo - see my answer. Thanks again., much appreciated. – Greenonline Feb 6 '17 at 12:55
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    That was a pretty well hidden one. – Overmind Feb 7 '17 at 6:20

The answer, from page 97 of the service manual is, in fact:

Steps for Clearing BIOS Password Check

If the user sets the BIOS Password (Supervisor Password and/or User Password) for a security reason, the BIOS will ask for the password during system POST or when the system enters into the BIOS Setup menu. If it is necessary to bypass the password check, the user needs to short the hardware gap to clear the password by following these steps:

  • Power off the system, and remove the HDD, AC adapter and battery from the computer.
  • Open the back cover of the computer and look for the hardware gap on the main board as shown in the picture(s) above.
  • Use an electric conductivity tool to short the two points of the hardware gap.
  • Plug in the AC adapter while retaining the short condition on the hardware gap. Press the power button to turn on the computer until the BIOS POST routine is finished. Finally, remove the tool from the hardware gap.
  • Restart the system. Press the F2 key to enter BIOS Setup menu.
  • If there is no password request, the BIOS Password is cleared. Otherwise, repeat the steps above and try again.

NOTE: The steps are only for clearing the BIOS password (Supervisor Password and User Password).

And the location of the jumpers, which are described as HW Open Gap position on M/B space, or G61, are here:

HW Open Gap position on M/B space

I would never have found this, had it not been for Overmind's answer.

  • A word of warning! I have just fried my motherboard whilst shorting the jumpers with the power switched on. There was a mildly loud crack, and then nada. A dead parrot. I don't recommend this procedure. – Greenonline Feb 6 '17 at 13:45

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