The basic input / output system, popularly known as BIOS, is an additional layer of security used before the device starts up. If you’re wondering what BIOS is, it’s a program used by the computer’s microprocessor. The BIOS password is stored in CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) memory. When the computer is off, some computers generally store and maintain memory in a small battery present on the motherboard. The BIOS is a security feature that prevents unauthorized access to the computer.
The downside, however, is the fact that if a user forgets or does not know their BIOS password, the computer will not be able to boot. There could be another case, where the corporate user sells the computer without sharing the BIOS password. In such cases, it is important to reset or remove the BIOS password. So let’s get started, shall we?
How to reset / remove BIOS password?
If you’ve seen something like the screenshot below and don’t know the key that fits the hole, that is, the password, it’s time to change or remove it. There are 6 ways to do this, so go ahead and find an appropriate method for you!
1. When removing the CMOS battery
This is a method that can be adopted to reset the BIOS password. Follow the steps below to do the same:
- Locate the CMOS battery on the motherboard as shown in the image below.
- Remove it for a minimum of 15 minutes and put it back inside.
- Start the computer.
- Reset all settings.
- If this doesn’t work, remove the battery for at least an hour and repeat the steps.
2. Using the jumper on the motherboard
One way to reset the CMOS settings is to change the location of the jumper on the motherboard, often called a password jumper or DIP switch. The jumper on the motherboard is labeled CLR, CLRPWD, CLEAR, CLEAR CMOS, PASSWORD, PASSWD, PSWD, or PWD.
There is no fixed location for the bridge and it varies from brand to brand. To locate the jumper, carefully read your motherboard manual.
Still can’t find the motherboard jumper?
The following list includes the general locations of the jumpers. As mentioned, these vary from brand to brand. It is important that you are changing the correct password jumper, so read the manual provided or download it from the manufacturer’s website.
- Edge of the motherboard.
- Adjacent to the CMOS battery.
- Adjacent to the CPU.
- Bottom of the laptop.
Now, let’s take a look at the steps we need to follow to reset the BIOS password:
- Turn off the PC.
- Locate the password jumper.
- Notice that this jumper has 3 pins, that is, center, left and right.
- Note which pins the bridge attaches to. Attach the center pin to the left or right pin.
- Remove the jumper and connect the center pin to the opposite pin. This means that if the center pin was previously connected to the left pin, remove it and connect it to the right pin.
- Wait a few seconds.
- Remove it and fit the bridge as before.
3. Change BIOS password using MS-DOS command
This is an appropriate option if you have access to the computer when it is starting up. Use MS-DOS commands to reset the CMOS settings. These are the steps to follow:
- Open command prompt. You will find it in the Programs menu.
- Type the following commands line by line:
or 70 2E
or 71 FF
Now you just need to restart your computer and the CMOS will reset along with the BIOS password.
4. Reset the BIOS password using third party software
There are various third-party software that helps to reset CMOS settings and BIOS passwords. The available ones are:
- CmosPwd– This application is used to crack the password. Also, it can be used to restore or backup CMOS settings.
- KillCMOS – This modifies the CMOS checksums and settings so that the CMOS resets to factory defaults.
5. Using the backdoor BIOS password
This can be understood as a master password or just a set of generic passwords. These may not be valid in all cases, but if you’ve come this far, it’s worth a try, isn’t it? Here is a list of some of these passwords for some of the manufacturers:
BIOS AMI passwords
- TO ME
- TO ME? SW
- TO ME
- HEWITT RAND
BIOS PHOENIX passwords
BIOS Passwords AWARD
- HALF LITER
- half liter
- PW AWARD
- PRIZE? SW
- PRIZE SW
It is important to note that all of these passwords are case sensitive and are frequently changed by the manufacturer.
6. Contact the manufacturer
Technically, you may consider this a scam, but again, if none of the steps worked for you, the last possible solution would be to contact the manufacturer and have the problem resolved immediately from the people trained on the job. You can contact the computer manufacturer or the motherboard manufacturer to get the same.
Without knowing the BIOS password, it can be a major problem as one would not be able to start the computer. With these 6 ways, you are sure to find a method that will solve the problem for you and successfully reset or remove your BIOS password!