Knowledge Base

How to use the jumper to reset the BIOS password on your Dell desktop computer


If you're prompted for the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) password at startup (before the operating system loads) or the BIOS or CMOS setup is locked, and you don’t know or have forgotten the password, you won’t be able to use your computer or change BIOS settings. Use these instructions to reset the BIOS password manually using the jumper.

Note:
The BIOS is the program that activates the hardware required to start your computer. The jumper is a small plastic covering found inside your computer.

Before you begin

Perform the safety steps in the order below.

Warning: these steps are for your personal safety and the protection of the equipment.

  1. Turn off the computer and unplug the power cable.
  2. Wait 5 seconds.
  3. Disconnect all external devices.
  4. Disconnect any telephone or network cables from your computer.
  5. Press and hold the Power button for 10 seconds while your computer is unplugged to release static electricity from the system.
  6. Before touching anything inside your computer, ground yourself with a wrist-grounding strap or by touching an unpainted metal surface, such as the metal at the back of your computer. While you work, periodically touch an unpainted metal surface to dissipate static electricity.

To use the jumper to reset the BIOS password

Note: On the Dell Manuals web page, download the Setup Guide or Service Manual for your computer. Then refer to the System Board Components section for a labeled illustration of the jumpers on the system board.

  1. Ensure that your work surface is flat and clean to prevent scratching your computer's cover.
  2. With your computer still turned off and unplugged, remove your computer's cover.
  3. To locate the password jumper on the motherboard, look for the letters PWD, PSWD or PSWDCLR.
  4. Choose an option:

If there are 2 metals pins under the jumper

  1. Remove the jumper from the pins, replace the computer cover, reconnect the power cable and monitor and turn on the computer.
  2. After the Windows logon screen appears, turn off the computer.
  3. Again, disconnect the power cable and monitor. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds to release static electricity from the system.
  4. Remove your computer cover.
  5. Replace the jumper in its original position covering the 2 pins. This will re-enable password feature.
  6. Replace the computer cover.
  7. Reconnect the power cable and other connections and turn on the computer.

If there are 3 pins under the jumper

  1. Remembering which two pins are covered, remove the jumper from those pins.
  2. Reinstall the jumper in a different position. For example, if you removed the jumper from pins 2 and 3, reinstall the jumper over pins 1 and 2.
  3. Replace the computer cover and reconnect the power cable and monitor.
  4. Turn on the computer and wait 5 seconds. Then press and hold the Power button until the computer turns off again.
  5. Disconnect the power cable and monitor again. Press and hold the Power button for 10 seconds to release static electricity from the system.
  6. Replace the jumper over the original 2 pins.
  7. Replace the computer cover.
  8. Reconnect the power cable and other connections and turn on the computer.

You can now assign a new system and/or setup password. For more password information, refer to the Passwords section of your computer’s service manual.




Article ID: SLN104587

Last Date Modified: 04/29/2015 03:49 PM


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