Knowledge Base

How to use the jumper to reset the BIOS password on your Dell laptop (Built before 2004)


If you’re prompted for a 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, then use these instructions to reset the BIOS password.

Note:
Dell portable systems built in 2004 or later, have NO HARDWARE PASSWORD RESET. To clear a BIOS/HDD password on these systems, you will need to contact Dell Techncial Support.

Note:
Note: The BIOS activates the hardware required to start your computer. Some BIOS programs allow you to create a password that you must enter during startup before your computer will load the operating system. If you forget your password, you cannot operate your computer or change BIOS settings until you reset or clear the forgotten password.


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 your computer, and then 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 while your computer is unplugged to dissipate static electricity from the motherboard.

  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 page, download the Setup Guide or Service Manual for your laptop. Then refer to the System Board Components section for a labeled illustration of the jumpers on the motherboard.

  1. Ensure that your work surface is flat and clean to prevent scratching your laptop's cover.

  2. Remove the battery from your laptop.

  3. With your laptop still turned off and unplugged, remove the cover.

  4. To locate the password jumper on the motherboard, look for the letters PWD, PSWD or PSWDCLR.

  5. Choose an option:

  6. If there are 2 metals pins under the jumper
    1. Remove the jumper from the pins, replace the cover, reconnect the power cable and turn on your laptop.

    2. After the Windows logon screen appears, turn off your laptop.

    3. Again, disconnect the power cable. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds to release static electricity from the system.

    4. Remove the cover.

    5. Replace the jumper in its original position covering the 2 pins. This will re-enable password feature.

    6. Replace the cover.

    7. Reconnect the power cable and other connections, replace the battery and turn on your laptop.

    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 cover and reconnect the power cable.

    4. Turn on your laptop and wait 5 seconds. Then press and hold the Power button until it turns off again.

    5. Disconnect the power cable 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 cover.

    8. Reconnect the power cable and other connections, replace the battery and turn on your laptop.

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

 


Article ID: SLN133484

Last Date Modified: 12/11/2013 12:00 AM


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