Alright, so I got a laptop from a friend and it seems he,for some reason, set a BIOS admin password....and then just forgot it. So I realize removing the CMOS battery doesn't work due to the ROM chip isn't relying on that to keep data stored. Is my only option to call dell and pay the $89 service fee? There's no backdoor password?
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The master password is system-specific and must be generated by Dell when the registered owner calls (your friend will have to call unless you've had him/her transfer the ownership into your name).
I know some methods to reset bios password.
1. The best and easiest method: Close OS and shut down the electricity power of computer. Open your computer box, take out the cmos battery from the mainboard. Then the bios password will be reset to blank. Put it back after a few minutes.
2. Follow some tutorials. For example this tutorial: Bypass BIOS Password or Crack CMOS Password?
So I would suggest you the 1st method. Hope it helps.
The first method won't work - the password is stored in nonvolatile EEPROM.
The other method is a violation of the terms of service of the forum.