Way's to remove bios password?

Hey everybody,

Let me start with a disclaimer, I work for a IT hardware management company. We get thousands of pc's/laptops/servers/and everything in between every week and refurbish them for either resale or return them to our customers. I do not have a stolen computer or trying to do something unethical. I'm just looking for a possible solution for a large problem we encounter. Unfortunately I do not have permission to contact any manufacturers directly on behalf of my company so I was told if I can find any possible solutions, then I can go forward and go through the process of utilizing commercial solutions. 

Many of the laptops we get have BIOS passwords but for privacy/security reasons we're not able to obtain them from our customers. With these computers, we do what we can if it can pxe boot but ultimately these are thrown out. 

Logically, being that we are a international company I'm absolutely certain that Dell and other manufacturers do have a commercially available solution and I'm hoping somebody can point me in that direction. I called tech support and needless to say they weren't helpful. 

Is anyone aware of licensed solutions for removing BIOS passwords?

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4 Replies
N7U
3 Zinc

RE: Way's to remove bios password?

Hi Tigro,

     Unfortunately the registered owner of the system is the only one that can reverse those locks and it requires contacting the Mfg directly. 

     In your situation, where you might see higher volume occurrence of BIOS locks than most, it is to your benefit to transfer ownership of the system officially...in your case it would be to your company. At that point you would be in position to contact Support with inquiries about locked BIOS.

     Since you're with an IT hardware management company you should have access to technicians capable of mounting NEW BIOS CMOS. Naturally this requires access to the BIOS chip proper and I can't speak with any authority on the availability of them for proprietary OEM's. Open market pc mainboards frequently undergo BIOS CMOS swapping and there are forums and YouTube tutorials about how to go about that, where to source the part, etc etc. 

     Long story short, asking the question is only the tip of the iceberg and there's not an "across the board" definitive answer but a little patience and a lot of perseverance is likely to pay off in the end if you have high enough occurrence of the BIOS LOCK scenario to warrant the research.

Dell™ Community Forum since 2013

Not employed by Dell™

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RE: Way's to remove bios password?

Hey N7U,

This may be a question better directed at Dell, but since I can't contact them from my work email and as expected they haven't responded to requests from my personal email I'll give it to you. Legally we own everything in our inventory, we are required by the DOD to record what company we received it from, proof of purchase/transfer, and our system provides live location information (what location and department it's in, status, and condition information). In short we could easily prove that we legally own it, but trying to go through this process with multiple manufacturers for literally thousands of laptops (12,687 laptops as of the end of Friday) it is simply not feasible.

If by "mounting" you mean reflashing, I've personally tried this method and unfortunately it's unsuccessful. I setup a pxe server with multiple manufacturers BIOS updates/OEM versions. It installs perfectly but the BIOS password isn't removed. 

Currently I've been working on a hardware based solution using Arduino. Basically it's a simple board with a power supply, 2 leads, lcd display, and 4 buttons used to adjust voltage and amperage to short circuit the chip. I'm still working on programming it but this may end up being the best solution but it's been a matter of creating a list of what models need which pins to be properly shorted. 

Thank you again for the response

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N7U
3 Zinc

RE: Way's to remove bios password?

by swapping BIOS CMOS I mean physically de-soldering or unseating the Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) that holds the BIOS information (the Integrated Circuit) Flashing writes a backup of the BIOS image to be overwritten before it block erases so as you've found, that's not helping the issue.

     I didn't realize on what scale you were potentially dealing with this issue. Of course there are many approaches you can make to this problem. Just thinking aloud if you're taking a load from a company, ensure that sysadmin is authorized to either clear the BIOS passwords or to give you the password ranges and organize your unlock from that angle.

     Unfortunately no global scale OEM is going to participate in something so labor intensive especially since it means breathing life back into systems that have lived out their usability  to the original owners. From a corporate standpoint this is looked at very simply as prior sale / future sale. With no return on effort and the potentially lost sales created by keeping older systems in circulation. THE ONLY loop very very remote chance might be if you were a NPO and were going to enable a massive tax write off to the OEM and make next to nothing yourself ...lets say...donating your time, effort and rejuvinated equipment to underprivileged children in an undeveloped nation. Sounds like you're working for a company though so even that's out.

     My advice is GET CREATIVE! BIOS locks are not intended to be easily overcome. We've established here some ...if not most...of the ideas that WON"T work...use that as a framework. Get the office together, Brainstorm, make some phone calls, Google's your friend. Best of Luck and sorry I couldn't be of more help. Since this forum is typically for US and CANADA members consider that we've had a good chat but that I won't be available for ongoing conversation RE: BIOS unlocking on a commercial scale.

Dell™ Community Forum since 2013

Not employed by Dell™

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Community Manager
Community Manager

RE: Way's to remove bios password?

 

Is anyone aware of licensed solutions for removing BIOS passwords?

Hi Tigrotechnology,

Thank you for your post, but as a matter of policy, we do not allow postings of this nature on our Forum.

I respect the fact you are working for a IT hardware management company, and is legitimate, however not everyone on here is as honest as you are.  As was stated, your company with it's resources, working with the Federal Government, should have solutions available to you.  If not, you should contact the Dell Technical Account Representative that handles the Federal accounts you are servicing to get you the procedures.

Please contact your resources, as no one in this Forum can assist you.  Since these discussions are not allowed here, I will be locking this thread.

Regards,
Robert


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