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Motherboard BIOS Password
BIOS – Basic Input/Output Systems: a key component of the boot process. It addresses and maps the various hardware components of the computer system into memory so that the operating system can communicate with it. Without it, the computer would not be able to boot into its operating system. For each hardware components like motherboard, chipsets and processor and version, its custom-designed and works in combination.
It presents a password prompt as soon as the computer gets powered-on.
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) – The new version of the BIOS. which allows users to access the boot settings once the operating system has fully loaded.
- POST (Power-On Self Test)
Extra security layer to protect users from snooping, preventing malicious users from accessing system. Setup single-user password as default setup keys and password of nearly all manufacturers are well known.
Security Issue: BIOS passwords get wiped out by shorting out the CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) battery. The CMOS and Real-Time Clock (RTC) required an electric charge to maintain their settings performed by an onboard battery. As battery ages or taken out, the CMOS settings diminishes and revert to default settings.
Using the Motherboard “Clear CMOS” Jumper or Dipswitch settings to wipe all the custom settings including BIOS password. The jumpers are labeled as CLEAR – CLEAR CMOS – CLR – CLRPWD – PASSWD – PASSWORD – PWD and available next to the CMOS battery.
In the late 1990s, manufacturers started storing BIOS in flash memory. It does not require the charge and allows an increase in BIOS size. The battery is only needed to maintain the main board RTC settings.
Mac BIOS Password
Firmware prompt once set does not appear each time the computer boots. However, a user to configure to ask PC's BIOS password each time when the computer boots using the recovery console.
Mac uses FileVault full disk encryption to protect data that protects anybody from booting to the recovery console via anything that isn't the primary boot disk.
Application list of Finder -> Utilities -> Open Terminal
Type the following command:
sudo /usr/sbin/firmwarepasswd -setmode full
Provide Mac OS login password and then firmware password, afterward reboot the machine.
sudo /usr/sbin/firmwarepasswd -setmode
Prompt for boot password, with standard firmware password, that blocks unauthorized booting
Reset BIOS Password
American Megatrends BIOS Setup
AMIBIOS has no backdoor for BIOS password, if the user forgets a password, then the only solution is to contact board manufacturer or computer manufacturer for the proper instructions to reset the BIOS password.
For most Toshiba laptops and desktop systems, bypass the BIOS password by holding the left shift key during boot
IBM Aptiva BIOS
Press both mouse buttons repeatedly during the boot
Specific Keys to Enter BIOS
- OEM/Brands Key to Enter BIOS or Boot into BIOS/UEFI Devices/Models
- ACER DEL key or F2 Key Aspire, Predator, Spin, Swift, Extensa, Ferrari, Power, Altos, TravelMate
- ASUS Delete key A-Series
- ASUS F2 key or Esc B-Series, ROG-Series, Q-Series, VivoBook, Zen AiO, ZenBook
- COMPAQ F10 key Presario, Prolinea, Deskpro, Systempro, Portable
- DELL F2 key XPS, Dimension, Inspiron, Latitude, OptiPlex, Precision, Alienware, Vostro
- HP ESC key or F10 key or F11 key EliteBook, ProBook, Pro, OMEN, ENVY, TouchSmart, Vectra, OmniBook, Tablet, Stream, ZBook
- HP PAVILLION F1 key Pavilion
- LENOVO F1 key or F2 key ThinkPad, IdeaPad, Yoga, Legion, 3000 Series, N Series, ThinkCentre, ThinkStation
- SAMSUNG F2 key Odyssey, Notebook 5/7/9, ArtPC PULSE, Series ‘x’ laptops
- SAMSUNG ULTRABOOK F10 key Ultrabook
- SONY F1 key or F2 key or F3 key PCG-Series, VGN-Series
- SONY VAIO ASSIST BUTTON VAIO
- TOSHIBA F1 key or ESC key Portégé, Satellite, Tecra, Equium
- TOSHIBA EQUIUM F12 key Equium
BIOS Password Capture Utilities
- AMIDECOD: To decode BIOS Passwords on American Megatrends
- !BIOS – PC BIOS Security & Maintains Toolkit by Bluefish: All-purpose BIOS attack suite features blasters, utilities, capture, and decryption tools. The tool helps to the backup set, recover passwords and to tweak BIOS settings.