Password Protecting The BIOS

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Password Protecting The BIOS

Postby c327 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:34 pm

If I have the BIOS password protected will I be able to reload Windows with the BIOS password still engaged?

I am the administrator of my PC. I just want to know how secure my PC is with out having to worry if someone is going to reformat my PC with out my permission.
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Postby Mark H » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:33 pm

BIOS password is GENERALLY used to prevent unauthorized changes to BIOS settings.

AFAIK, it can also be used to prevent the PC from starting POST without inputting the password. Would eliminate formatting from the command prompt.
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Postby evasive » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:15 pm

that is the difference between the supervisor password (going into bios setup) and the user password (starting the computer) entries in bios setup.
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Postby thomas_w_bowman » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:21 am

will I be able to reload Windows with the BIOS password still engaged?


Sure, Windows dosen't care at all about BIOS Password.
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Postby c327 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:10 am

Mark H wrote:BIOS password is GENERALLY used to prevent unauthorized changes to BIOS settings.

AFAIK, it can also be used to prevent the PC from starting POST without inputting the password. Would eliminate formatting from the command prompt.


Yes that is what I was thinking. If the BIOS is password protected, In order to get into Windows I would have to get past this BIOS password?

That is what prompted my original question and concern. With out getting past the BIOS password, is it still possible for a person to reload Windows? The way I read some of the comments here it seems that Windows still can be reloaded even if the PC's BIOS is password protected?

Not looking to circumvent the PC's passwords, just the opposite. I want to know just how secure my PC is.
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Postby thomas_w_bowman » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:12 am

Sounds like you would want a password just to prevent the PC from starting POST. In that case, the PC simply won't be able to boot at all till the password is entered.

After POST, whatever OS you've got installed would be able to FORMAT, however.

It would simply prevent one from starting the PC.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:38 pm

A BIOS password is first-level security for a computer. If no password, no entry to any features or settings. The OS password is a second-level security, a lot tougher to get by. If incorrect on the third try, you are warned that the system has locked down.. and to call the SysOp.
A BIOS password can usually be defeated by removing the BIOS battery and causing the CMOS memory to go back to default. But not on all designs, as some have a tiny DIP switch or jumper to enable the feature.
The BIOS password is not a new issue. Many very old BIOS types could not be cleared of the password, until the proper one was keyed in. Did not matter if the BIOS battery was removed! Passwords, however used, are case-sensitive.
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