Recover BIOS password: HP laptop, Windows 10, Acer, Dell

Recover BIOS password: HP laptop, Windows 10, Acer, Dell

The BIOS password is stored in a non-volatile memory, which can be cleared. Doing so clears the password too, allowing you to reset it. Here are several methods that you can use to recover your BIOS password.

How to recover your BIOS password with a hardware reset? 

To recover the BIOS password, you have to move a jumper on the motherboard. The following process will reset the BIOS settings to default:

  • Turn off your PC, unplug the power cable and open your system unit. Touch the chassis of the casing with a metallic object to discharge static electricity.
  • Next, check the documentation for your motherboard to locate the position of the jumper that resets the BIOS. If you don't have a manual, look on your motherboard for one of the following tags: CLR BIOS, CLEAR BIOS, CLR CMOS, CLEAR CMOS, RESET BIOS or RESET CMOS. If the jumper is on 2-connector pins and it is held on a single pin, place it on both, wait one second then return it to its original position.
  • Then, find the jumper on your motherboard and reset it. It is usually close to the battery. If the jumper is on 3-connector pins, place it in the middle and the initially uncovered pins.
  • Wait for some time and put the jumper in its original position (PIN1-PIN2). If the jumper is on 2-connector pins and that is holding on a single pin. Place it on both and wait for a second. Then return it to its original position.
  • Now, power up and start your PC. The password should have disappeared.

How to recover your BIOS password with a software reset? 

If the password is only required at setup, it is possible to recover it without following the hardware reset instructions described above. In this situation:

  • Download CmosPWD. A program that decrypts passwords stored in the cmos used to access BIOS Setup
  • This program works with ACER/IBM BIOS, AMI BIOS, AMI WinBIOS 2.5, Award 4.5x/4.6x/6.0, Compaq, IBM (PS/2, Activa, Thinkpad), Packard Bell, Phoenix 1.00.09.AC0 (1994), a486 1.03, 1.04, 1.10 A03, 4.05 rev 1.02.943, 4.06 rev 1.13.1107, Gateway Solo - Phoenix 4.0 release 6, Toshiba, and Zenith AMI.

Is there a list of default BIOS passwords?

CGSecurity has also compiled a list of potential default BIOS passwords for a range of manufacturers, here is a selection of possible passwords for Acer, Dell and HP laptops. Other manufacturers can be found on the aforementioned website. This is a small sample of the different BIOS reset passwords, and ultimately your best option will be trying to contact the manufacturer directly. 

Acer

Acer Aspire: Under the keyboard search for the SW1 switch. Switch PIN No.1 to on and then turn on the notebook. Press F2 and set a new admin password. Turn off the notebook, and reset the SW1 switch. 

Acer Travelmate: Disconnect the cmos battery and reconnect it after several minutes, giving it time to reset, and then hold down F2 when rebooting. 

Dell

Dell Inspirion: eeprom 93lc46 or eeprom 24c164 or eeprom 24c02

Dell Latitude: eeprom 24c02

Dell desktops:

  • Find the 3-pin CMOS password reset jumper plug on the system board
  • Remove the jumper plug from pin 1 and 2
  • Place the jumper plug on pin 2 and 3 and wait 5 seconds
  • Replace the jumper plug on pin 1 and 2

HP 

HP Compaq: eeprom 24c02

HP Omnibook: eeprom 24c08

HP Pavilion: eeprom 24c08

Any more BIOS questions? Check out our forum!