Password protecting the Bios is considered a weak protection, something that professionals can find out or reset in no time. Besides the obvious possibilities to set a jumper or remove the bios battery to reset the bios password it is also possible to reveal or reset the bios password by using a software like CmosPwd which is available for Windows, DOS and Linux. I suggest you check the list of BIOS versions the program works with before you download it and try to use it to reset the bios password of a computer system.
Most users will probably run the application in Windows. To do that they need to access the command line and install a driver that gives "direct port I/O access for specified ports to user-mode process (ring 3) using Ke386SetIoAccessMap and Ke386IoSetAccessProcess kernel functions." The driver is located in the Windows directory of the software package after unzipping it to the computer.
The command ioperm.exe -i is used to install the driver which can be uninstalled with ioperm.exe -u after the bios password has been revealed. Once the driver is installed the bios password can be revealed with the command Cmospwd_win.exe which displays a list similar to the one below.
The application requests the password for all known bioses. Only one hit will be found obviously which in the case of my bios was test in the Award 6.0 line. Reseting the bios can be initiated in DOS with the command cmospwd /k. Please note that the cmospwd.exe file is located in the DOS directory of the application. It can also be reset with the cmospwd_win /k in Windows.
Most notebooks store the bios password in an eeprom which can only be retrieved with an eeprom reader and not with the help of this program. Still, if the computer's motherboard runs on a supported BIOS it is definitely worth a try.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.