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My brother has turned on his computer after several months to be asked for a password in the 'phoenix awardBIOS CMOS setup utility' screen - he can advance no further because he does not know the password - how can he find it out?

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Did he have a password before, and just forgot it, or did this just happen on it's own?

There is a small battery inside the laptop which provides the tiny amount of power required to store all of the BIOS/CMOS settings (including the password), even if your laptop is completely disconnected from power.

There's really no way to recover these passwords, so you have to reset the CMOS/BIOS:

1. Disconnect the laptop from all power and batteries.
2. Find and remove the CMOS battery (usually a small button battery) inside the laptop.
3. Leave it alone for a day.
4. Replace the CMOS battery with a new one.

This should reset the BIOS/CMOS back to the factory defaults, with no password. He made need to do a bit of configuring to reset the date, time, etc.

Posted on Apr 25, 2010

Testimonial: "Thank you so much for your info - am seeing my brother next weekend and will have a go at what you suggested - will let you know how I got on! Penny"

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Depending on your motherboard, you will need to find either the cmos reset jumper or button.

most motherboards have a jumper though.

here is a diagram of what the jumper will look like:

in this diagram the jumper is covering 2 "pins". to reset your bios you either have to remove the jumper and then turn the computer on, or you will have to cover both pins (in some cases) and turn the computer on.

Then after you have done this turn the computer off, reset the jumper to the original setting and then turn the computer on again.

If you did it right, there should be no password at all.

Note: Don't go inside of your machine to change anything until the power cable is either removed from the wall or the back of your computer, and also ground yourself by grabbing a part of the metal case before reaching inside!

Posted on Apr 25, 2010


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To reset CMOS through Computer Setup, you must first access the
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When the Computer Setup message appears in the lower-right corner
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