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Locked out of Dell Laptop

The bios password is set (and lost) on a friends Dell Latitude D610. He tried doing a CMOS Battery reset (removed main battery, pulled CMOS battery, shorted the terminals and then put it back in).

On reboot it came up and said the "Invalid Setup" like the CMOS had been reset but he still can not access any of the bios settings.

Is there any other way to clear the password. MB jumper, etc.

There is a "Pay for unlock instructions sale on Ebay". Is that real or a scam."
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Political User
Dun know about the Laptops, but in dell PC's there is a jumper that lets one bypass the BIOS password and set a new one, just set the jumper, enter BIOS, change password, set the jumper back to origional and you are on your merry way.


OSNN One Post Wonder
The issue is greater than that. The problem is the laptop has some NV memory and eeprom. If you reset the bios, it auto-reloads from the NV memory. People are buying used laptops and getting locked out of their own machines. There are many forum posts around the net on this. I consider it a challenge. The running theroy is by shorting a couple of pins on a certain chip you and force a NV reset. I have not confirmed the chip or the pins. I heard the pins are #6 & 4. I have not confirmed the process either whether the cmos battery needs to be in or out for this.

First one who gets it wins.......

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
If resetting the CMOS (how one would ordinarily clear this) doesn't result in a wiping of the password, it makes sense that there would be a backup for it somewhere else. Course I could say something about someone selling a laptop on Ebay, and not providing the password, or changing it to something simple (in case it's a password they don't want to give out), while providing that, else remove the password for purposes of shipping it. That however wouldn't help much here.

Seems that contacting Dell would be your best bet, though I'm not sure what their policy is on helping people who bought one of their machines from someone (such as an Ebay seller), other then a Dell authorized seller...


Political User
I thought of that as well Venom. But you would need to get past BIOS to be able to reflash.

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
If the problem is that some NV memory is resetting the password after the CMOS is cleared, I'm not sure how flashing the BIOS would help. Looking at lordevil's suggestion

The issue is greater than that. The problem is the laptop has some NV memory and eeprom. If you reset the bios, it auto-reloads from the NV memory.
I'm not sure the specifics of this NV memory (as well I don't have one of these laptops or the like), but the trick would be to prevent this from re-loading the CMOS settings stored there, forcing the password out of that.

One could change the BIOS if the EEPROM is socketable, by unpluging the BIOS chip, and either flashing it in another board, a BIOS flash utility (I think they had one of these in some of the hardware engineering classrooms we have down at the colleges I'm attending), or by swaping in another BIOS chip. However, the problem is CMOS memory itself, which when wiped, from his suggestion is getting restored from this other memory.

Though it could be possible to change out the BIOS, if one can remove the BIOS chip, I'm not sure this would help remove the auto-refresh being suggested from CMOS memory itself. It might still refresh it?

Convenient would be if the stinken NV memory spoken of were on the same chip and it were socketable. Then simply ordering a new chip and plugging it in would fix that.

I did look some, and saw references to the same instructions on shorting pins 3 and 6 next to the CMOS battery, when I did a little searching on this. The downside, are suggestions about having to "rip the laptop apart". Personally I'd want to know a bit more before :D And though I've rebuilt PCs and the like, umm, well laptops, hmm...

Ideal would be if Dell support would be willing to throw a tip your way, even though you might not have bought it from an authorized reseller I'm gathering.
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Political User
VenomXt said:
no you dont. not from a floppy.. or am i wrong?
The system would have to POST in order to try and load an OS. But we are unable to POST because of the BIOS password.


OSNN One Post Wonder
NV holds data with no power required whatsoever. If the boot sequence is locked to a hard drive then you cannot flash even if you remove the HDD, it still will not allow another device.

Here is some info i have found.

There is no jumper on this particular notebook to reset the CMOS. Even if there were, it would make no difference. The Primary and Administrator passwords are stored in an NVRAM chip (non-volatile ram) that is not dependent on an electrical charge. I disconnected the battery (twice -- and left it disconnected for hours), which is equivalent to resetting with a jumper. It did not clear the passwords, just reset the BIOS back to its defaults. I don't want to go into it in great detail, because it has been covered earlier in the thread. The Dell notebooks (at least this model) are notorious for their difficult-to-bypass passwords.

If you want to short out the NVRAM (or EEPROM), you have to take the laptop apart (you can download a service manual from Dell) and remove the microprocessor board to get to the EEPROM (erasable-programmable) chip. It's an eight-pin chip marked with 24c02 -- though I've heard it can be a 24u05 or something else that starts with a 24. You have to solder fine wires to the third and sixth pins, then put them together (no more than two seconds per try) to short out the chip after you have powered up the computer. Definitely not for the faint-of-heart or unsteady-of-hand -- though the computer is just a doorstop anyway if you can't get it to boot. You can find more detailed info by doing a Google search using terms like Dell/EEPROM/short/password. I took it apart but decided to try the password thing again, and got it to work with the Latitude_MasterPW.exe utility.

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