Acer Aspire 3634WLMi set its own password(!)

I booted the above mentioned laptop from the hard drive into Windows with no problem. There were no passwords involved.

I then tried to boot the laptop with a usb stick. In order to do that i went into the (Phoenix) BIOS. There was no separate entry for the stick but it appeared as a subnode of HDD at the same depth as, but below, its sibling node - the 'real' hdd. OK, so i did the obvious thing and raised the stick in the order so it appeared above its sibling, saved the settings and rebooted.

This is where the problem started: the system then came up with an HDD password prompt.

This is not my machine and neither i nor anyone else connected with it knows anything about a password. I'm now locked out of the machine.
With any luck, this is a security 'feature' (thanks Phoenix/Acer) and someone will know how to get out of this mess. Do YOU?
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CEHJAsked:
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atsvirginiaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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atsvirginiaCommented:
Go back into BIOS and see if you see a security option.
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CEHJAuthor Commented:
It shows HDD password as 'Set'. Attempting to change it requires knowing the current password
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atsvirginiaCommented:
Try: phoenix
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CEHJAuthor Commented:
I'm pretty sure i tried it. I'll try again
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CEHJAuthor Commented:
'Invalid Password'
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atsvirginiaCommented:
If you open that page with Google Chrome browser, you'll have an option to translate page. The comments indicate that the process works. Just need to find an external floppy drive. A bootable USB key should work.

If that doesn't work, you'll have to contact the manufacturer.
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V4705Connect With a Mentor Commented:
usually laptops won't let you reset the password by jumper/battery but with acer aspire its different. for some reason they do put a password "out of the box" and I don't think it's the same password everytime.

if you know how to work with laptop hardware (touching parts without bricking the machine) just pull the bios jumper out and turn the machine on, than replace the jumper.
if you don't - call the technical support and yell at them, they might have code generator to help you with that.


Good luck!

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noxchoConnect With a Mentor Global Support CoordinatorCommented:
Interesting it set it itself?!?!? If you did not set it yourself then contact Acer support for details.
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CEHJAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys. I don't think i'll be taking it apart myself.

>>Interesting it set it itself?!?!?

I know - nasty. Let's hope it's a feature rather than a bug. If it's the latter, they'll probably play dumb ;)
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
=)) for sure. That's why I asked if it set itself.
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CEHJAuthor Commented:
So, the moral of this story, if you find yourself wishing to boot from a USB stick with this hw/bios combo is never to change the hdds boot order in the hdds node like i did. Instead, perhaps, make sure the boot menu is enabled and choose the stick at boot time.

No point mentioning it to the 'experts' at an Acer centre. If you tell them the bios has set its own hd password, they'll probably laugh at you as at a superstitious old woman, like they did at me.
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