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Windows 10, Flashing a BIOS

Posted on 2016-10-31
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
Hi,

A customer of mine has a computer (which I did not install).  I tried to flash the BIOS and got a request for the "admin password".  Even though I know the computer's ADMINISTRATOR password.

It looks to me like someone (no one knows who) set the CMOS password.  The computer, a Dell All-inOne, uses a UEFI boot.

My question is:  Assuming that a CMOS password cannot be broken (which I believe is the case) WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

REPLACE THE CPU?  REPLACE THE MOTHERBOARD?  Dell Tech support has NO IDEA what I am talking about, so maybe I am totally mistaken.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Biggles1
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Question by:Biggles1
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12 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
William Fulks earned 2000 total points
ID: 41867598
If it's a dell you can use the little jumpers and pins on the motherboard to reset it. Here's a Dell KB article on how - http://www.dell.com/support/Article/us/en/6099/SLN284985
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 41867603
Another method, depending on the kind of motherboard, is to remove the flat circular CMOS battery (looks like a watch battery) for about 30 minutes or so. Then put it back in and try again.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41867658
You need to get in touch with the PC manufacturer and provide them with proof of ownership (for example the invoice). Once they have that they will help you reset the BIOS password (but the service might not be free, and it could mean changing the laptop's mainboard).

Just removing the CMOS battery or using jumpers won't help with BIOS passwords.
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41867673
My advice is that unless a BIOS update fixes a specific problem that is known to exist in the system at hand, don't flash the BIOS just because there's a more recent version.

We see far too many askers who come to us with "I trashed the BIOS on my system during a flash, what can I do about it?"  Too often the answer is "Nothing.  Recycle the motherboard."

So if there's no specific reason to update the BIOS, don't, and that will make the password issue nugatory.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41867680
The BIOS password should still be known to the owner of the laptop. Then you can properly secure it and also make it a useless piece of junk for any thief.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 41867739
Can you take a snapshot of the screen when this appears?

I just with to verify that this is a BIOS password and not a Windows password.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 41867825
William has provided you with the generic way to reset the password of various Dell systems, see above post. But since each computer is different, a desktop is different from portable (laptop) which may be different from an all in one computer it is hard to generalize which one will work for you unless we knew the model. Even if we had the service tag we can look up the model number. Generic questions that do not have much information receive generic answers. Being more through in your questions help us to provide information on your specific model.
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Author Comment

by:Biggles1
ID: 41869753
Hi,  Here are some answers:

The computer is an All-In-One OPTIPLEX 9030, with Service Tag FZ08N22.

I have also attached a screenshot showing the dialog box asking for  the 'Admin' password.  The background is the Dell Website from which I downloaded the BIOS "driver".  This is obviously not requesting the 'Administrator' password.
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Author Comment

by:Biggles1
ID: 41869760
PS

Also, the Dell Tech Rep was remotely logged into the computer and knew the Service Tag and the Model.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41870075
i don't see any screenshot?
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Author Comment

by:Biggles1
ID: 41870336
Sorry.  I hope the screen shot uploaded correctly this time.
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Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41870342
Sorry, still no screenshot.
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