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I need the BIOS PW to a Dell E6400

Posted on 2016-11-12
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
This is a yardsale laptop that I installed fedora on and locked it down (too much apparently).
I set the BIOS PW and set it to be required at boot. Then I stopped using it for a year and now I have no recollection of what I set it to.
I tried popping a watch battery I found in it out and let it sit overnight to dissipate and forget but that didn't work.
Dell won't help unless I can divine the original purchaser's name and address.
Any advice, other than keeping better records in the future?
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Question by:Austin Texas
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14 Comments
 
LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 41885024
>>  Any advice, other than keeping better records in the future?

Keepass  http://keepass.info/ and keep it backed up in numerous places.

If it is a BIOS password then can't help there.  If it is a hard disk password then you could try another hard disk and see if you can install on that.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:Austin Texas
ID: 41885034
BIOS and yes, I know, I should have documented it. I use a PW vault. I just didn't document this system for some reason... Oh, I remember! Because I thought I would remember it!
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41885046
Try removing the internal battery for several hours and see if the BIOS resets itself.
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 41885063
That's a fairly modern one and I don't think the removing-the-battery-trick will work with that.  Won't hurt to try.

It appears that if you have the Service Tag that the password can be removed.  See this Spiceworks thread https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/408287-help-dell-latitude-e6400-bios-password-reset but you then need to know someone at Dell or an IT specialist with the requisite application to generate a code to bypass the BIOS password.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:Austin Texas
ID: 41885066
John Hurst - Thanks, but as I mentioned...
I tried popping a watch battery I found in it out and let it sit overnight to dissipate and forget but that didn't work.
DBrunton - Yes, I remember reading that and I am pretty sure I tried the holding the power button down thing but I will try it again to be sure.
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41885068
I am not sure about Dell, but for Lenovo, holding the power button is a trick to start a "dead" ThinkPad. Do try, however.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:Austin Texas
ID: 41885074
Held the power down for a few minutes...and nope. Something seems to have reset, but not the password.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41885137
You can't remove the password, without knowing it !   -->  ( what good is a password that can be "repaired" ?)
modern laptops keep it in a security chip - for anti-theft reasons
resetting the bios does not help;  nor does removing the battery, since the password is not in there
you would need to know in what chip it is, and how to reset that
you have to turn it in to the manufacturer, and show proof of ownership - then they can help
or replace the mobo !
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 41885156
> I tried popping a watch battery I found in it out and let it sit overnight to dissipate and forget but that didn't work.

just double check: was the battery also removed and AC adapter unplugged when the CMOS battery left alone overnight?
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

by:
Mark earned 500 total points
ID: 41885354
Do you get a message stating "System disabled" with a numerical code. If so check this link out https://bios-pw.org/
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 41885507
There should be an Alpha numerical code on the Dell secure Manager page asking for the password on start up. It is the service tag plus a code with -1D3B, -2A7B, -A95B, -595B after it. If your code is one of these go to this page and input the service tag with your code. http://biospassword.eu/dell-free-passwords
If the code is different from yours then do a search on google for that 4 digit code to see if someone has come up with an algorithm to generate a password.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:Austin Texas
ID: 41885623
Bing - Yes, I made sure all power sources were removed.
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LVL 5

Author Closing Comment

by:Austin Texas
ID: 41885625
That first site worked and also generated the subsequent code that was required to reset the HDD. (the second site you posted only would generate the BIOS PW code)

FYI - It deleted all data on the HDD. That worked out for me though because I needed upgrade significantly anyway since this had been running F17 and current version is F24. I was thinking of switching distros anyway.

Thanks!
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 41885650
Glad to help, I just went through this scenario a couple of days ago myself.
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